Should You Or Shouldn’t You Clean Your Medal Collection Read Count : 107

Category : Blogs

Sub Category : Miscellaneous
Medal collectors, especially novice ones, often wonder whether they should clean their medal collection or leave it as is. To clean or not to clean depends on what your collection signifies and not merely on what you want your medals to look like.  

Why you should clean
If you believe that your medals and other world war 2 memorabilia should look just as they did when soldiers were wearing/using and honoring them by keeping them in great condition, then you should also clean your medals. Doing so will allow you to honor a soldier’s memory while simultaneously taking pride in your collection.   

Do keep in mind that the soldiers or original owners may not have used gentle methods to clean/shine their medals. They may have used easily available abrasive polishes which may have caused some details to gradually wear off. You, as a modern-day collector can use less harsh cleaning and shining methods, such as jeweler’s dip. However, ensure shining them only before remounting.    

Why you shouldn’t clean
Some collectors believe that keeping their medals in whatever condition they were found in is what honors soldiers, their lives, and sacrifices. To them medals must remain frozen in time, as they have a unique significance. They believe such medals are a part of history that cannot be changed, but only remembered.  

Pristine when found
Many medals that were never worn have also been acquired. When soldiers survived yet for whatever personal reasons couldn’t bring themselves to wear their medals, they remained in their original mailing packets.  

Others that are relatively clean and well-mounted with a barely worn silk ribbon can also be found. Just like soldiers did so many years ago, you should decide how clean your medal should look. Decisions about remounting and what type of ribbon to use are also completely up to you. 
When looking online for world war 2 memorabilia for sale and specifically medals, it is best to first determine whether you will clean them or just collect them. To fully view and appreciate medals with worn off intricacies, you may have to shine them. Medals with clearly distinguishable details may not require cleaning to be fully appreciated. Whether you choose to shine or keep your medals just as they were found, remember that they were somebody’s prized possession that you must now handle with utmost care and respect.


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