Some time in the 1970s, an academic from Riga, Latvia, visited my grandfather (a physicist) in the UK and gave these Stalingrad "medals" (for want of a better word) to his sons. 50 years on, they have come to me and I would like to know where they came from and then try to refurbish them.

I doubt they've been taken out of their case in at least 40 years, but were previously even more tarnished - a wash with salt and vinegar got them to the state they're in now.

I have been told (regardless of the truth of it) that the Soviet government gave such memorabilia to individuals going abroad on business trips as a kind of 'gift to the Westerners' to celebrate Soviet victories in World War II.

Was there any historical precedent for such a thing? If so, can anyone tell me about the construction of them, such as what the metal composition is likely to be so I don't damage them while trying to refurbish them?

For reference: The case is 23.5cm long and the centre 3 are each 3cm wide.

Person with sword back Person with sword front Torch front (very tarnished) Whole case Case back with serial number

  • 2
    Not sure about the story, these appear to be ordinary souvenirs. There's a price on there - 3.5 rubles (the official exchange rate at the time was 1 ruble = US$1.35).
    – SPavel
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 12:52
  • @SPavel Ahaaa that's the price! I wasn't sure what the writing could be but I figured it might be important - I guess I always supposed it was the factory number! Souvenirs would explain the debatable metal quality though. Perhaps over time the "gift" story has been dramatised or misrepresented...
    – Atom
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 13:05
  • Given that the SU had a demand economy, the story actually makes some sense.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 13:10


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