If you've trained hard to achieve success in your chosen sport or hobby or are simply a collector of historic sporting memorabilia, you'll want to take proper care of your trophies and medallions to ensure that they stay in top condition and retain their value. Read on for some helpful information on how to display, clean, and store your awards.
Although you might want your visitors to see your trophies and awards, you should resist the temptation to place them on the mantelpiece, especially if you have a real fire in your grate; metals such as silver tarnish very quickly, especially when exposed to soot and smoke.
All metal awards are best displayed in a glass-fronted cabinet, well away from sources of heat and strong sunlight. This is especially important if you have medallions that are strung on coloured tapes or ribbons, which can easily become faded and tired-looking.
Always use proper metal polish on your trophies and medallions, and use a small, soft toothbrush to work the polish right into intricate patterns. If it's not possible to remove fabric ribbons or tapes from the metal piece, you can keep these clean by placing them in a plastic sleeve during the cleaning process.
When you've finished cleaning your pieces, remember to wash the polish residue away by immersing the object in warm, soapy water and rubbing gently with a soft cloth.
Dry the medallion or trophy thoroughly, using a soft microfibre cloth, and then buff to a shine with a clean duster.
If you don't want to display your medallions and trophies, you should store them in uncoated polyester sleeves or paper, and place them inside sturdy boxes made from acid-free cardboard. You can obtain suitable storage containers for memorabilia from good craft shops.
If the storage material gets torn, never repair it with sticky tape; over time the adhesive on the tape will fail and could cause staining. Always replace damaged storage materials with new when necessary.
Be careful that any medallions that are attached to ribbon or tape are stored in a cool, dry environment that is free from damp so that mould and mildew doesn't form, staining and damaging the material.
Caring for and storing your valuable sporting memorabilia, trophies and medallions is easy if you follow the above guidelines. If you own especially valuable or rare items, it can be sensible to discuss their care and storage with a specialist curator at your local museum or gallery.