Sports Medal Restoration: Swimming Medallions
The journey to victory
Throughout history, medals have long been an important symbol of achievement and recognition. Looking upon them, one not only savors the victory, but also reflects upon entire journey toobtain that victory. The person we were at the beginning of the journey is not the same as the person we are at the end. Nor does that transformation come easily or without cost. In a competitive environment, our strengths, weaknesses and potentials are revealed to us one by one. Dedication, hard work, heart ache, perseverance and much more are needed to overcome those weaknesses, to reinforce strengths and unlock potential. These experiences carry forward into other aspects of our lives. Medals recognize more than just hard fought victory, they recognize hard fought transformation.
Exceeding our customer’s expectations
Recently a customer sent us these pair of bronze medals to be re-plated and restored. A very striking set of medals with a story of how they were won by the customer. The customer requested that we re-plate the medals in a bright yellow gold as a way to re-fresh their appearance. In spite of the protective clear coat common to sports medals; these medals were darkening due to their age.
Prior to beginning, we discussed with the owner the desired color of the final gold plating. As mentioned, most sports medals utilize some sort of clear coat to resist scratches and discoloration; these two medallions also had a clear coat. In order to re-plate the pieces we had to carefully remove the the clear coat using a gentle but effective chemical process. Great care was taken so as not to affect the original surface quality of the base metal (bronze). After this step, the decorative oxide layer used to enhance the surface design of the medals also needed to be removed. If the oxide layer is not removed, the new gold plating will not adhere to the medals. Our technician carefully dissolved this oxide material in such a way that no surface detail was affected.
Once the pieces were thoroughly clean and chemically activated, a fresh pre-plated metal layer is applied to seal the base metal. The pre-plating is used to improve the adhesion and the durability of the new gold plating. The final step toward the “finishing line” was a rich sumptuous layer of 23kt yellow gold plating. This gold color was selected as it is traditional coating for high end sports medals.
The final result is a fresh and authentic appearance of the medallions with all the design detail intact and sealed with a new layer of 23kt gold. Much like any endeavor it takes many years of dedicated practice to be the best in whatever you field you compete in; sports medal restoration is no different. The feedback from our customer was excellent and very gratifying to our team as well.
Metal Arts Specialties
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