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richatthecroft

Question on cleaning- before I get the wire wool and soap out...

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I recently purchased at a local auction house this 1937 Specimen Set of coins.  Prior to purchase I viewed the set and decided I would have a go at it on the big day. I viewed 2 days prior to the sale.  Although my short term memory is bound to be impaired, I'm the wrong side of 50 years of age, but it is pretty clear having inspected them post purchase, that these coins were handled by other prospective punters, as there are obvious signs, and clearly some people didn't take much care as they fondled them- I would particularly like to thank the man by throttling him,  who clearly decided to have a closer look at the set following his greasy Hot Dog snack he enjoyed in the sale rooms in-house cafe.  Oh the joys of buying at auction.  

I would like to have this set restored/ conserved. I acknowledge its not a rare set or it have masses of value, but it is a set I would like to cherish for years to come- I will, at some point in the future- and I speak with optimism here- eventually be the proud owner of a 1937 Sovereign set- so this will be a nice companion set.    

Now many would say, leave them as they are- I'm a great believer in not cleaning coins and in fact in my opinion, there's nothing better than seeing a nicely toned old coin and some coins with nice toning have value added both monetary and aesthetically when a coin presents with a nice patina- but greasy fingerprint residue can in time, cause long lasting damage to a coin that might well be unsightly.

Now, I could always send to NGC- but I don't wish to grade them and its an expensive option, or I'm sure I could find somewhere in the UK who will do the work or I'm sure there will be a reasonably local coin dealer who will undertake this work.  I'm also more than capable of searching the internet and following instructions so I could have a bash at it myself- the Acetone bath tub has been suggested here before, to clean proof coins up.   

I'm wondering what Forum members suggest? 

Or better still- perhaps a Forum member feels confident enough and has experience in restoring coins and would like to undertake this job?  

I look forward to hearing some suggestions and until such time, I shall put the wire wool and soap away.  Thanks in advance.  

C9668626-D17E-494C-BADD-2397224185E6.thumb.jpeg.1a5500ef49ab4e552c0f169d91333d84.jpeg

58CF2B62-3C26-4D04-9F7E-F5D99F59EC55.thumb.jpeg.0271888472c41d0741a10e32bc582f15.jpeg

Edited by richatthecroft

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Dipping works great in most  coins. But you need to have the right solution per metal. Have tried it only with silver so far and happy most of the time. Sometimes the results aren't great, mainly with lower silver content. I am pretty confident with anything above 80%.

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Not sure if acetone on it's own would be sufficient, maybe a non-polar solvent such as a petroleum based one. A little detergent would be good for the silver but don't clean the copper/bronze coins with anything aqueous.

Other than that, I'm not much help. You really need someone more knowledgeable than myself in old silver and copper coins.

I'm sure one of the dealers on here would be expert enough to know about these things; someone like Marc for example.

Edited by sovereignsteve

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8 minutes ago, sovereignsteve said:

Not sure if acetone on it's own would be sufficient, maybe a non-polar solvent such as a petroleum based one. A little detergent would be good for the silver but don't clean the copper/bronze coins with anything aqueous.

I think your right Steve, in this case, on its own the Acetone method would not be sufficient.  Thanks for the advice on the copper and bronze.  

Edited by richatthecroft

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Nice set , if it's only the grease you want removed what about a bath in a ultra sonic cleaner with water and a dash of washing up liquid ? It won't remove toning or tarnish but will remove the grease

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I was going to suggest a bath in warm water with a drop of mild detergent like the one that makes your hands feel as soft as your face.

As that should remove grease or dirt without doing any damage to the coins.  I guess an ultrasonic cleaner would do a better job than you trying to do it in a plastic bowl with surgical gloves on.

 

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Remember these?

I have the good fortune to have an aquaintance who works in a lab who agreed to provide some TLC to my 1937 set.  

Here’s the before and after, and further below is a couple of shots of the 8mg of detritus that was removed from these uncirculated coins- including the remnants of hot dog! 

Always remember kids- wash your hands after handling circulated coins. 

Before

ADE4A3A8-2924-483E-AB63-8B7AB402FB82.thumb.jpeg.fc8c0db14ec0efc8801eaa5e26e5675e.jpeg

EEBBBC73-7D29-4A77-9EE7-539F24A85904.thumb.jpeg.e9065221c55ec161a8992e119106f748.jpeg

After:

D267438C-93BB-418F-A237-EBFDACAF16AD.thumb.jpeg.09427851dc2301c8be0f39e459e0d93f.jpeg

 

8D62A202-4070-4A79-AAD8-01B16EAD8149.thumb.jpeg.d7b033229a07ed84c3eb1c9dc91adcff.jpeg

AA579AB0-06AC-443F-B7EC-810D90588749.jpeg.7f1a382f38ad3a1636bf9cb21d1fbb22.jpeg

D6E6F9D6-8CDF-465D-9AA6-BDEF049DF84C.jpeg.091c4c7522b97f054dbf21fdbcbeeb6e.jpeg

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36 minutes ago, h103efa said:

Cool!

Out of interest what did your friend do with them in the lab, since i have access to a lab too, i might try something similar!

It was done with no acids or alkali, detergent or any nasty chemicals. A mild treatment with acetone, deionised water and sonication. Individually so the coins didn’t vibrate against each other. 

 

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