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Is this Zinc Pest?

Article about: Picked up an Eickhorn dagger, and afterwards learned of something called zinc pest. Since, I've had suspicion it might have zinc pest. It's in hand now, and I have to decide whether or not t

  1. #1

    Default Is this Zinc Pest?

    Picked up an Eickhorn dagger, and afterwards learned of something called zinc pest. Since, I've had suspicion it might have zinc pest. It's in hand now, and I have to decide whether or not to return it.

    What do you all think we're looking at here, with the two spots on this wing (one top and then on bottom)? Thanks for the help folks!

    Is this Zinc Pest?

    Is this Zinc Pest?

    Is this Zinc Pest?

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  3. #2


    Hello Scott,
    It does appear me to be the start of zinc pest. I would recommend that if you decide that you are going to keep it, that you treat it with a little Vaseline.
    You only need to apply a small amount with a Q-Tip and leave it for a few days. Wipe it down gently with a soft cloth afterwards.
    Many zinc badges suffer from zinc pest and this is how I have treated the few that I have.
    Hope this helps,
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  4. #3


    I've heard this cannot be stopped, even if it's treated like that, which will slow it down. Is that true?

  5. #4


    Quote by avenger View Post
    I've heard this cannot be stopped, even if it's treated like that, which will slow it down. Is that true?
    As long as the atmosphere is controlled, it will get no worse.
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  6. #5


    Thanks Ralph.

    Not having much experience with zinc pest, if you bought a dagger that turned out to have it, what would your thoughts be on returning it? Trying gauge how much the issue detracts from the value. There's a part of me that's thinking this isn't what I had in mind when buying it.

  7. #6


    If you're not entirely happy with it, then I would say send it back. Everytime you'll look at it, there will be a niggling regret. These things are not rare, and patience in waiting for the right one to come along will be rewarded eventually with an example that will be exactly what you've always wanted and won't feel you need to upgrade. But at the end of the day, the decision is yours old pal.

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  8. #7


    I'd return it. Zinc pest is a serious flaw and if not described in the seller's description, this is a major omission.

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  9. #8


    I think you guys speak wisdom. The seller didn't know what zinc pest was when I told him about it shortly after it shipped, so it was an honest omission. He thinks it's lifting silver plate.

    All this considered, this is the first army dagger I've had the pleasure of holding in my hand. First impressions of them:

    1. They're a lot smaller than I expected.
    2. They are absolutely brilliant pieces of design and aesthetics.
    3. The Eickhorn 4th eagle pattern is very attractive. Better than photos do it justice.

    Could these be like Pringles where you can't stop at one?

  10. #9


    Zinc pest,,Blade cancer..leather rot..and split wood..all these are unavoidable..over a long period of time..some examples according to Ralph..mostly are controlled by the geographical location. We must do the best we preserve..if we intend to keep it..or keep shopping around.

    For myself..I would like to keep the history of the artifact in the forefront....but as with Senior adjutant follows does preservation to an artifact. We cant stop time..but we can slow it down..if we are careful.

    Food for thought:...... We also have to remember that these daggers and swords have been in eye shot or stood next to some influential..and scary people. Been on the battle fields..or occupied territories. These times and places will never change nor leave the dagger. History has already happened to it.

    Internal breakdowns in chemical composition...are bound to happen..some producers less than others due to the quality of the materials used. Most noticeable are those producers when forging a blade..the impurities that surface compared to others. Its gonna happen..and this is not a guilt trip to get you to keep the dagger..but to remember the history of this dagger..or any future daggers. Respect of the time period in which this dagger stands for. Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  11. #10


    Larry, I sincerely hope your post ins't an indication I've somehow acted in a way that shows I don't respect the time period. If I have, I truly apologize, and hope to dispel the misconceptions I've created.

    There are a number of things at play when I look at these pieces. The first thing that comes to mind is the design of them. I work with designers and in design every day, so I can't help but see design elements in everything I look at. These daggers for instance, have clearly had a lot of thought and craftsmanship put into them, which I appreciate. I would point out that in no way equals an approval of the ideology they represent. So, if I say it's beautiful, I'm coming from the perspective of a designer. And, realistically I think we can expect the makers were in many cases good, honest, hard working craftsmen that didn't approve of NSDAP actions, as I imagine many soldiers were the same.

    Unfortunately, I've made some bad investments in the past on my TR pieces, buying fakes or overpaying for real items. I will only be able to afford so many items, so I want to be sure I'm being responsible in what I buy and how much I spend so I can break my bad trend with better education, much of which you fine folks have provided amply. So, when concerning the value of a dagger like the one in this thread, I'm trying to weigh the economics of it, and also how the zinc pest will affect the longevity of the piece. Southwest Missouri is very humid, swelteringly so at times, and that concerns me if zinc pest is affected by environment. Puddles of water will form under a glass of ice water and run off the table in a completely air conditioned house here, so I am a bit concerned for the dagger itself. This may not be the best climate for it unfortunately, even if I decide to keep it, if conditional issues have already been set in motion.

    And perhaps the biggest motivator for me, I think I've only mentioned this to Wagriff via PM, and one of my biggest goals of buying these items, is for when my currently 17 month old son grows up and starts to learn about WW2. I'm eager to pull all this stuff out and give him a way to connect to what happened in a way he can touch and hold. I hope I can bring these items to his school so the other kids can do the same in their history class. I've been buying photos too, because each of them tells a story. He has a great, great, great uncle that fought in Europe for the US Army through most of the war, from whom I have a camera he recovered from a fallen German. Another of my favorite items in my collection is two Eisenhower silver dollars that were given to me by a veteran named Ralph Manley, who I met at a pizza joint in town where he was dressed in his original WW2 airborne uniform and handing out the coins and greeting people. I wrapped them in a note card that I had written his name in and the date and where we met him, and a little bit I was able to find out about him online. That's an experience I can't buy in badge, dagger, sword or clothes, but the value of the coins can't be understated for me.

    The legacy of these items is very important to me. As you know, I've looked at a ton of daggers lately, and I'll admit it's gotten to where I haven't even been noticing the swastikas on them. The dagger(s) I keep I don't plan to ever sell. And, since I can only realistically afford one or two, I want good ones that will last to pass on to my son, and hopefully for him to pass on, until one day they may end up in a museum somewhere.

    So, I totally agree with your post 100%. I just wasn't sure if you suspected my motivations. If so, I'd like to say I have the highest opinion of you folks here on this forum, and it affects me greatly to think any of you might think less of me for something I've said.

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