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Gillette Gold Aristocrat & Black Tip

Hi All,

I picked up a couple vintage Gillette DE's yesterday - I'm pretty excited! Razor stuff is still new to me - but I think I stumbled upon a couple nice ones. I was told by the seller that the gold aristocrat is a 1949 and it was some kind of Christmas special edition? Can anyone confirm if this was a thing? It sounded weird to me. I believe the black tips were made in the early 50's? Can anyone confirm that? I'm still new to the razor community so looking to learn as much as I can :001_smile

On a side note: how would you recommend I clean these before using them? I don't want to do any damage to them & I'm especially curious how to care for the gold aristocrat.
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Esox

I didnt know
Welcome to the forum!

The Aristocrat looks to be a 48-50, I think, and I believe yours to be an NDC Gillette.

You can find Gillette Date codes here: US Gillette Dating Information

When you look at the underside of the head, on one side you'll see a letter, on the other side a number. That will denote the year and quarter. If a Gillette razor doesnt have that date code, they're generally referred to as "NDC", No Date Code.

See the Tech on the right below. Its a D2 date code. 1958, second quarter. The razor on the left being made in England, and as such, has no date code.

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A good rule of thumb when cleaning vintage razors is be gentle. A hot water soak with Dawn dish soap and a light scrub with a toothbrush is generally enough. There is much to read on that topic around the forum.

With gold razors "gentle" becomes much more important. The Gillettes that are gold are generally a gold 'wash', and its very thin. Consequently, its easy to remove. A good soak in hot water and Dawn is fine, but if you need to use a brush, use it lightly.
 
Thanks for the info @Esox I didn't know about the meaning of the engravings. And thanks for the cleaning pointers - I'll make sure the be careful when cleaning.
 
Very cool! I'll hopefully get to try it out tonight. The hairs on my face seem to not grow fast enough since I got into traditional wet shaving :biggrin1:
 
You can also clean gold razors even the washed kind with a diluted ammonia solution same as you would clean gold jewelry. Window cleaner with ammonia works well and is more than dilute enough just don't soak it for hours on end.
 
Hello and congrats.
The Super speed is an X2, second Q of 1952.
Gold Gillettes have a protective lacquer (this gives the reddish orange hue) above the gold wash, so try to avoid unknown chemicals, really hot water, scrubbing, alcohol based products. And before using any given product, test it on a less visible spot, like the inside of the knob.

Adam
 
@BBS-1 makes sense, might have to try that. @romsitsa thank you for the pointers, good advice there.

I clean gold razors with window cleaner all the time. Spray, let it sit about a minute while the boiled water in the pot cools. Brush with a tootbrush and rinse then throw it into the pot once the water is cooled a bit with dish soap, let it soak with a final brushing and rinse once the water cools completely.
 
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@BBS-1 thanks I'll give that method a try. @romsitsa based off what I've seen on this forum, I believe there is a lacquer above it. The one I bought is worn on the top a bit - if you look real close at the top of the razor in picture below you can kind of see it - but I think the part that is worn is the lacquer fading but I'm not 100% sure about it...
 
Well done on the razors! I have one of each myself and they will both be wonderful to use.

As mentioned, a wash with Dawn liquid soap and a light scrubbing with a tooth brush will serve you well and that is how I clean all my razors. I also give them a Barbicide bath for 10 minutes after the first round of cleaning with Dawn and then clean them again making sure you rinse them out with water. Nothing will survive that...

Enjoy!!
 
View attachment 908852 @BBS-1 thanks I'll give that method a try. @romsitsa based off what I've seen on this forum, I believe there is a lacquer above it. The one I bought is worn on the top a bit - if you look real close at the top of the razor in picture below you can kind of see it - but I think the part that is worn is the lacquer fading but I'm not 100% sure about it...

The lacquer sealed ones are nitrocellulose based. A common one you maybe familiar with is nail polish. I don't know exact formulation used on the razors but it should be similar. With window cleaner avoid vinegar based cleaners and use the ammonia based ones. If you aren't sure skip the window cleaner and make very dilute solution 1 part ammonia to at least 6 parts water. You only need to soak it for a minute. It works even better when you use carbonated water.
 

Hannah's Dad

I Can See Better Than Bigfoot.
The lacquer sealed ones are nitrocellulose based. A common one you maybe familiar with is nail polish. I don't know exact formulation used on the razors but it should be similar. With window cleaner avoid vinegar based cleaners and use the ammonia based ones. If you aren't sure skip the window cleaner and make very dilute solution 1 part ammonia to at least 6 parts water. You only need to soak it for a minute. It works even better when you use carbonated water.
I, too, was looking for a way to use ‘nitrocellulose’ in a sentence today. You beat me to it!
 

Esox

I didnt know
You can also clean gold razors even the washed kind with a diluted ammonia solution same as you would clean gold jewelry. Window cleaner with ammonia works well and is more than dilute enough just don't soak it for hours on end.

Welcome to the forum!

Ammonia attacks brass. So unless the gold plating is perfect, and an actual electroplate and not a thin gold wash, I'd avoid any harsh chemicals and polishes. Even toothpaste can take that gold wash of a lot quicker than you might imagine.

Tutorials, inspiration, encouragement and sharing, in a friendly community.

My 1940 Gillette Regent as it arrived.

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After 5 seconds with Bar Keepers Friend.

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Avoid harsh chemicals on gold, especially the thin gold wash Gillette used on the older razors.

Below is a Gillette NEW LC Palmolive that was NIB. Notice the red varnish between the teeth of the comb and in the crevices around the ball end on the handle.

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That varnish was used to protect the very thin, fragile gold wash. Its pretty tough stuff, but you're better off leaving it intact than removing it. Its there for a reason.
 
Welcome to the forum!

Ammonia attacks brass. So unless the gold plating is perfect, and an actual electroplate and not a thin gold wash, I'd avoid any harsh chemicals and polishes. Even toothpaste can take that gold wash of a lot quicker than you might imagine.

Tutorials, inspiration, encouragement and sharing, in a friendly community.

My 1940 Gillette Regent as it arrived.

View attachment 908866

After 5 seconds with Bar Keepers Friend.

View attachment 908867

Avoid harsh chemicals on gold, especially the thin gold wash Gillette used on the older razors.

Below is a Gillette NEW LC Palmolive that was NIB. Notice the red varnish between the teeth of the comb and in the crevices around the ball end on the handle.

View attachment 908871

View attachment 908872

That varnish was used to protect the very thin, fragile gold wash. Its pretty tough stuff, but you're better off leaving it intact than removing it. Its there for a reason.

If you soak it for an hour or so yeah but not a minute in a dilute mixture. Your sweat will do more damage to brass than an ammonia bath in this concentration for that duration. It is a common problem with brass instruments like horns. And besides if it is plated or coated it is non-issue since there is no direct contact with the brass.
 
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