191 Main Street, Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand sales@chaplows.co.nz
(0800) 423 726 / Freephone NZ only   Overseas callers  64(4) 528 8082 


Military Medal Mounting, Replica Medals, Restoration and Medal Framing 

We have collected military medals for over 40 years and specialise in offering a range of services including: cleaning, repairing original medals, supplying duplicate (genuine) medals, replica medals, replacing ribbons, cleaning and restoring insignia. It is a privilege to receive work from all over New Zealand (from Kaitaia to Invercargill) and everywhere in between including Waiheke Island, Chatham Islands and regularly from Australia. For peace of mind we invite you to deal with Chaplows, New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) accredited and contracted medal mounters who operate to a national standard from commercial premises.

Medal mounting products and services have been exported by us to: Australia - Canada - Hong Kong - Singapore - United Kingdom - United States

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Full range of replica medals (full & miniature sizes) including: New Zealand, Australia, Boer War, First World War, Second World War (British Commonwealth), Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, United Nations, NATO and other foreign medals.  

  As well as offering a full medal mounting service for many years, we supply replica medals for both military and other services, including civilian honours and decorations. Our service also extends to the supply of genuine (original) First World War medals and Second World War medals.      

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  We mount and frame Emergency Services Medals: Police, Fire, Ambulance, Prison Service  (Corrections), Civil Decorations and Sports Medals.

                                                         Veteran    Polish WWII medal group

Medals Officer St John

We specialise in the medal mounting the framing of medals and military memorabilia,some of which has gone to collectors and families in the United Kingdom. The majority of our work is undertaken for New Zealand and Australian families, organisations and institutions. In recognition of our skills and workmanship, we have been commissioned by invitation to do overseas militaria museum work and also medal mounting for the diplomatic corps and some prominent and highly regarded New Zealanders.

Only the best available materials are used and we guarantee the integrity our work, which is not subcontracted or outsourced.

Our primary aim at all times is to maintain and retain the authencity of everything we work on to keep it as original as possible. This means not purchasing the cheapest and lowest cost materials we can find. We pride ourselves on the quality of our workmanship and will not take shortcuts by grinding a medal or chopping off clasps, to make them sit flatter when mounted in a medal group.

In the image set presented below you can see the bright shiny edges on the reverse side of the medal assembly. These areas have been machined on a metal grinder to alter the profile so that the medal sits flatter in a medal group. In some cases this style of medal known as warlike when mounted near an adjoining medal pushes the medals up so that they are proud. Grinding the suspender assembly to diminish this affect is a disappointing display of poor workmanship. As a consequence the medal is irreversibily compromised and its worth destroyed. Only a replica replacement medal can remedy the situation, as the military will not normally issue a new original medal as a valid replacement.

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As NZ Defence Force accredited and contracted Medal Mounters,we apply the NZDF Medal Mounting Standard and protocols to all medals we mount for wear.


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 We provide professional unbiased "free" advice on your options.

 From time to time we receive original medals for mounting that may be corroded or oxidised due to poor   
 storage practices. In most cases we can remove this by giving the surface area a deep clean should it be
 required. This is an intensive and time consuming process, as all cleaning is done by hand, medal by medal; and is  one of   the most important aspects when preparing original meals for mounting.   

 Second World War original medals being claimed by families from NZDF, are issued with medals in wax   bags. These   medals are overcoated in a light machine oil to protect them while in storage.

 Medal Repair and Restoration Service  
  Medals also come in where the suspender (which is where the ribbon passes through) has been bent at 
  some point in time and has sheered off from the medal. Subject to inspection, in most cases we can
  affect a permanent repair. Additionally we can also retrofit fit replacement retaining pins to your non 
  warlike medals. We also fit replacement ribbon rings for the First World War Victory Medal and Second 
  World War Star medals.

  The Second World War medal group below has been fully restored and mounted by us.
  Many hours of painstaking work and dedicated committment were required to achieve the end result. All the medals shown are the original issue as
  presented to us. Post issue and prior to us receiving the medals they had been engraved, which is unusual for a New Zealand issue medal group.  
  As part of the restoration process, no medals have been replaced or substituted by us with duplicates.                   

medals restoration 1

The Memorial Plaque sometimes known as the Death Medal was  issued to the next-of-kin of British Forces (First World War 1914-18) who lost their lives on active service. Made from bronze these 120mm plaques are highly susceptible to spot type green corrosion, which is caused by oxidation and over time penetrates the surface of the metal causing irreversible pitting. While this damage cannot be repaired or restored, steps can be taken to neutralise and remove the effect from spreading any further. 

memorial plaque 1

In the example shown we have restored, all the corrosion has been removed, the surface decreased; and taken steps to seal the bronze against future damage. No solvents or lacquers have been used, thereby maintaining the integrity of the original finish.

