Medals FAQ

MEDALS Frequently Asked Questions

What are medals awarded for?

What are medals awarded for?

Medals are awarded to combatants and non-combatants in recognition of specific deeds (such as those for gallantry or bravery) and service in a specific place (such as campaign medals) or for a certain length of time (such as long service awards).

What is the piece of fabric attached the medal?

A medal consists of two parts, namely the medal itself and a ribbon from which it is suspended. The medal ribbon is usually multi-coloured, with the colours themselves often having symbolic meaning. Each medal has a distinctive and unique ribbon.

How do I know order my medals go in?

Medals are to be worn in a specific order, called the order of wear. The most senior medals are worn first. The actual order of wear can be difficult to establish. Our medal mounters have extensive experience in the intricicies of the order of wear.

How can I attach medals to each other to wear or display?

How can I attach medals to each other to wear or display?

When more than one medal is worn, they should ideally be mounted together. Mounting medals not only keeps them together and in the correct order, but also presents the medals neatly with due recognition to their significance. You can choose to have medals swing mounted or court mounted.

Can I wear my relative's medals?

Yes, you may. When wearing your family member or ancestor's medals in commemoration of their service, they should be worn on the right breast on appropriate occasions, such as Anzac Day.

How do I know what medals my relative was entitled to?

You can lodge an application with the Honours and Awards office of the Department of Defence. The application can be completed online. Alternatively, if you know their service number of full names, you can research your relative's military service through the digitised records of the National Archives of Australia's website.

I don't know what happened to my medals, can I get replacements?

Original medals are generally only replaced once by the Department of Defence. However, you can order replica medals through the Military Shop to replace lost or stolen medals.

At the Military Shop we offer a specialised medal mounting service. We are also able to provide information and advice regarding your medals, their ribbons and ordering replica medals. If you would like to get your medals ready for wear or display on Anzac day, visit our website for information on placing orders online, or visit our Canberra store where our knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you in person.

What are replica medals made of?

Replica Medals are generally cast from zinc alloy. The cast replica is then electroplated (the replica is placed in a solution containing the metal to be applied to the medal. An electric current is passed through the replica which causes a thin layer of the metal to form on the surface). Silver looking medals are plated with nickel, bronze medals are plated with brass and then given an acid bath to give them an antique look. Gold medals are plated with gold.

What are original medals made of?

The material used to create original medals depends on the medal - most are made from bronze, yellow bronze, nickle-silver, cupro-nickle or silver.

Can you engrave replica Medals?

Replica medals can be engraved, but we advise against it. The engraving can cause the the plating on the medal to chip or peel over time. If you'd like the recipients details on the medals its recomended you go to a trophy shop and get a plate made to attach to the brooch bar.

Who can purchase Replica Medals?

In broad terms, anyone can - we just need to know what medals you're chasing. Replica medals were created so that precious original medals could be kept safe, and also to stop family disputes so everyone in the family can hold onto their family history as unfortunately not everyone can have the original medals.

It is important to remember that fraudulent wearing of medals, where a person is implying that the medals are their own, is an offence under The Defence Act 1903. Known or suspected cases of fraudulent medal wearing should be reported to the AFP

If you intend to wear medals that were awarded to a family member at events such as Anzac Day, you should wear them on your right chest to show you are wearing them in honour of someone else.

Do you buy/know the value of Original Medals?

No, we don't buy or sell original medals and unfortunatly aren't able to advise their value. (If posisble - we recommend holding onto the orignals as we've seen and heard there's always another relative that will want them down the track)

Can you split the original medals between family members?

You can, but it's not recomended. We have had a few people do this and it makes it very hard down the track, as it gets passed down relatives aren't aware of the other medals and the full history. Its best to keep them all together and if you'd like to share the medals consider purchasing a replica set so the history can stay together.