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General And Slightly Off Topic Talk Forum for exchanging ideas and talking about general issues without straying too far off topic.

View Poll Results: Repair or not
Leave the damn thing alone! Don't mess with what looks like a period repair 12 54.55%
Have the solder removed to make the serial number readable 9 40.91%
Repair the enamel only 0 0%
Remove the solder AND repair the enamel 1 4.55%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-21-2003, 02:59 AM   #101
otlichnik
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Kabanchik,

You are absolutely right. Mothalls do seem to accelerate patina development - I would say by as much as a factor of 10!

Two comments. First, never seal uniforms. They MUST breath. When I store mine I have them in a suitcase hanger or a plastic wrap (like from a dy cleaners). But, the plastic is completely open at the bottom and the suitcase hanger has the bottom portion of the zipper open. Sealing them can get you lots of mould and mildew problems, etc. I would suspect that silver on uniforms sealed with mothballs tarnish more than those unsealed.

Second, there is an alternative to mothballs - red cedar. Moths hate the smell of red cedar. In Canada and the northern US (maybe Europe too) people have used chests linned with red cedar for storing blankets and clothing for hundreds of years. The pioneers did it.

When I lived with my collection all I used were lots of red cedar balls and hangers in the closet with my tunics and even under hats on display. However, I must admit that when I sealed stuff up for its three year storage while I am here in Bosnia I added both red cedar and mothballs to be extra safe.

Shawn
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Old 01-21-2003, 06:24 AM   #102
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yes it could be the effect of mothalls. A friend told be they attack gold embroideryon uniforms, but it could bite silver of medals too. So I use other anti-moths, but I'll take advices about red cedar (little exotic here).
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Old 01-22-2003, 03:32 AM   #103
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Not that I am promoting the Canadian lumber industry, but, try an internet search on "red cedar" and "moths" and I am sure you could find some mail order service. Luckily the standard pieces used are very light. They come in many decorative shapes usually with a ribbon which is for them to hang on the coat-hanger.

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Old 01-24-2003, 07:51 PM   #104
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I'm kind of late on the thread, but I'm probably the 'king' of poor condition glories, having over 300 in my collection.

However, did they get that way in combat? Our 'romantic' sides would want to think so, but most likely, they were just worn for many years after the War.

One contact of mine in Russia put it this way: 'there are city medals, and then there are country medals... the city medals were worn by people that worked in the city, and stayed in good condition. The country medals were worn by your common farmer and were kept in dirty places...' That seems to me to be a good explaination of how the awards ended up that way!

Dave
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Old 01-24-2003, 08:12 PM   #105
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That seems to sum up my opinion as well. When I was in Moscow in 1993, new ribbons were only a few kopecks (and THAT at a time when the price of a meal for two at Macdonalds was 35,000 roubles!!), but there were PRECIOUS few stores to buy them, even in Moscow. To folks who returned to the countryside after the war, it may have been a LONG way to Moscow, and even then, the buying of a new ribbon was far from their minds, I'm sure. Besides, throw yourselves down in the dirt sometime, from a full run wearing battle gear and your Order of Glory, and see for yourselves how long a new ribbon would last like that (twice, maybe).
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Old 01-29-2003, 10:48 AM   #106
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Hi all,

From reading the chemical analysis of mothballs (paradichlorobenzine) and trying to remember past chemistry classes, I recall that chlorine and silver shoud not be put in close contact.

Just look at any sort of silver jewelry when you get out of the swimming pool: black (with varying shade, of course, depending on the chlorine concentration and on the time you were in the water).

So, a good recipe for disaster would definitely be silver orders and medals + mothballs in confined spaces = big black mess (that, of course, is my free interpretation of what a chemical equation looks like ).

Marc
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Old 03-02-2003, 11:10 AM   #107
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Recently I got a bunch of Glories 3 class. With this "shipment" there was one that must be dug. Looks pretty bad with new ribbon and ring. Anyway I thought that I should post it here. Number is pretty high in the 500 000 range.
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Old 03-02-2003, 11:14 AM   #108
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and reverse.... This side is in very poor condition.
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Old 03-07-2003, 09:27 PM   #109
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I have to mention something here about the 'grave robbers' as some consider them. I was a regular at Izmailova market in Moscow for each weekend that I lived there the last time. As such, I got invited into a lot of the 'cliques' of the various collectors on the market.

Some of these guys were 'diggers' (as I called them). They would go out on the weekends and dig in the forest for graves, etc... They would routinely dig up German dogtags, German awards, helmets, etc etc etc... You name it, they found it! (Of course, strangely, I never saw any dug Soviet awards) Many times, they'd bring their photoalbums to the market and I'd take a look at what their current projects were. (I have some of the pictures that I was given, including some of mass graves, but I don't know if all the board members would be comfortable with me posting them!)

Anyway, the interesting thing abou these guys was that they were actually subsidized by the German government to dig up the mass graves, in order to return the German bodies to the German government. The bones (normally just the skull, as the remainder were normally jumbled with other solider's bones) were returned to the Germans, and the rest they were allowed to keep as 'profit'.

Some people thought it was rather creepy, but I saw that it was more of an effort to return the foreign soldiers 50+ years after they fell in combat in a foreign land. For that, I had a great respect for them.

--Dave
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Old 06-21-2003, 07:35 AM   #110
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