Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

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Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Addicted to bleeps »

Helllloooooooo all!

So, I was intrigued by the idea of using Olive oil to 'clean' coins. I got myself a small tub, and literally just poured Olive oil into it. I then plonked the coins in, and waited for 6 months.

The results are pretty good, I'd say. I think it could be even better if you left them in there for a year or two?

Anyhow, here's a before and after video for your perusal. Hope you enjoy :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JhwEvsapC4



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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Stillburning »

Interesting video and some great results especially that halfpenny token ::g

Its also reminded me that on the back of a top shelf in a kitchen cupboard I have some roman grots that I started soaking last October, time to have a look :D
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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by fisheruk »

Looks like something has changed with the structure of the coins, they have lost the softness if that makes sense?
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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Cobs »

I left some Roman coins in it for years - i forgot all about them and to be honest they hardly came out any better, later coins seem to fair better tho looking at your vid ::g
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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Scratcher »

I bought a table top grinder but fitted polishing cloth wheels works a lot faster but with better results. Newer coinage goes in the tumbler! ::g :D

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by lordofthecoils »

A born narrator, very interesting ,the token looks great ....well done thanks for sharing.......ray :)) ::g ::g ::g ::g ::g ::g

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Ten pence! »

I've tried olive oil and not found any improvement to be honest, but if you have any low value copper coins or artefacts try rubbing some Danish oil on them with your fingers, only a very, very light coating mind, and let it dry before applying another coat or two, the items get slightly darker and have an attractive light sheen to them, it also prevents further oxidation, so much better that a certain propriety wax that in my opinion leaves metallic items with a sort of powdery finish that looks slightly odd.

If you want to remove the film created by the Danish oil at a later date just soak the object in white spirit for an hour or so,

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by jimbotrucker »

Brilliant video :-)
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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Daniel o' Beirnes »

the coins do look good but after 4-5 years it eats in to the coins .you should never use olive oil on good coins

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Modena »

Daniel o' Beirnes wrote:the coins do look good but after 4-5 years it eats in to the coins .you should never use olive oil on good coins
That's a good point. Have a Google of olive oil and metal reactions. Copper and Iron can cause oxidation of the oil and most suggestions are not to store oil in metal containers. So while they look good initially, if the metal is reacting then it must cause degradation in the long term.

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Addicted to bleeps »

Really?

I'm getting good advice from the older fellas that have been doing this for years with no ill effect. Most have been detecting since the 70's.

None of them have mentioned this.

Has anyone got any picture examples?

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Koala »

Olive oil is very hit and miss. Think it depends on the oil. One brand/batch of oil is not the same acidity as another.

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Koala »

https://www.crustyromans.com/cleaning/
http://www.dirtyoldcoins.com/restore/cleaning.html

I normally don't soak any coins in oil, Mainly because if it does not work the greasy layer left means its very difficult to do anything else

Not tried the packing tape in the second link above. Sounds like it will take the heavy crud off so any soaking should be quicker

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Addicted to bleeps »

Ah ha, cheers for those links! ::g

So, normal olive oil rather than extra olive oil, and add a bit of lemon for a little further work. I'll be keeping an eye on those coins to see if there's any ill-effect over the next year.

I see 'he who shall not be named' has piped in on the topic. Again, I'll much prefer to take the advice of those that have been doing this for 30 years + and have god knows how much experience between them. I listen to them. A lot.

I've contacted one RE the Olive oil test to make sure his coins are still ok 20-30 years on. I'm sure he wouldn't have advised me if they weren't. I'm still open minded concerning absolute proof if anyone has it though. Pictures, videos etc rather than opinion.

::g

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by alloverover »

Will post a few phots of some of my finds cleaned with olive oil from nealy 20 years ago when I get home for the weekend kris. Unless something drastic has happened since the last time I looked all is ok x; it's vegitable oil after all and I am sure after it dries it stops being active in any way..........or will I post some pics of piles of dust :-/ :-/ :-/

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Daniel o' Beirnes »

alloverover wrote:Will post a few phots of some of my finds cleaned with olive oil from nealy 20 years ago when I get home for the weekend kris. Unless something drastic has happened since the last time I looked all is ok x; it's vegitable oil after all and I am sure after it dries it stops being active in any way..........or will I post some pics of piles of dust :-/ :-/ :-/
i'm glad your finds are ok.but i was told by the museum you should never use olive oil .so i will not take the chance .

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by danmet »

Interesting thread - I'd tried olive oil but was foolishly expecting changes within a couple of weeks! That was a couple of years ago and the coins (which weren't any loss) are still in the oil - I just need to find the container with them in now (moved house since then so probably still in a box!).

If I find them I'll report back too.

