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EKII - deterioration

Article about: Hi all, some 5 months ago I acquired EKII which was in mint condition. However, its silver frame seems to be deteriorating - it seems to be getting more and more of darker "spots"

  1. #1

    Default EKII - deterioration

    Hi all,
    some 5 months ago I acquired EKII which was in mint condition. However, its silver frame seems to be deteriorating - it seems to be getting more and more of darker "spots" all around the frame... Is there anything wrong I could have done to it? It is stored in my living room, not in some dark wet cellar, so I have no idea what to do with it...

    Any ideas? Thanks.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: EKII - deterioration

    Is there any chance you could upload some pictures, it is a bit hard to advise without at least seeing the "deterioration" ?

    Be glad to try and help if I could see what is happening, are you sure it isn't just tarnishing from handling?



  4. #3

    Default Re: EKII - deterioration

    sadly, my camera is currently out of order so I cannot take any photos...

    However, as regards the "spots", I am quite sure they do not result from handling, because approximately for 2 weeks I did not handle my EKII (and have not seen it either, so I could easily see the changes) and still it seems to have changed a little.. But maybe I am imagining it all

  5. #4

    Default Re: EKII - deterioration

    so, I have found a picture showing similar condition of the award:

    My EKII now looks something like that, but it did not look this at the time I bought it - the silver frame was almost absolutely clear..


  6. #5

    Default Re: EKII - deterioration

    Very hard to say, but it may well have been cleaned just prior to you buying it and could now be reverting to it's original state.

    Cheers, Ade.

  7. #6

    Default Re: EKII - deterioration

    Hi there,

    I would have to agree with Ade, the most likely cause is it was polished not long before you purchased it and the patina is slowly starting to return. The subject of cleaning medals is one that is fraught with controversy, these EK's (in my opinion) should not be cleaned/polished, and retain the nice patination that has taken years to get. Also if they were ones that has frosting, then the act of polishing to a bright finish will have remove it.

    The place where you store it can also effect the medal, new wood and glues can fume, medal sleeves can also effect the metal, the environment/pollution can when mixed with moist air cause the condensation to be non Ph neutral, the list goes on.

    So sorry without a lot more info, a really considered answer is just too difficult to give.



  8. #7

    Default Re: EKII - deterioration

    ok, thank you guys...

    not that I do not like the way it looks now, I just was afraid that something bad was happening to it and it could be irreversibly damaged.. all my other medals which are stored together with the EKII are OK and do not seem to undergo any changes (including WWI EKII which is similar), so probably it was just as you both think.


  9. #8

    Default Re: EKII - deterioration

    I know you probably want to keep it displayed but I would try and find an acid-free plastic case something simple like what a coin collector uses. A museum supply company would have something but it would be expensive so I'd try coin collector supply websites. Then I'd back it with an acid-free Ph balanced tissue paper or batting. That way it won't move around and will give it a nice background.

  10. #9

    Default Re: EKII - deterioration

    I agree with the comments on storage...Woods, glue, paper materials, etc. can "Out Gas" causing detrimental issues with the award. Even Riker cases will eventually out gas and Museums do not store items in them for long terms.

    I use an Aluminum case with a glass lid lined with unbleached polar fleece on the bottom covered with 100% unbleached cotton muslin on top. The polar fleece repels moisture and acts as padding. I place a couple of those small silica packets in the corners.

    Here are some pics...

    Best Regards, fischer

    Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #10

    Default Re: EKII - deterioration

    Amounts of humidity also can take a toll. I used to live in a City with a water "border" on most of it's boundary and I watched my Bronse Infanterie Sturmabzeichen start to lose some of it's fire-guilded finish-not because of handling-just from the simple fact of where I was living at at the time. Most of my awards I keep wrapped up in 100% cotton cloths. I gave up using Riker mounts because some nastly little B*****d bugs invaded one of mine and completely ruined a minty pair of Artillery Officers Collartabs I had. Luckily they didn't have time to get to my SS cloth and my Generals insignias-or any other cloth items I had.

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