Author Topic: Be cautious with brass medals offered on eBay  (Read 2860 times)

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Offline fwang2450

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Be cautious with brass medals offered on eBay
« on: September 02, 2015, 08:08:47 PM »
I wrote about brass medals and brass medals made from hand-engraved dies: http://modern-chinese-numismatic-info.blogspot.in/2014/03/rising-chinese-small-brass-medals.html, and http://modern-chinese-numismatic-info.blogspot.in/2015/05/medals-made-from-hand-engraved-dies-at.html. Before anyone buys such medals, however, please do your DD or contact me for information. Some are overpriced because the gilt version is offered at the price of the brass version, or a restrike is offered at the price of the original strike. I found such cases on eBay frequently. NGC slabs are often mislabeled, too, mixing up gilt versions with brass versions. Sometimes even the seller cannot tell the difference. This listing, for example, is a gilt version: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1980-China-36-mm-medal-Set-Plum-Orchid-Bamboo-and-Chrysanthemum-SCARCE-B2-1-/221871027729?hash=item33a88b3611, but the seller omitted the info. This is the brass version: http://world.taobao.com/item/44951109130.htm?spm=a312a.7700714.0.0.qKU6wd#detail.

Offline r3globe

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Re: Be cautious with brass medals offered on eBay
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 10:09:36 PM »
Thank you. How can you differentiate brass from gilt? Weight?

andrewlee10

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Re: Be cautious with brass medals offered on eBay
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 10:34:20 PM »
I wrote about brass medals and brass medals made from hand-engraved dies: http://modern-chinese-numismatic-info.blogspot.in/2014/03/rising-chinese-small-brass-medals.html, and http://modern-chinese-numismatic-info.blogspot.in/2015/05/medals-made-from-hand-engraved-dies-at.html. Before anyone buys such medals, however, please do your DD or contact me for information. Some are overpriced because the gilt version is offered at the price of the brass version, or a restrike is offered at the price of the original strike. I found such cases on eBay frequently. NGC slabs are often mislabeled, too, mixing up gilt versions with brass versions. Sometimes even the seller cannot tell the difference. This listing, for example, is a gilt version: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1980-China-36-mm-medal-Set-Plum-Orchid-Bamboo-and-Chrysanthemum-SCARCE-B2-1-/221871027729?hash=item33a88b3611, but the seller omitted the info. This is the brass version: http://world.taobao.com/item/44951109130.htm?spm=a312a.7700714.0.0.qKU6wd#detail.

even the stacker bower auction on 31 August Hong Kong has labelled it wrongly as brass BUT is gold gilded.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Be cautious with brass medals offered on eBay
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 10:40:56 PM »
Thank you. How can you differentiate brass from gilt? Weight?
The weight won't be very different as both were made from brass. Some gilt versions are shinier than the brass version as the gold coating was applied after the medal was struck. The coating covers some of the details, too, and the sandblast effect is sometimes lost. But if gold plating was done before striking, it is trickier to tell them apart, as the medal will keep all the details and sandblasting effect. Only experience and knowledge will help.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Be cautious with brass medals offered on eBay
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015, 10:45:54 PM »
By the way NGC mislabeled the medals in my link above: http://world.taobao.com/item/44951109130.htm?spm=a312a.7700714.0.0.qKU6wd#detail. Those are brass, but were labeled by NGC as gilt.

andrewlee10

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Re: Be cautious with brass medals offered on eBay
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 10:53:15 PM »
By the way NGC mislabeled the medals in my link above: http://world.taobao.com/item/44951109130.htm?spm=a312a.7700714.0.0.qKU6wd#detail. Those are brass, but were labeled by NGC as gilt.

this always happen to both NGC and PCGS

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: Be cautious with brass medals offered on eBay
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2015, 12:15:06 AM »
Thank you. How can you differentiate brass from gilt? Weight?

The weight won't be very different as both were made from brass. Some gilt versions are shinier than the brass version as the gold coating was applied after the medal was struck. The coating covers some of the details, too, and the sandblast effect is sometimes lost. But if gold plating was done before striking, it is trickier to tell them apart, as the medal will keep all the details and sandblasting effect. Only experience and knowledge will help.

Certain eBay sellers such as ggoodluck2013 provide more definitive information, on his sell page, on whether an item is gilt or proof brass. He also responds immediately to questions sent through his eBay page to clarify such issues. (*This is not an endorsement of his products and price).

Gilt brass tends to show in what appears to be a one dimensional view whereas proof brass shows multidimensional planes of light with darker fields and shadows. The "gilting" process retards the tarnishing process so such coins look shiny, brighter and "newer" compared to similarly aged proof brass coins.
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andrewlee10

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Re: Be cautious with brass medals offered on eBay
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2015, 01:08:30 AM »
Certain eBay sellers such as ggoodluck2013 provide more definitive information, on his sell page, on whether an item is gilt or proof brass. He also responds immediately to questions sent through his eBay page to clarify such issues. (*This is not an endorsement of his products and price).

Gilt brass tends to show in what appears to be a one dimensional view whereas proof brass shows multidimensional planes of light with darker fields and shadows. The "gilting" process retards the tarnishing process so such coins look shiny, brighter and "newer" compared to similarly aged proof brass coins.

Once again I totally agreed Ggoodluck does a good job. I am one of his customer

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Be cautious with brass medals offered on eBay
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2015, 01:29:19 AM »
this always happen to both NGC and PCGS
I would say PCGS is in a better position as they have access to one of the top brass medal collectors in China, and is more open to input. NGC simply has no clue, and is not seeking advice from anyone.