Hook (see below) points out that adding tin to copper results in an alloy that is harder than either copper or brass, although too much tin makes the medal more brittle. In this study Hook found variable amounts of several other metals in these tin- and zinc-copper alloys, including antimony, arsenic, bismuth, iron, nickel, lead and silver.
Tin-copper alloys (bronze) and zinc-copper alloys (brass) have lower melting points than pure copper, making them easier to cast. Further descriptions of the wide variety of metals used to make medals can be found in the detailed article by Tony Clayton entitled Metals Used in Coins and Medals.
VF or Very Fine ( Sehr schon; Tres beau; Bellissimo; Zeer fraai) Medals in this grade would still be acceptable to a collector.
Also, it should be pointed out if a medal is pierced or if the piercing has been plugged.
Medals can be made of various metals, including copper, silver, gold and lead.
GRADING MEDALS The condition of historical and commemorative medals, like that of other numismatic items such as coins, is extremely important to most collectors.
Unfortunately, although the terms used to describe their condition, i.e.
The obverse of the medal generally depicts an image of a person or persons.
The reverse often contains one or more devices, which are use to explain or otherwise enlarge upon the characteristics of the person or subject of the medal.This is why medals should never be cleaned, only gently washed with a mild detergent if absolutely necessary.Edge knocks, discoloration, corrosion, dents, scratches and any other disfigurements should all be mentioned.Many are made of copper alloys, the most common being: Bronze: an alloy consisting principally of copper with smaller amounts of tin, and sometimes low levels of zinc, phosphorus, manganese, aluminum, silicon, lead or arsenic; Brass: an alloy consisting principally of copper with smaller amounts of zinc, and sometimes with very low levels of tin; Gunmetal: an alloy of copper with both tin and zinc.The addition of other metals to copper changes its properties, making the resulting alloys better or worse depending on whether the medals are to be cast or struck.Medal: A medal, or more specifically a commemorative medal, is generally a round metallic object which is manufactured to commemorate some person, thing, or event of historical interest and importance.