Author Topic: 1991 Panda Medal Copper or Bronze??  (Read 8360 times)

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Offline poconopenn

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Re: 1991 Panda Medal Copper or Bronze??
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2015, 03:12:01 PM »
Usually, toning for coin/medal starts from the edge of the devise. IMO, medals posted by keepontrying! and pandaquest were cleaned by dipping in silver toning removal solution. Medal from SANDAC can still clearly see the heavily blue toned edge and surface. Most experience dealers know the trick to conserve the copper, brass and bronze and make them look fresh. Medal from pandaquest appears to be over-dipped. 1985 plum tree medal from keepontrying! still shows some blue toning at the edge and surface, but, IMO, it was dipped sometime ago.  Based on the rough surface and color of the device, IMO, lighter hue Great Wall medal from keepontrying! is not genuine. Most likely, it was made with other copper alloy.  The weight and dimension of this medal may not be shown the difference vs. the dark hue medal, since they are made with copper alloy with copper as major component. However, it should be checked.

NGC and PCGS can readily check the metal composition to determine if the medal is original, restrike or counterfeit, since, based on the toned color, they are made with different copper alloys.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: 1991 Panda Medal Copper or Bronze??
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2015, 04:56:27 PM »
Usually, toning for coin/medal starts from the edge of the devise. IMO, medals posted by keepontrying! and pandaquest were cleaned by dipping in silver toning removal solution. Medal from SANDAC can still clearly see the heavily blue toned edge and surface. Most experience dealers know the trick to conserve the copper, brass and bronze and make them look fresh. Medal from pandaquest appears to be over-dipped. 1985 plum tree medal from keepontrying! still shows some blue toning at the edge and surface, but, IMO, it was dipped sometime ago.  Based on the rough surface and color of the device, IMO, lighter hue Great Wall medal from keepontrying! is not genuine. Most likely, it was made with other copper alloy.  The weight and dimension of this medal may not be shown the difference vs. the dark hue medal, since they are made with copper alloy with copper as major component. However, it should be checked.

NGC and PCGS can readily check the metal composition to determine if the medal is original, restrike or counterfeit, since, based on the toned color, they are made with different copper alloys.


Thanks a lot Poconopenn for examining the medals and providing the powerful insight. As it happens I sent off the three medals (and other items) to NCS/NGC yesterday after taking the photographs. I'll either call them or send an email to notify them of the concerns although they most probably should be expert at detecting all you described. I'll share the findings when complete.

This explains the profusion of lint I noticed on the coins during photography. All the time I had these medals they had been in the intact OMP; I only cut the OMP yesterday for the first time to take the photos before shipping them out. So the OMP is also fake!

The implications are troubling. Someone along the chain of custody cleaned those coins. Were the sellers unaware of the fact that the medals were cleaned/conserved? Did they "conserve" those medals themselves? Did the color difference not suggest to the seller that the medal may be fake? What else are buyers not being told? The coin selling business is based a lot on trust.

I suppose I now have to dig out the rest of my ungraded coins and medals to inspect (what do I know?!!!) and start sending off to NCS+/-NGC. You never know what you are sitting on!

Once more thanks a lot Poconopenn, and all others here at CCF. Great detective work!
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Offline SANDAC

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Re: 1991 Panda Medal Copper or Bronze??
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2015, 08:11:15 PM »
Attached photo shows the 1987 Great Wall in sealed plastic package as I received it.  The package is slightly yellowed but still pliable.  The verdigris are already present inside the package.  I do not know whether it is the original OMP.

Offline Russ 736

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Re: 1991 Panda Medal Copper or Bronze??
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2015, 11:06:21 AM »
I contacted Ggoodluck ( E Bay seller ) and asked him about this series. He tells me that there are only three types. They are the silver, brass gilt and copper/bronze. It seems that it is common to refer to copper and bronze as interchangeable with many large medals from the official mints. NGC has decided that this one is bronze so my quest for a fourth variety of this medal is a bust. I still want to know why the two examples that I own look so different so I may try and get NGC to recognize the difference. Sometimes I suspect that I have too much free time.

Russ

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: 1991 Panda Medal Copper or Bronze??
« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2015, 09:55:36 PM »
I found out from discussions with my China source that not all aspects of medal minting were mechanized prior to 1990. Specifically items such as the bronze 1985 and 1987 Great Wall medals were hand tinted during production. They were immersed in dye followed by scrubbing. This can explain the color variation of the medals but additional information is required to further clarify this issue.
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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: 1991 Panda Medal Copper or Bronze??
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2015, 10:30:53 PM »
I have an update to matters previously discussed here. See attached table showing grading profiles for the 1985 and the two 1987 Great Wall Medals.

Firstly, all medals were deemed authentic by NGC even after I messaged them to make sure they were examined carefully (I was not teaching them how to do their job!). Secondly one of the 1987 medals was determined to be copper while the other was classified as bronze.

The grades were relatively poor but these were not the same items I complained about a few days ago. MS 65 and 66 are probably good enough given their state pre-conservation. However, the third medal was determined to have a scratch on the obverse thereby making it ineligible for a numerical grade. I only opened the pliable plastic OMPs to take photographs just prior to mailing out for grading. Given the evidence that the medals had been dipped previously, the OMP they were sold in were definitely not original.

Thanks for the feedback and assistance. Will post photos when I get the medals.
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