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British or Canadian?

British War Medal 1939-45 or is it the Canadian version?

The British War Medal, made of copper-nickel is a common medal and nearly impossible to visually distinguish from the Canadian version struck in .800 fine silver. There is no weight difference so a simple scale won’t help. An acid test would do it if you don’t mind damaging your medal if it turns out to be the copper-nickel version. To make sure it is not plated you would also have to file into the rim to get below the level of any possible plating. If you are like me and don’t believe in mutilating medals then the only other option is a specific gravity test.

The medal pictured below is my medal and it tested out with a specific gravity of 9.81 which indicates that it is the .800 fine silver Canadian version. The copper-nickel version would have had a number of 8.94. The .800 fine silver should be about 10.14 so why is this medal only 9.81? Because the suspension bar mounted on top of the medal could not be removed and it is copper-nickel which screws up the results of the specific gravity test. Fortunately the resulting number of 9.81 is too high to be anything but the silver version.

About Fred Borgmann

Retired from KP after nearly 31 years as new issues editor and the Standard Catalogs.
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