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Addicted to bleeps »

alloverover wrote:Will post a few phots of some of my finds cleaned with olive oil from nealy 20 years ago when I get home for the weekend kris. Unless something drastic has happened since the last time I looked all is ok x; it's vegitable oil after all and I am sure after it dries it stops being active in any way..........or will I post some pics of piles of dust :-/ :-/ :-/
The proof is in the pudding. Cheers bud! ::g

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by batz52 »

Whilst at the British museum for a training course on Roman coinage a couple of years ago.
I got chatting to conservator about cleaning of coins and I asked about olive oil and she advised that cleaning with olive oil can in the long term cause great harm to the coin. she explained that whilst it may have good short term effects on the coin i.e. it brings out more detail, however as its an organic material and not designed specifically for cleaning when it starts to break down it doesn't do this evenly over the surface which creates pockets of bare metal exposed to the moisture in the air and this causes pin point areas of corrosion. These areas corrode a lot faster than if the whole coin was exposed, this will ultimately destroy the coin.
So although your test was good I would love to be able to see the same coins in about 20-30 years time if they haven't turned to dust by then 8-|
She did tell me that the best option is distilled water to clean and Renaissance wax to protect.
If no distilled water running tap water is an option.

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Addicted to bleeps »

Again, the older chaps I know have had no problems with their coins 30 - 40 years on.

alloverover, will post his pictures soon as well. That'll give us a good idea of if it's worth sticking with or not.

I'm hearing what people are saying, but all I'm seeing it's loads of proof in the other corner.

could it be that the archeologist and person that works at the museum could be...just could be...wrong?

Controversial! ;)

So far, I'm sticking with it, but again I'm open to seeing firm proof it doesn't work, or does long term damage.

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Allectus »

Personally, I only ever use de-ionised water for cleaning early bronze coins & artefacts...just soak & brush every now and then for excellent results! ::g


A ;)

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Addicted to bleeps »

Actually, they're people I respect a great deal. And for that reason, I'm out of this thread.

If you want to post those pictures my friend, I'm still very interested in seeing them. Please chuck me a PM :)

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by KittyHawk »

So, using roman grots as an example, they've been in the ground a couple thousand years give or take and obviously look a little worn - so you soak them in olive oil for a year and sure they look better for a relatively short while. Even if the "old boys" say 30-40 years later they're still ok, what about 100 yrs? Longer? (Assuming they're passed on to family / museums / landowners etc).

Maybe conservators and museum staff do know what they're talking about, (I hope so) and maybe we're a little greedy and selfish in making such an old item look better for a few short years during our life time when its actually been around, and will hopefully stay around, a lot longer than any of us.

Having said that, grots or regularly common items and coins of no value (both monetary AND historical interest) are IMHO entirely up to the owner how to preserve or restore. I just think we should be careful not to encourage blatant use of it in all cases and make your decisions carefully.
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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by batz52 »

Addicted to bleeps wrote:Again, the older chaps I know have had no problems with their coins 30 - 40 years on.

alloverover, will post his pictures soon as well. That'll give us a good idea of if it's worth sticking with or not.

I'm hearing what people are saying, but all I'm seeing it's loads of proof in the other corner.

could it be that the archeologist and person that works at the museum could be...just could be...wrong?

Controversial! ;)

So far, I'm sticking with it, but again I'm open to seeing firm proof it doesn't work, or does long term damage.
Im not knocking it, im just passing on my experiences thanks for taking time to test it ::g
Im sure this debate will roll on and on and on and on. ::g

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Devonboy »

Allectus wrote:Personally, I only ever use de-ionised water for cleaning early bronze coins & artefacts...just soak & brush every now and then for excellent results! ::g

Hi, is de-ionised water different to distilled water and if so from where do you buy it?


Thanks Tony
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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Modena »

Devonboy wrote:
Allectus wrote:Personally, I only ever use de-ionised water for cleaning early bronze coins & artefacts...just soak & brush every now and then for excellent results! ::g

Hi, is de-ionised water different to distilled water and if so from where do you buy it?


Thanks Tony
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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Ten pence! »

Allectus wrote:Personally, I only ever use de-ionised water for cleaning early bronze coins & artefacts...just soak & brush every now and then for excellent results! ::g


A ;)
More or less the same here, although if something looks a bit better than grot status I tend to put the item in an ultrasonic cleaner for a minute or so instead of giving it a scrub, the second the dirt is off out it comes.

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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by alloverover »

These were cleaned in olive oil around 20 years ago, I know that for sure because I used to dunk everything in it.
The whole idea of the oil in my opinion was to penetrate any hard and stubborn build up and not to remove patina whilst also leaving a more uniform appearance to the item.
Having said that I very rarely use it now but then I very rarely use anything now apart from mechanical methods, I certainly havent stopped using it because I think its damaging the item though :) :) ::g
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Re: Does Olive oil work? THE TEST.

Post by Addicted to bleeps »

Sorry, Jamie I saw your post as a dig at the old fellas, and I took it the wrong way probably.

Many apologies. rl;

Thanks for the Pics alloverover, they look bloomin fantastic!

So it seems to stand the test of time in the short term then, but as many have pointed out, it could be dodgy a few hundred years down the line. Again, as pointed out - it should only be used with discretion.

Im going to try Allectus' technique with distilled water next :)

I wonder if we Olive oil for a while, and then distilled water after to throughly clean the coin of the residue olive oil that may potentially further damage the coin?

It's all very interesting, and I've learnt a lot so thanks all. ::g ::g ::g

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