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Medal Cleaning

Weaselchap

Swinger
I have my Grandfather's rack of medals (39-45 Star, Defence Medal, War Medal & France and Germany Star). I am thinking of getting them framed along with a photo of him in flying kit and one of his cap badges.

Should I polish the medals before they are framed or leave them with their aged patina? If polishing is the way to go then is there a recommended polish to use?

Thanks for any help
 

HE117

LE
I have my Grandfather's rack of medals (39-45 Star, Defence Medal, War Medal & France and Germany Star). I am thinking of getting them framed along with a photo of him in flying kit and one of his cap badges.

Should I polish the medals before they are framed or leave them with their aged patina? If polishing is the way to go then is there a recommended polish to use?

Thanks for any help
Provided they are not showing signs of corrosion, I would leave them as they are..

Polishing them simply abrades the surface, and as long as nobody is wearing them on parade then why damage them?

If you do need to clean them, a pencil eraser will remove most muck without doing any collateral damage...
 
If you have pictures or badges you can add them . This is my grandfather (top, replica medals) and great grandfather (originals with new ribbon, original cap badge and Silver War Badge)

2FB58E42-00CB-4B66-B0BB-0D4AEC3BC878.jpeg
 

Bad Smell

Old-Salt
I use a Goddards Long Term Silver Cloth for both mine and my grandfathers. Also a soft toothbrush for those difficult bits to reach.
 

romeolima

Swinger
WW2 Stars are a bitch to clean properly without destroying the original finish, particularly with wording in the circlet. I recently added an Arctic Star to a group for a veteran to wear and trying to clean the existing stars without going overboard was a pain.

A mixture of rubber method, as mentioned, but also Pre-Lim cleaner, a nail brush and a wooden toothpick.

Just avoid chemical cleaners or abrasives as it will change the tone of the medal.
 

HE117

LE
WW2 Stars are a bitch to clean properly without destroying the original finish, particularly with wording in the circlet. I recently added an Arctic Star to a group for a veteran to wear and trying to clean the existing stars without going overboard was a pain.

A mixture of rubber method, as mentioned, but also Pre-Lim cleaner, a nail brush and a wooden toothpick.

Just avoid chemical cleaners or abrasives as it will change the tone of the medal.
I use Pre-Lim to clean rifle sights.. it's very good, and from the same source as Renaissance wax, which is museum grade preservation medium..

But yeah.. I would not use any domestic grade metal polish on medals, particularly old ones...
 

Trilby

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
With my paternal grandfather's WW2 medals, I put them in a sonic bath for about half an hour with some warm soapy water, and then dried and gently polished them with a clean yellow duster. This brought them up nicely without stripping the patina. I find the same works with the WW1 medals in my collection too.
 

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