Telic Medal Metal

Apologies if this has been asked before, but...

I have just got my medals back from the tailors, having had my Telic medal added (eventually.......). It seems to be a different colour from the other "silver" medals I have :?

When the medal turned up it was badly tarnished, but even after (careful) cleaning it has a more yellow/grey colour than the other medals...

Someone once told me that the GSM is "proper" silver. Has anyone any idea what this one is made from ( I suspect recycled 10 man ration tins... :roll: )


Definetlt poorer quality metal than the others I have. Tarnishes much more quickly and never looks as clean or shiny as the others. :(
Maybe they melted down the unused DU rounds? :?


It looks old and minging due the time it has spend getting moldy on some shelf in RAF Innsworth.

It is a typical 'erzatz' medal.

Not even worth the wait.
Older_by_the_day said:
Probably tin over compressed cardboard.... just a guess as not had mine from Telic 6 yet.... being a reservist and all that.
Don't start, i'm regular and still waiting for mine from TELIC 2. Think it's something to do with having an M in my surname. That's what i was told anyway...
you could always tell them to use an up-turned "W" :wink:

as for compressed cardboard - I met a nig just back from NI was well proud of his swinger as he had joined the Bn about 6 weeks before it left the province. When he was told his was metal on cardboard he got all upset as if he had just been out there and took on Gerry & the boys single handed. So he proceeded to cut open the worthless memento - only to find it was solid throughout!
ive mounted at least 50 odd telic medals and the telic 1 medals are it seems of a different metal, i presume its cupro nickel, you get a better finnish when its polished, the later medals i would agree are of a different metal ,im not sure what it is. the GSM 1962 [ie northern ireland ] is made out of " SILVER" definately not compressed cardboard. Gulf 1 cupro nickel,acum service medal silver, OSM silver, LS&GC silver, S Atlantic cupro nickel, all NATO bronze, . UN bronze.
I think you'll find its RHODIUM coated. - It'll have a tendency to be very bright until some mong tries to use brasso on it. :roll:

Then it'll run off-colour. You should just use a soft cloth to wipe it clean. Now all I can suggest is that you dip the medal in some of that jewellery cleaning liquid you can buy from any high street watch shop.
with respect smudge , had to use more than a soft cloth to get a shine on the later issued medals , no i dint use any abbrasives ,they tarnish very easy .
The metal polish dip is a good idea but would only work for one or two not court mounted?
FFBox said:
The metal polish dip is a good idea but would only work for one or two not court mounted?
No - not Court Mounted. You could dip a mounted group though, individually. Remember to put a little bit of masking tape round the ribbon to ensure the stuff doesn't get on it.

I think you could always put a little of the dip on a soft lint-free cloth and wipe over the face of the medals (court mounted), but you aren't going to be able to get near the backs of the medals unless you cut the securing thread and with the cost of court mounting that really isn't going to happen! :wink:

PS I forgot to mention that's how I clean mine.
OK, here's the boring anorak history lesson.

The Iraq Medal is made of cupro-nickel following a tradition for 'war' medals that goes back to WWII. After the Second World War the country was skint and so the 1939-45 War Medal and the Defence Medal were made of the cheapest material - cupro-nickel (while the campaign stars were made with bronze).

This 'precedent' of using cupro-nickel for 'war' medals was followed later: the South Atlantic (Falklands) Medal and Gulf Medal ('91) were both made in cupro-nickel and so is the Iraq Medal.

Perhaps ironically, the medals for so-called 'campaigns' and 'operations' that 'fell short of full-scale war' such as the GSM (eg N. Ireland) and the new OSM (eg Afghanistan) are made of a different alloy with a much higher silver content.
The early 'Telic' gongs have the 'tea stained' effect* due to the temperature used during the striking. Polishing will remove this effect temporarily, but it does return. They are struck from cupro-nickel. GSMs, OSMs & LS&GCs are struck from silver. The earlier batches of Iraq Medals were impressed with the recipient's details, whereas later issues were and are laser-etched.

*Collectors actually prefer this, as it proves the medals are genuine. Impressed examples are also slightly more desirable due to their scarcity.
Wore mine on a parade last year and out of the five that was the only one with deep scratches from my weapon. Dont know if that is because of where it was in regards to the weapon or if it is because it is made from cheap ass metal. And it goes a tea stained colour when left un-polished.
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