An unusual day for a number of reasons. I was working on Wednesday, for one thing, and we had a group of medals brought in requiring re-ribboning (not the ones in the picture). The ribbons on a group of medals should be 31.75mm (1.25″) for the Army and slightly longer for the Navy.
In the case of the medals we have in hand, the person who mounted them obviously didn’t have the ribbon for the new Platinum Jubilee Medal so used the piece provided with the medal. This involves cutting the pin brooch that comes attached to the medal and ends up with a shorter length of ribbon than necessary. However, rather than buy a new ribbon, whoever mounted the medals used the short length and then shortened the rest of them to match.
I’m not going to judge – whoever did them might have been doing them as a favour rather than a commercial undertaking. We charge £10 a medal, including cleaning and new ribbons, so we can afford £3 for a new ribbon. If it’s a favour, or you are doing them on the cheap (because, let’s face it, £10 sounds a lot of money to mount a medal, and £30 for a group of three is a considerable outlay), it’s not so easy.
However, you get what you pay for and it goes back to the old Ruskin quote:
“It’s unwise to pay too much…but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.”
It works when buying medal mounting services, running the NHS and buying cheese. Julia bought Dolcelatte today because it was cheaper than Stilton (it’s that cost of living crisis, you know). Dolcelatte has it’s place in the world if you want a tangy blue cheese, but it’s no Stilton.