Antiques Roadshow expert refuses to value rare medal with tragic history

Antiques Roadshow expert valuer Mark Smith was almost moved to tears when a guest brought in a gold medallion she'd inherited with no idea of its origin.

In the episode, which aired on BBC One on Sunday (January 31), the guest said she was clearing out her mum's belongings after she recently died, and found a mysterious medal awarded to her grandfather.

She was baffled as to what the medal was, or even why it was awarded to her grandad, who had been called Tommy.

Examining the details on the medal, Mark said it was clearly depicting a concentration camp from Nazi Germany and gave insight into what the pictures and symbols meant.

He tells her: "Now your medallion is the 10th-anniversary medal for the liberation of concentration camps and they were given to people, Belgians who had been in concentration camps, so the medal you actually have on the front of it shows a prisoner wearing a concentration camp uniform.

"But on the back, this bit in the middle is a triangle with a B, and that is the badge that was sown on the concentration camp uniform to show that you were Belgian, it could have a P for Polish.

"And the colour indicated what you were actually in the prison camp for, so if the triangle is yellow you’re Jewish, if it’s black you’re a political prisoner, and if it’s pink it’s a homosexual, it’s a terrible regime."

Mark then said, out of respect for victims of the holocaust, it would be impossible to give a valuation.

"Now we always give you a valuation on the Antiques Roadshow," he continued.

“But we don’t give valuations to Holocaust things because there is no price you can put on what someone went through to be awarded that medal.

"So I can’t tell you what it’s worth but now you know what it is, I hope you think it was worthwhile coming to the Antiques Roadshow."

Antiques Roadshow is available on BBC iPlayer

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