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    #31
    Originally posted by Dansson View Post
    This Knight's Cross is a good example of what I mean with the flanges beeing treated with something as it only tarnishes when scratched or the surface has flaked off as in this case on the left arm on this one.
    Yes, I agree the the left arm is very distinctive. It is indeed treated with something. If we now only could find out with what?

    I was planning to write an article about mint EK I's but -like proofed by this thread- it looks a bit more difficult than I expected.


    In the few known period production steps the don't speak a word about this special treatment. Only silvering and polishing is mentioned.

    If they laquered some crosses would it be shell lacquer? But if the surfaces received a rhodium layer the laquer would be not needed. The Rhodium layer is specific against tarnishing of the silver.
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      #32
      Originally posted by Wim Vangossum View Post
      Yes, I agree the the left arm is very distinctive. It is indeed treated with something. If we now only could find out with what?

      I was planning to write an article about mint EK I's but -like proofed by this thread- it looks a bit more difficult than I expected.


      In the few known period production steps the don't speak a word about this special treatment. Only silvering and polishing is mentioned.

      If they laquered some crosses would it be shell lacquer? But if the surfaces received a rhodium layer the laquer would be not needed. The Rhodium layer is specific against tarnishing of the silver.
      Looking at the photos, I got a sense that the flanges could be of polished Rhodium and not coated with a separate material. I don't know how nicely Rhodium shines when heavily polished, but I wouldn't rule out the idea of this.
      In other words, the whole frame is coated with Rhodium but the flanges are polished which received because of this a mirrorlike surface.


      This idea popped up by that the Knight's Cross doesn't seem to have any polishing on the flange but has a flaked surface on it. A second look at the other crosses which are "mint" has perhaps given an answer. The polishing marks can be found along the frame flanges, and gives a straight line where it has been done and where it hasn't. This theory of Rhodium applied first at the whole cross and just polished on the flanges gives the "shine" could be confirmed by that the edges where the frame halves joints are usually have some "frosting marks"; but unpolished just like the beadings.
      .



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        #33
        Maybe the use of Rhodium can be proofed by the SEM test? Dietrich Maerz has several crosses examined with this test and the silvering on the crosses was shown in the tests so I guess it must also happen with the rhodium if present?
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          #34
          Originally posted by Wim Vangossum View Post
          Maybe the use of Rhodium can be proofed by the SEM test? Dietrich Maerz has several crosses examined with this test and the silvering on the crosses was shown in the tests so I guess it must also happen with the rhodium if present?
          That SEM test would be great if it could be arranged. I bet it will cost a good sum of "gold" though.


          However if my theory of the frosting on "frosted" crosses is all a Rhodium layer polished on flanges and left untouched elsewhere, it debunks the name of my thread and changes my view on these which I have referred as "hand frosted" crosses.
          Perhaps the hand frosted crosses should be referred as "Half-Frosts"?


          My thread which had a goal of artistic photos and enjoyment through visual stimulation by admiring these "Half-frosts" as a goal, turned to an excellent discussion with intellectual stimulation instead!
          .



          Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



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            #35
            Originally posted by Wim Vangossum View Post
            Some people also say that the still frosted crosses received a coat of laquer? But which laquer would be kept so perfect transparant after so many decades? Most laquer will yellowish after such a long time. I rather believe in a theory that a chemical treatment of the surface layer of silver leads to these perfect frosty pieces. The rhodium technique is a possibility to search in the right direction.
            In the book "The Iron Cross 1. Class" the results of SEM testing for nearly all makers are published. Frame and core was tested. Frames are always Neusilber. When frosting was still present, it showed silver next to the underlying Neusilber. No rhodium.
            The same with the Knights Crosses (all prominent makers tested). Only K&Q showed some trace of Rhodium on the beading.
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              #36
              Just have to say, what a fascinating topic. I’ve often wondered about many of the things that have been discussed here.

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                #37
                Originally posted by Dietrich Maerz View Post
                When frosting was still present, it showed silver next to the underlying Neusilber. No rhodium.

                Thank you Dietrich for the comment.
                Interesting, did it show a certain mixture of the silver or just pure?
                .



                Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



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                  #38
                  I had Dietrich's excellent book in loan a few weeks back. If I remember it correctly there was in most cases a peak in the tabels for Ag (silver) but nothing about rhodium.

                  It gonna be a difficult task to figure out what technique was used. I think I must make a second visit at the Gold smith. But even then they have troubles to find out used techniques on an already finished product.
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                    #39
                    Originally posted by Dansson View Post
                    Thank you Dietrich for the comment.
                    Interesting, did it show a certain mixture of the silver or just pure?
                    SEM only shows the elements present, not any compound. For that you need to conduct FTIR which would be an overkill. It is therefore not sure whether the silver shown resuts from the galvanization process or the "painted frosting" which was polished away from the flanges.

                    (As a side note, since it was mentioned earlier: the chemical frosting, by which the copper content of silver is etched out of the silver in order to create a frosted surface can only be done with a silver frame. This was not the case with the EK1 and EK2. Only some early S&L Knights Crosses have the chemical frosting.)
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                      #40
                      Originally posted by Dietrich Maerz View Post
                      SEM only shows the elements present, not any compound. For that you need to conduct FTIR which would be an overkill. It is therefore not sure whether the silver shown resuts from the galvanization process or the "painted frosting" which was polished away from the flanges.

