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  #1  
Old 08-05-19, 04:54 PM
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billy billy is offline
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Default Gilding of Officers Badges

Hi have acquired an Officers Royal Irish Fusiliers (K & K chapter 18, fig 936 ) looked fine but grubby - rear was awful! after cleaning, soft tooth brush and soap had removed majority of muck I could now see gilding was polished off in some places and a lot of crap between Eagle and Ball, so gently prised open fixings to remove this, it was absolutely jam packed with old residue of Polish and gone hard so had a good time clesning this all up -NOT! Why had it been polished???

Well you may ask what is the point of all this rambling? (Did have pictures but lost them on the phone - trying to retrieve them? ), while all apart did a bit of repair to original screw posts and remembered a bloke to whom I took Electronic components to have Gold Plated (Gilding), so went looking for him and still there! Result, had the badge with me to show him and see what I could do to further putting it back to its former glory, nothing! He would sort out the polishing and cleaning of both parts, Ball and Flames different finishes Gilded, - Eagle cleaned and Silver plated, so left them there.

Just popped in today, left them with him on Thursday 2nd May, today is the 8th and all finished! the badge looks outstanding some nicks still visable but not too apparent, but you can only polish so much without damaging the badge! Am popping in tomorrow to pick up badge and can show photo's of the finished article, but its like a new badge, and will seek out the original ones also.

When I went seeking information on the Forum for re-gilding it went back only to 2008 and Davec was doing the badge for a member but outsourcing gilding to a friend, hopefully if other members like what they see they can know there is someonevout there who can do this! Also maybe members may know someone and we can compile a lst of good restorers of badges? All the best billy
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Last edited by billy; 08-05-19 at 06:31 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-05-19, 05:18 PM
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Default Gilding to R.I.F. badge

Here is the finished badge! Has some dings possibly from when it was first made? These are covered up when Eagle is applied to ball, am well chuffed with results!

Anyone needs this done I now know a man!
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  #3  
Old 09-05-19, 05:30 PM
mm1 mm1 is offline
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Nice job but personally, I prefered the badge as it was - hey ho - each to their own...

Mark
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  #4  
Old 09-05-19, 06:01 PM
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Hi Mark photos on original post didn't show how the Copper was showing through the Gilding along sides it had virtually gone due to polishing, I like well worn badges and have them side by side in my collection, well worn polished with pride! A lot of years and shows service from new intakes!

Last edited by billy; 09-05-19 at 08:05 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-05-19, 07:59 PM
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norfolk regt man norfolk regt man is offline
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Nice post, will be in touch
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  #6  
Old 10-05-19, 01:38 AM
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Tiger Pete Tiger Pete is offline
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Hi Billy,

Beautiful badge! PM sent.

KR,

Pete.
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  #7  
Old 10-05-19, 07:59 AM
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leigh kitchen leigh kitchen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mm1 View Post
Nice job but personally, I prefered the badge as it was - hey ho - each to their own...

Mark
I very much agree, but as said, each to his own.
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  #8  
Old 10-05-19, 08:56 AM
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hi Billy
it looks very much like gold plating rather than gilt that you would expect from a period piece.
I have looked at the various types of gold plating and finishes that they offer and I personally think that the pre polished (polishing is the final process) gives it a better finish?
still a nice item
cheers
bc
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  #9  
Old 10-05-19, 09:58 AM
Neibelungen Neibelungen is offline
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A lot of the style of gilding will depend on both the date of manufacture and the method used to appy gilding.
You have the traditional mercury fire gilding, done by evaporating gold 'dissolved' in a mercury amalgum 'butter' which creates a thick gold bonded to the surface, often 8 to 20 microns thick. Typically this can be identified with a very matt finish and a distict border appearance to the rear that was not coated. Fire gilding is usually in the 18 to 23.5 carat range.

Most gold electroplated up to the 1960's or 70's was usually a 'soft' gold. Basically a carat alloy of one form or another without any trace elements to increase the surface hardness. Usually this was done without the use of a nickel underplate and was often in the range of 3 to 8 microns.

With advances in chemistry from the 60's onwards, various trace elements were added to the gold alloy plates, such as nickel, iron and cobalt, in the 0.1% range, increasing the surface hardness and wear resistance by around 3 fold. (from 60-80 HV to 200-240 HV)
Additionally grain refiners and other chemicals allowed the creation of bright golds and with nickel underplates along with the increasing cost of gold, thicknesses were reduced to around 0.2 to 2 microns range on average.

Matt gold electroplating is still possible, though these are soft 24k primarily for the electronics industry.
Modern buttons are usually now done in bright gold with a heavy matt laquer which is subsequently selectively removed to give the appearance of burnishing.

Hopefully the link below will work, and shows the refurbishment of postillion buttons for the Royal Household and the burnishing method that was traditionally done of fire gilded items.

[URL="https://www.facebook.com/162795927083995/videos/684641111992816/?eid=ARBQip-SvXIRb-2CzYDq1yfFuvHwvxdmW3RSgR2D8jQbdGX_0oRyjr5kQEpRqO6Y Bq01PJZFTaJvwSqT"/URL]
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  #10  
Old 11-05-19, 03:58 AM
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fairlie63 fairlie63 is online now
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Interesting Neibelungen, thanks for the link.

Keith
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