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Relieved, Relieving

Relieved, Relieving.  Removal of a portion of a darkened medallic finish after it has been toned to form a highlighted, two-toned effect. Relieving is accomplished by buffing as a step in the finishing process. A slury mixture of water and fine pumice is flooded over the surface of an oxidized metal surface, it is then buffed under a wet wheel to remove the darkened oxidation (sulphatization), this reveals a portion of the darkened surface left intact in the crevices and low points. The process is called oxidized and relieved to form an antique, oxidized or French finish (the French developed it) – all three terms mean the same.  See buffing and polishing; oxidation; finish and finishing; highlight, highlightinh.

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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