                      (As a side note, since it was mentioned earlier: the chemical frosting, by which the copper content of silver is etched out of the silver in order to create a frosted surface can only be done with a silver frame. This was not the case with the EK1 and EK2. Only some early S&L Knights Crosses have the chemical frosting.)
                      That's interesting. I heard also of that technique on a Dutch forum of silver smiths: the copper in the silver is chemically removed and become "fine silver" which practically doesn't tarnish anymore. But indeed only used on massive silver objects.


                      Until now I thought they simply silvered the beading and flanges and the result of the mat white colour was only the sight of the untreated silvering proces. The flanges looked initially the same as the beading but they were polished and burnished with the hematite stone which create the lustre. This theory was also in line with the production steps. But know I'm not sure anymore. If the variations in preservation of the beading and flanges we find today are the result from extra treatments it becomes very complicated.
                      Last edited by Wim Vangossum; 04-22-2019, 12:25 PM.
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                        #41
                        I like to thank all members (especially Douglas and Gary) for posting their crosses with frosting albeit all that frosting variation scratches my head even more...


                        Regards, Wim
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                          #42
                          Originally posted by Dansson View Post
                          Never encountered a Deschler to this day that would have had something I referred as "full treatment".

                          Regarding what's oxidized quick, that's interesting.

                          Regards,
                          Daniel


                          Hi Daniel,

                          In Frank Thaters' book about the EKI I found some pictures of Deschlers with the silver look still preserved relative well. They don't look as flashy as the crosses from some other makers shown in this thread but the silver is still pretty nice. We have the fact that: 1. A silvered surface with very refined silver doesn't tarnish very easy and can kept shiny for many decades if stored away properly and 2. The mystery treatment that created the very white frosty finish.


                          I saw a picture of a 800 silver 1914 EK I from Juncker were the mat frosty effect was also visible around the edges of the reverse. Just like you see this gold flashing on the reverse of some pristine Kriegsmarine awards. But it is about a solid silver piece and I guess in that case other options were available like Dietrich already mentioned about the Knight Cross.



                          I don't believe very much in some-kind-of-paint theories. Today their exist a huge amount of paints to create all kind of silver, zinc and gold effects but I don't believe these synthetic paints existed in the 40's.


                          It does remind me a bit of the technique used to create the finish of the round plate behind the swastika of the DKiG. That's also an example of a delicate weird silvered look. On the Godet's it is extremely white and Dietrich refers to it as some kind of painted surface but that's hard te believe for me. Again: I think the synthetic paints in that period were limited to create some metal-looks albeit we now find in all do-it yourself stores.


                          PS: sorry for hijacking your thread.
                          Last edited by Wim Vangossum; 04-22-2019, 01:59 PM.
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                            #43
                            Originally posted by Wim Vangossum View Post
                            Hi Daniel,

                            In Frank Thaters' book about the EKI I found some pictures of Deschlers with the silver look still preserved relative well. They don't look as flashy as the crosses from some other makers shown in this thread but the silver is still pretty nice. We have the fact that: 1. A silvered surface with very refined silver doesn't tarnish very easy and can kept shiny for many decades if stored away properly and 2. The mystery treatment that created the very white frosty finish.


                            I saw a picture of a 800 silver 1914 EK I from Juncker were the mat frosty effect was also visible around the edges of the reverse. Just like you see this gold flashing on the reverse of some pristine Kriegsmarine awards. But it is about a solid silver piece and I guess in that case other options were available like Dietrich already mentioned about the Knight Cross.



                            I don't believe very much in some-kind-of-paint theories. Today their exist a huge amount of paints to create all kind of silver, zinc and gold effects but I don't believe these synthetic paints existed in the 40's.


                            It does remind me a bit of the technique used to create the finish of the round plate behind the swastika of the DKiG. That's also an example of a delicate weird silvered look. On the Godet's it is extremely white and Dietrich refers to it as some kind of painted surface but that's hard te believe for me. Again: I think the synthetic paints in that period were limited to create some metal-looks albeit we now find in all do-it yourself stores.


                            PS: sorry for hijacking your thread.
                            An intellectual conversation is never a hijack in my opinion Wim. It's been a pleasure to have a conversation like this
                            .



                            Looking for a tunic removed SS-rune tab and tunic removed Odal-rune tab.



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                              #44
                              Originally posted by Wim Vangossum View Post
                              I don't believe very much in some-kind-of-paint theories. Today their exist a huge amount of paints to create all kind of silver, zinc and gold effects but I don't believe these synthetic paints existed in the 40's.
                              The topic of painted frosting has been discussed in this forum quite some time ago (2003/04 when I starded with my microscope research) and also in my Knights Cross book of 2007. There is no doubt about it. Not because the discussion came to a demogratic agreement but because of undisputable visual evidence which is always though to dispute.
                              Same with the use of the burnishing tool to polish the the frame. All nothing new.
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                                #45
                                A few of my frosted awards ..


                                EKII '4' S&L ..





                                EKII '100' W&L (with a '333' fake) ..





                                Deumer NSDAP 15 Year award






                                EKI (unmarked) W&L ..




                                B.H. Mayer EKII Spange






                                And finally a couple from a mini button bar. EKII (1914) and Faithful Service 25 Year ...




                                Hope you like them.

                                Cheers, Ian.
                                Last edited by Ian Hulley; 04-23-2019, 05:32 AM.

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