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  #1  
Old 17-04-19, 10:14 AM
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Default How do I spot guilding metal

Hi All,

The title says it all really, how do I tell guilding metal from brass that has been polished?

Is that the difference one is shiny while the other is dull?

I really don't know what I'm looking for, particularly when badges are photographed under different lights and look different to start with.

Thanks for the help,

Michael
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  #2  
Old 17-04-19, 10:50 AM
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Hi Michael

Gilding metal is brass, but it has a specific and quite high copper content.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilding_metal

If there is less copper brass is more yellow, but how you tell a brass with 94% rather than 95% copper I don't know.

Rob
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Old 17-04-19, 11:13 AM
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Thanks Rob,

I thought I was missing something but maybe not.

I'm keeping half any eye open for a Royal Signals officers cap badge, maybe it's a case of looking for something with lugs rather than a slider and ignoring the colour?

Michael
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Old 17-04-19, 12:43 PM
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Here you go.
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  #5  
Old 17-04-19, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny View Post
Thanks Rob,

I thought I was missing something but maybe not.

I'm keeping half any eye open for a Royal Signals officers cap badge, maybe it's a case of looking for something with lugs rather than a slider and ignoring the colour?

Michael
The 1st pattern (with title in a circlet) Royal Signals should be with blades.

The second pattern was lugged in silver gilt fish with a separate crown on blades.
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  #6  
Old 17-04-19, 01:26 PM
Neibelungen Neibelungen is offline
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Without a technical analysis of metal content, you can only go on colour to differentiate a standard 70% brass from gilding metal.

Generally the latter is a warmer, more golden orange hue than the yellow or pale lemon (greenish) hue of higher zinc content.
Bronzes tend towards a browner yellow and gun-metals (tin,zinc and copper) being towards the orange/red end of brown/yellow

Throw nickel into the mix and you get whiter shades of the above with aluminium adding a subtle red tone
Tombac (copper and zinc with traces of tin/lead/arsenic) is particularly golden and often of a 18 to 22k shade.

Gold itself is equally as diverse, having different shades regardless of karat, depending on the alloying metals and even being blue, purple, green and black in some combinations.
White gold is a yellowish grey or yellowish white and the bright white commonly seen is rhodium plating, not the white gold.
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Old 17-04-19, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny View Post
Hi All,

The title says it all really, how do I tell guilding metal from brass that has been polished?

Is that the difference one is shiny while the other is dull?

I really don't know what I'm looking for, particularly when badges are photographed under different lights and look different to start with.

Thanks for the help,

Michael
Are you actually asking about GILT badges rather than Gilding Metal badges??

regards
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  #8  
Old 17-04-19, 10:02 PM
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Thanks very much for the help everyone, so the colour seems to be the decider.

I'm not really sure what i'm asking asking for to be honest. I was looking at this site:

http://www.signalsbadges.co.uk/framepage.htm

on the UK page and it says the first of the officers badges are gilt metal, the second photo is of the bronze one while the third is an OR's badge and is gilding metal.

I'd like to try and get one of each but how do I tell which is which when I'm stood in the shop.

Michael
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Old 17-04-19, 10:54 PM
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Here they are photographed side by side. As you can see the Officer's badge is much brighter than the other. I doubt you could get brass to polish up as good as that. I hope that this hasn't confused you more.
If you are looking for the badge on the left (Gilt/Silver) there are a couple for sale on dealers sites.

Regards Phil.
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Old 17-04-19, 11:02 PM
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Sorry, forgot the backs.
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  #11  
Old 17-04-19, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny View Post
Thanks very much for the help everyone, so the colour seems to be the decider.

I'm not really sure what i'm asking asking for to be honest. I was looking at this site:

http://www.signalsbadges.co.uk/framepage.htm

on the UK page and it says the first of the officers badges are gilt metal, the second photo is of the bronze one while the third is an OR's badge and is gilding metal.

I'd like to try and get one of each but how do I tell which is which when I'm stood in the shop.

Michael
The gilt badge should sparkle like jewellery, the high points polished to a mirror-like finish and the low or recessed a matt finish on both silver and gold parts, gilding metal is what a normal badge on a slider looks like
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Old 17-04-19, 11:37 PM
cbuehler cbuehler is offline
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One problem to be encountered is that the gilt wash on officers badges is often worn off with cleaning and age, leaving the "gilding" metal base is exposed, it tarnishing similar to an OR's badge.
Additionally, an OR good at his polishing can get a spectacular burnished shine on a badge rivaling that of an officer's badge, but if course it will tarnish much more quickly without the gilt wash over it.
I might add that officer badges are to be ultimately distinguished by design, materials and other qualities differing from that of OR badges.

CB
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