Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

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sweepstick47
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Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by sweepstick47 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:14 pm

A Few Halfcrowns Given The Lemon Juice Treatment

A little background info:

The design of Halfcrowns has always appealed to me even as a youngster, they were the coins that in the 50’s were seen as a weeks pocket money for the more fortunate kids! At the age of 15/16, I decided to start collecting them, not by buying them from numismatist dealers but by removing the better examples from general circulation, it was never intended to make a numismatist’s coin collection.

I started my collection by going to the bank, handing over a (long saved-up for) five pound note and asking “could I have five pounds of large silver please” In return, they would hand me a paper bank bag marked ‘£5 in Large Silver’ which contained a mixture of both halfcrowns and florins (2/6 and 2/- pieces). The bank staff new me and were always obliging (probably because I was very cute) but more likely, because I obtained change there on a regular basis for the Butcher I worked for!

In 1970, disappointment arrived when halfcrowns were withdrawn from circulation in readiness for Decimalisation the following year, this signalled the end of my halfcrown collecting! Decimalsation duly arrived in 1971 coincidentally accompanied by an unhealthy dose of inflation.

So, these coins have been salted away ever since, for some 50 odd years or so and they represent
the part remains of a once larger held collection! The few shown were discovered (although I knew they were around somewhere) whilst looking through some unopened boxes in the attic for something to offer for the Forum ID Competition. On seeing how dull and dirty they were, I decided they deserved a spruce-up before putting them back to bed.

Clearly, they were in need of a gentle wash in warm soapy water to remove the build-up of surface grime accumulated during their time in circulation and subsequent storage. After that it was a gentle dry with one of the dog’s towels, followed by placing them in a shallow glass dish and covering evenly with lemon juice – I used the juice from one of those squeezy plastic lemons which can be bought at any supermarket. I left them for about 3 hours checking their progress every 30 mins or so and extending the time immersed where necessary. Then a repeat of the initial washing and drying process ensued followed by a bath in distilled water and Bob’s me uncle, they were cleaner and looked so much better.

This has been a bit of a necessary experiment and I’m not yet sure how I’ll proceed, although I’ll probably consider those ‘coin cards’ with a clear panel or perhaps the plastic circular coin sized storage/display capsules and store them with silica gel present to deal with atmospheric moisture.
Any further suggestions or recommendations will certainly be well received.

The results are shown below together with some ‘as found’ examples for a before and after comparison. Thanks for reading the ‘blather’.
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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by Saki » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:43 pm

Well I thoroughly enjoyed that blather. There is certainky something kinda special about them ::g
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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by Oxgirl36 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:53 pm

That was a great read Sweepstick :-*

You’ve made me look at the design properly too. They are very handsome coins l;.
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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by cantona1 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:56 pm

I'll be doing mine with lemon juice after seeing this, thanks Sweepstick ::g

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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by PeakDetectorist » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:31 am

Great looking coins 😀
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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by Dave8472 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:42 am

Nice one, I do all my 20th Century silver with Citric Acid, it is cheaper and stores better, can get it off the internet ::g

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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by sweepstick47 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:14 am

Dave8472 wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:42 am
Nice one, I do all my 20th Century silver with Citric Acid, it is cheaper and stores better, can get it off the internet ::g

Dave ):=
Thanks for that Dave, I'll be ordering some shortly. I expect it's quite a bit stronger than the commercially available lemon juice. Cheaper? Now that's my language ::g ss47
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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by Dave8472 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:44 am

I got 2kg for £7 something

Its food grade to so all safe, yes it is stronger ::g
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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by thefiggis » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:54 am

sweepstick47 wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:14 pm
they were the coins that in the 50’s were seen as a weeks pocket money for the more fortunate kids!
Where I grew up they were seen as a week's wages for the more fortunate adult. Eeee...

Great write up, SS, and glad to hear these lovely coins are held in such high regard. There really is something about them. Oddly, I've only ever found one but it sits proudly in my display cabinet.
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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by Devonboy » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:03 am

They look great all cleaned up Sweepstick. ::g

I also have a collection of old silver gathered in the early 70’s. My wife used to work in a bank and would bring coins home for me. Keep meaning to get my coins out and put them in a case I bought from Lidl about 5 years ago.

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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by sweepstick47 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:16 pm

Some months after starting to collect halfcrowns, the habit grew and I started to include other coins from circulation. Shillings were more plentiful than halfcrowns and I built-up a collection from Edw VII onwards.

When marriage arrived we were unable to get official Army 'Married Quarters' as my points accumulation for service, amounted to zilch so we sought private accommodation eventually securing a flat in Aldershot at the cost of 8 guineas per week! (paid for by the Defence Land Agent - being the normal process) with me paying the normal rent contribution towards it.

The flat had mains electric only and was metered to take shillings! The practice then (as many will know) was that when the 'electric man' came to empty the meter, once a month or so. He counted out the contents, whereupon usage determined whether or not a refund was due which was paid from the takings.

On one such occasion I happened to be present while my wife was out. After counting the meter contents, the 'electric man' said "you are entitled to a rebate, which coins would you like back"?
It transpired that when household money was short (quite often) and the meter needed 'feeding', my wife took shillings from my collection for the meter!

It had become the agreed practice, that when a rebate was due, my wife was allowed to choose which shillings she could take back as a rebate payment to be subsequently returned to the collection. I discovered this practice a number of years late Cheers ss47r!
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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by Blackadder43 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:55 pm

Great story on the halfcrowns, but the icing on the cake for me was your story on the shillings
Well done to you both, that is team work in life
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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by kenleyboy » Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:58 pm

Interesting post and a nice collection . I can remember my old Dad handing me the new 1/2 pence coin when decimalisation came in . He wasn't being mean , it was a new coin and we had never seen one before so it was all new coinage for everyone . I have found three 1/2 pence coins while detecting , never found a half crown though . Lovely coins .
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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by ICENI » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:35 pm

Great story and awesome collection ::g
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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by sweepstick47 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:36 pm

The 1/2 p coins were removed from circulation due to the cost of the copper content to make them far exceeding their face value. This is why they give an excellent signal and why they were at one time, commonly used to make a garden 'test bed - much cheaper than the commercially available 'Norton Test Peg'. ss47
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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by SuperRed » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:42 pm

A lovely post and two great stories ss47! ::g

I love these substantial coins too and you are bang on: my weekly pocket money was halfcrown. My first weekly wage as an apprentice toolmaker was £3 19s and money somehow seemed so much more 'real' than the stuff we get now. Although I have quite a few of these in my collection, I've never found one detecting yet, but it would definitely be welcome.

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Re: Cleaning Halfcrowns with Lemon Juice

Post by Bootneck45RM » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:53 pm

Thanks ss47, a brilliant, nostalgic and informative read. Plus some beaut photos.
Love Devonboy/Tonys comments about his better half bringing home coins from the bank - you'd get 7 years at least for that now, lol.
Cheers again - great forum this is 😂👍. Len R.

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