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Determining a medal's composition


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Is there a way to determine whether a medal is gilt copper or gilt silver without

removing it from its "slab" (in this case, a silver ring with glass lunettes)?

 

 

Well BHM lists it in; AR R, AR gilt RRRR, AE N. No mention of gilt AE.

 

The weight of the gilded silver, example examined by Brown, was 74.1005g.

 

I guess it is possible for someone to have gilded an AE example but the weight would be different, but of course being encased is a problem.

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Constanius,

 

You got me thinking I should find the weight of a copper example. Presumably, a gilt copper piece* would weigh a bit more but less than the silver gilt's 74.1 gm. (This assumes no significantly underweight or overweight planchets.) If I were prepared to remove mine from under glass, that would probably settle it. I'm going to inquire of NGC whether their metallurgical analysis can be done "in the slab".

 

*Eimer has one for sale with a test cut

 

In the last few years, I've come across several other versions of this medal unrecorded in Brown - one in "german silver", one in frosted silver and one in shelled alabaster.

 

Art - Thanks, here's the entire medal.

 

d75aabc6.jpg

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NGC's response

 

"We would only be able to do a metallurgic analysis if the coin was taken out of its holder. The machine cannot test through plastic or glass."

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You got me thinking I should find the weight of a copper example. Presumably, a gilt copper piece* would weigh a bit more but less than the silver gilt's 74.1 gm. (This assumes no significantly underweight or overweight planchets.) If I were prepared to remove mine from under glass, that would probably settle it. I'm going to inquire of NGC whether their metallurgical analysis can be done "in the slab".

 

d75aabc6.jpg

 

I can tell you from experience that the weight of a bronze medal, the same medal gilt-bronze, and the same medal silver-plated-bronze are so close the error of your scale won't show a difference. The same medal in silver is much heavier. If you can make a rough estimate of the holder, you can compare the weight to the gilt silver. I think you just need the weight of a copper piece which I suspect will be enough less than the silver piece to put you somewhere in the range of having a good idea.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hedley Betts responded to my inquiry about the weight of a copper/bronze BHM 1775.

 

"It weighs 70.8 grams. Its edge measures 4.34mm. I add this because I suspect that the thickness of the medal may have varied., since there was no standard of thickness and weight as there would have been for a coin."

 

This is only 3.3 grams less than the silver gilt example cited by Brown. Even if the silver gilt example was also 4.34mm, this isn't much to work with if I were to estimate the weight of the silver ring and glass lunettes. Oh well.

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