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How do you describe a metal that was once shining, but is so old that it is now mat?

"Matted metal" does not sound right, does it?

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  • Opaque, probably! ... – user 66974 Nov 30 '17 at 11:21
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    The most suitable description is probably 'Dull'! – jackchmbrln Nov 30 '17 at 11:41
  • Tarnished, perhaps? – Mick Nov 30 '17 at 11:47
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    Do you mean that its finish is now matte? I'd call it dull or matte, versus glossy or lustrous. But what has your own research shown? – Davo Nov 30 '17 at 12:12
  • I was going for matted, but that seems wrong. – DevShark Nov 30 '17 at 12:15
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If the dullness of age is desirable, the finish may be referred to as a patina. (The result of oxidation on various kinds of metal.)

If a metal product is purposely manufactured with a "dull" (as opposed to "shiny") finish, it is called a satin finish.

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    Your answer uses the word "dull" twice without suggesting it as an answer... To me "dull" is the word the OP is looking for. – IanF1 Nov 30 '17 at 20:37
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    @IanF1 - You're absolutely right. "The metal was dull with age," is succinct and appropriate. My answer is colored by 40+ years in "retail-land" - euphemistic phrases such as: "pre-owned", "vintage", "distressed", and the like, are just what pop into my head first. Mea culpa. – Oldbag Dec 1 '17 at 14:25

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