Protecting medals from tarnish

osgood

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
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Jun 6, 1999
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From
No fixed address, Australia.
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Full time grey nomad traveling Oz!
1. Should medals be polished or cleaned before framing?

2. If so, then what with?

3. Should the medals be coated with anything to prevent tarnishing?

Down here in the Land of OZ, commercial products available may not have the same name as they do up there in the Northern Hemisphere. Please give some info on any products that you recommend (if any)
Thanks heaps!
 

Susan May

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May 28, 2000
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moved to Clermont, Florida
I would always remove any hand oils from the medals before framing. However I'm not sure if there is anything to put in the frame to prevent tarnish. I have heard that some people use treated polishing cloth (for silver) as backing. I hope this helps.

Sue
smile.gif
 

Lance E

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Hamilton, New Zealand
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We have an outfit locally that specialises in polishing all sorts of stuff, they do good work and it's easy and not very costly. I'd recommend you find someone to do this for you. (a good wheel shop should know of any around)
 

Bogframe

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Brooklyn, NY USA, Right Near Coney Island, The Bro
Medals should be polished with a soft cloth, and a gentle cleaner such as Gorham. backing them with a silver polishing cloth will help slow tarnish...NEVER try to apply ANY type of coating yourself.

------------------
Seth J. Bogdanove, CPF
 

Pelican Art

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Feb 13, 2004
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Petaluma, CA
I have a needleworker who just went to a class where they used a lot of different metal threads. She said that her teacher indicated that they have special cloth to use as backing for inhibiting the tarnish. I will let you know what they recommend. I'm sure it will also work for any silver.

Linda
 

nona powers

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
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Jun 15, 1999
Posts
735
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san diego
I know zeolites help retard tarnishing of silver and can be found in Artcare products from Bainbridge. Zeolites are in the Alphamats, Alpharag and AlphaLinens and AlphaDenim. Their Archival Foamboard and Archival Corrugate also have zeolites.
 

wpfay

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Silver cloth is used in lining the storage cases for sterling flatware to help prevent tarnishing and is available from local fabric shops in a couple of colors.

If oxidation is a particular problem, you can use sealed frame technology and include oxygen scavengers and/or corrosion interceptors to the frame package.

I learned that the wool (used in vintage military uniforms) out-gasses sulfur which causes tarnishing.

Problem with coating medals is that if any contaminates are under the coating it will still tarnish, and then you not only have to polish, but you have the issue of removing the coating.

Polishing too agressively can remove the patina, and might affect the value of vintage or collector pieces. I use a jeweler's rouge cloth to wipe badly tarnished items, then wipe with a clean soft cotton cloth before installing.
 
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