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There are two regulation medal mounting styles used for mounting medals

Medals are either court or swing mounted (sometimes called free style), for wearing. Swing mounted medals, as the term suggests are loosely mounted and were once a popular way of medal mounting. When veterans marched on parade with their swing mounted medals, the medals would bang into one another causing a resounding metallic clanging which sounded spectacular, but chipped and damaged edges of the medals.

Court mounted medals have become the preferred and recommended method of mounting medals. Medals are mounted on a backing and then secured typically with wire, so that they remain rigid.

We handclean and lacquer First World War & Second World War medals and badges with specialised professional products. 

Lacquer finishes are very long lasting, provided the correct type has been used. We apply all our lacquers by spraygun or where required for finer work by airbrush.

medals before after 2

How to Care for Your Medals

The best way to look after your (bronze, silver, cupro-nickel or rhodium plated) original issue medals, is to polish them up with a soft cloth such as a rouge, from time to time. Impregnated with a gentle polish, it will do the job nicely and is available from most jewellers. But like everything else do not overdo it by frequent polishing, as there is simply no need. Most of the time wiping the medal's surface with just a soft dry cloth will be sufficient.

Do not use any household metal cleaners as they are abrasive and will cause permanent damage.

Should your medals and ribbons become wet as a consequence of say rain,remove the excess water by depressing the surface area with a soft dry cloth. Do not use hair driers or other forms of direct heat, as this is particularly dangerous as ribbons are flammable. You may also contribute to the formation of water staining damage on the ribbons by using heat This is specially the case with synthetic ribbons.  

Keep your medals and ribbons in top condition by storing them in a medal case.
A number of size options are available, when it comes to medal cases and they cover both full size and miniature medal groups.

For a selection that we offer please refer to our online store (replica military medals) medal accessories. 

Replica Medals

Most of the replica medals sold in the market are generally cast from alloy metals, do not have the same strength as the originals, may be antiqued and should never be polished. The surface area should just be lightly wiped with a soft dry cloth. They represent about 85% or so of sales in market place.

Museum quality replica medals, on the other hand sometimes known as die struck medals are manufactured by being stamped under pressure with a die impression. The metals used are superior and the medals themselves have more exact detailing similar to that of the original medals. The end product is far more expensive.     


Enamelled and antiqued medals should not be cleaned by others than professionals. sam 0851

Medals that have an enamel or antique finish should not be cleaned as permanent and irreparable damage will result. 
We also do not not attach medals during mounting with velcro or hot glue.

Solvent adhesives (which are highly acidic and corrosive) are not used to paste and attach ribbons as they bleed through and over time destroy the ribbon fabrics by making them turn yellow white and brittle. Neither is the integrity of any medals or clasps entrusted to us compromised.

Rest assured that when you choose to deal with us we treat every family with sensitivity, individuality and respect.

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Genuine and authentic ribbons manufactured in England by Toye, Kenning & Spencer the world's leading supplier established in 1685 are used by us.

 Authentic ribbons are made to exacting and consistant standards and their quality is unconditionally guaranteed. Medal mounting is not a DIY job and this being the case we do not separately sell ribbons or materials that we use.  

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Original manufacture ribbons are used by professional Medal Mounters. 

Cheap materials including reproduction synthetic and or screen printed poorly woven ribbons, that are not colour fast meaning the colours may run when exposed to rain or moisture are used by some medal mounters. They are not accredited by NZDF and are committed to offering the "lowest prices" in the market to attract business as that is their sole point of difference. New Zealand's harsh ulta violet light, will fade imitation screen printed ribbons much more rapidly. The reality is that you cannot expect to get a top quality and long lasting job, if all you focus on is getting the cheapest price. 

As professional NZDF accredited and contracted medal mounters operating to a national standard from commercial premises and not a home kitchen table, we are not interested in compromising on quality to attract business, because others are cheaper.

