Military Medallions

Military medallion: Special Forces Medic
Rhodium plated military medallion honoring special forces medics
Military Medallions: Honoring Special Forces Medics
Before: Bronze military medallion honoring special forces medics.

The importance of military medallions

Military medallions have a special role in lives of service members and their families. Military medallions feature the insignia, symbolism or motto of a military branch or specific unit.  You often see them within a flag case as commemoration for a service member who is retired or passed on. They may commemorate an important military event that was experienced by many service members.  Family members of service men and women will wear them to represent a family member who is currently serving but unable to communicate daily. Some medallions are known as challenge coins. They are used to prove that a person belonged to a certain unit. They provide many years of thoughtful reflection and memories to be shared with friends and families.

Military medallions: Honoring Special Forces Medics
After: Reverse side of military medallion plated with bright rhodium.

First do no harm

The medallion seen here features the insignia of the special forces medic with the motto “first do no harm”. The owner, self-described as a “worried parent”, had a son who was currently “down range”. This meant that his son was in the field and not able to communicate on a regular basis. He bought the medallion at the Special Forces Museum in Fort Bragg and had a mounting bezel made so he could wear it daily and think of his son. The medallion is made of cast bronze. As you can see in the picture, the bronze was beginning to discolor, and the owner wanted a “white gold” color. When people speak of white gold plating, they are unknowingly referring to rhodium. It is a bright , highly reflective and tarnish resistant  metal.  It is a perfect “protective shield” material for medallion made of bronze, copper or silver. Like our men and woman in active military service, rhodium is best in class for toughness, durability and performance. To prepare the medallion for rhodium plating, we removed all surface oxides and cleaned it thoroughly on both sides. In order to improve durability and resistance to corrosion, we pre-plated the medallion with a thick layer of palladium. Palladium was selected to avoid any potential nickel exposure to the owner. Many people will develop a skin rash when exposed to nickel. Our process virtually eliminates that risk. After the pre-plating of palladium, we electroplated a very heavy bright layer of rhodium. Our rhodium plating is several times thicker than what is used by the jewelry trade and will provide years of bright durable wear for this medallion. Aside from corrosion protection of the medallion, the fresh new layer of rhodium completely changes the character of the surface design. The motto and title of the medallion stand out brightly representing the symbolic courage and selfless act of service by a son, worn daily by a proud parent. The positive feedback from the customer included sending our team a picture of him wearing the medallion! “First do no harm” is the motto on the medallion and hopefully no harm will come to our sons and daughters serving down range.

Metal Arts Specialties

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