Clean and restore Militaria

Discussions on Axis awards and decorations. Hosted by John G & William Kramer.
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NewCollector
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Clean and restore Militaria

Postby NewCollector » 07 Apr 2017 16:22

A guy I know was in Berlin and went to some sort of flea market. He found a german cross type of medal which I identified as an War Merit Cross 1st class. It's hard to tell the authenticity of militaria from those types of flea markets but that is not why I am here. I would like to know if I could possibly restore and clean this medal. Here you can see a comparison between my Cross compared to a more restored one. If someone could explain to me how one could restore a metal war decoration or atleast polish it a bit, thanks :milsmile:

My War Merit Cross front
War Merit Cross front.JPG


My War Merit Cross back
War Merit Cross back.JPG


A random War Merit Cross
War Merit Cross.jpg
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matthew4108
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Re: Clean and restore Militaria

Postby matthew4108 » 08 Apr 2017 14:41

Your medal is made out of zinc while the second example is a tombak based specimen. Zinc by its very nature is a dull metal so any polishing it will be short lived at best. Furthermore- the cavities that are evident on your specimen are lost material and can not be brought back, at least not at the collectors, do it at home level. You can conserve it, making sure the aging process is drastically slowed down with a coat of vaseline or Renaissance Wax but complete restoration is unfortunately not possible.
BTW- the second medal pictured looks to be a good conditioned original piece rather than a restored one, at least to my untrained eye.

cheers

Matt

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NewCollector
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Re: Clean and restore Militaria

Postby NewCollector » 08 Apr 2017 23:25

matthew4108 wrote:Your medal is made out of zinc while the second example is a tombak based specimen. Zinc by its very nature is a dull metal so any polishing it will be short lived at best. Furthermore- the cavities that are evident on your specimen are lost material and can not be brought back, at least not at the collectors, do it at home level. You can conserve it, making sure the aging process is drastically slowed down with a coat of vaseline or Renaissance Wax but complete restoration is unfortunately not possible.
BTW- the second medal pictured looks to be a good conditioned original piece rather than a restored one, at least to my untrained eye.

cheers

Matt


Yeah, after giving it some thought myself I realized that a complete restoration would be close to impossible. Atleast the swastika and the 1939 engraving is still intact so it is a bit aesthetically pleasing atleast. Thanks for taking your time to help a young fellow out, cheers :milsmile:
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John G.
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Re: Clean and restore Militaria

Postby John G. » 10 Apr 2017 12:36

Your's is a 2nd Class.... not 1st cl.
John G.

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NewCollector
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Re: Clean and restore Militaria

Postby NewCollector » 11 Apr 2017 13:40

Thanks for the clarification! My knowledge in Merit Crosses is not the best.
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ignorixa
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Re: Clean and restore Militaria

Postby ignorixa » 19 Apr 2017 20:39

In my opinion, you should never try to clean/restore your awards. It kind of deletes its identity

Thomas
Greetings,
Thomas

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NewCollector
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Re: Clean and restore Militaria

Postby NewCollector » 29 Apr 2017 14:31

To restore an award or not is a debated topic and I think it all just comes down to personal preference as well.
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Ian Hulley
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Re: Clean and restore Militaria

Postby Ian Hulley » 31 Jul 2017 10:20

I'm willing to clean awards by removing dirt, hair, fluff etc but that's all using an air duster and a very soft, old toothbrush.

Ian


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