We welcome visitors to our premises, or ring us on 0800 FREEPHONE (0800 423 726)
within NZ from your landline or cellphone to have a friendly chat.

oscar grandad         merchant navy wwi         DSO medal group
Oscar proudly wearing his heroic
Grandad's medals 

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                       Products & Services

    • Medal Mounting (either court mount or swing mount style)
    • Framing of Military Memorabilia and Insignia
    • Mounting and Framing of all medals
    • Design and Manufacture of Medal Display Cases
    • Photo Restoration and Digital Imaging 
    • Document reproduction and canvas photo printing
    • Laser Engraving (some replicas are not suitable for engraving)
    • Silver and Gold colour metal plaques (made to size and order)
    • Medals cleaned and repaired
    • Duplicate Military Medals First World War and Second World War (subject to stock availability)
    • Replica Military Medals (full size and miniature)
    • Commemorative (unofficial medals, full size and miniature) upon request
    • Ribbon Bars (also known as Riband Bars)
    • Medal Cases
    • Pocket Medal Holders 

- Application Forms and General Enquiries (for all medals)

         SECOND WORLD WAR - Second World War medals, including for Home Guard service - how to make a general enquiry

Click on the above New Zealand Defence Force links for making enquiries about all medal matters and entitlements.  


                              special offer            

When adding the New Zealand Defence Service Medal to your existing medal groups (full size and miniature), we offer a 100% rebate on the mounting of the new medal. You only pay for the remounting of your existing medal group.

The New Zealand Defence Service Medal is added to your existing medal group absolutely "free".

nzdsm case inner               gordon highlander801


      free 3   New Liner Fitted to New Zealand Defence Service Medal Case

For customers that choose to deal with us and where they have multiple medals that will fit into the quality supplied medal case, we remove the existing bottom moulded liner and fit a new one at no additional charge. We are the only medal mounter offering this add on and provide this service absolutely free.

We do not just frame medals, but include information from families and other sources to tell the story. 

Mounting and framing Emergency Services Medals: Police, Fire, Ambulance, Corrections and Civic Decorations and Sports Medals.

Many hours go into creating a custom finished product, without compromise as the end results show. This is a core business activity and is just not treated by us as another framing job as may be the case elsewhere. We do not shoehorn medals into premade frames or limit the design options that we offer.

Some will simply mount medals and photos into frames as they get them, because that is the limit of their capability. The end results, with poor design and assembly not standing the test of time will result in future unnecessary disappointment.

Mounted Medals that may be removed from a Medal Case Frame and worn.

We now offer a range of Medal Case Frames which we have specifically designed so that they may be opened and the medals removed for wear on occasions such as Anzac Day. Where there are many items to be framed apart from medals which may include: a number of photos, patches, slides, badges and so forth we recommend a sealed frame be used, as this may be more appropriate as a long term solution. Need advice or guidance please contact us and we would be happy to assist in recommending what is best for your family situation.

Visit our professional commercial business premises for a personal consultation.
Or Freephone NZ 0800 423 726.

When sending us your medals and memorabilia including  photographs by courier, please enclose with your contact details (email & phone). We will make contact immediately to acknowledge receipt and discuss the design layout options.

When sending your medals and treasures to us please do so by Courier with signature required, as this provides a tracking mechanism.

With your original photographs do not be concerned about the size or their condition as we will take care of these for you.To get the best result we scan all original photos and digitally enhance them using Adobe Photoshop and our other worktools.

Negatives, electronic copies(email), memory sticks, Drop Box and CD's are other options we work with.

We do all the photographic work required including restoration and retouching. All photos are scaled to maintain the correct proportions with the overall framed medal design.

Framing is completed to a conservation standard using archival materials including Tru Vue Conservation Glass© as a minimum and preferably Museum Glass©  to minimise fading.

For families in Australia and overseas, we return your medals in a bespoke wooden case, which we supply at no charge. You only 'pay cost' for the freight and packaging, as do all our customers.


In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, May 1915

That marks our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard among the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
Though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.  

WWI fatally wounded soldier 2   Onward Soldier0881 1   






Shop Hours

Monday  9.30am - 5.00pm
Tuesday 9.00am - 5.00pm
Wed.      9.00am - 5.00pm
Thurs.    9.00am - 5.00pm
Frid.       9.00am - 4.00pm 
Sat.      10.00am - 1.00pm
Sunday & Public Holidays CLOSED

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191 Main Street,
Upper Hutt

New Zealand

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Contact Us

0800 423 726 FREEPHONE NZ 

Overseas callers
64 + 4 528 8082 


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