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Organic Coating

Organic Coating.  A painted surface. Medallic items can be painted to give color to their surface, but this is a less satisfactory finish than other types of patina finishes,

as say, a chemical patina. A painted medallic surface has a tendency to wear through, or chip, or break away, particularly on the high points of a medallic item. A 20th century example is the Fairmont Park Art Association Medal of Honor, 1937, which has a black paint finish. The Iron Cross decoration of Germany in lower grades is painted black. The Theodore Roosevelt Plaque (illustrating the entry quotation) has a brown organic coating. Anyone who has played with toy soldiers quickly learns the effect of paint on metal; the coated paint easily chips off exposing the bare metal underneath. All such organic coatings applied to metal are thus susceptible to chipping away their color coatings.  See also colorize.


excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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