Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

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thefiggis
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Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by thefiggis » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:18 pm

What ho,

If, like me, you find more cruddy coins than good, there's a way to squeeze a bit more info out of them. The two coins below were virtually featureless, though a hint of a bust was visible in certain lights. I had them down as a halfpenny and farthing of George II as I could just make out the busts facing left.

Wondering if there was more detail to be gleaned, after soaking them in soapy water I subjected both to a bit of zappage but there was no real improvement. Then I remembered having some wire wool on the van and thought, why not? They're completely valueless and there was nothing to lose, so I gave them a good buffing and the results are below.

The halfpenny was indeed a George II but the farthing turned out to be Charles II, so it was certainly worth doing just to get a truer picture of what I was finding. It's a shame I don't have a "before" shot, but I only did this on a whim.

Disclaimer: this is NOT recommended for coins of value but only for worthless, knackered auld nags. It destroys all patina but might help with an ID if you're stuck.

Pip pip.
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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by leslie(nova scotia) » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:31 pm

Yes it is sad the way some coins come out. I try baking soda with vinegar...works a little!

Keep on a digging!

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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Lowland » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:31 pm

Awesome
Next step repatinate them.
Not googled it but I bet it’s doable
::g
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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by looksold » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:42 pm

i do the same sometimes on knackered coins, normally with fibreglass pen. sometimes lemon juice but the juice seems to destroy them.
i was surprised how many of my georgians were actually williams!!!

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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Twit » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:54 pm

I just bought a dremel like kit 8-|

Not for what I find ... there is only me between it and everything I have found so far though sw;

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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Batman » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:08 pm

Getting a better ID on worthless coins can help you with the context and dating of a particular site. A site becomes a lot more interesting and motivational if items with more age are being found, so that little bit of extra cleaning can be very worthwhile to establish a proper ID. ::g

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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Phil2401 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:34 pm

Lowland wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:31 pm
Awesome
Next step repatinate them.
Not googled it but I bet it’s doable
::g
Since I've got nothing better to do, have just used the Dremel soft brass brush on a cruddy George V penny, which is now shiny - and am experimenting with the fish n chips method - just a salt and vinegar solution - give me a couple of hours and I'll report whether the penny is destroyed or looks its age :)

p.s. I have Googled - all sorts of weird and wonderful / dangerous chemical concoctions...

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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Phil2401 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:19 pm

Twit wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:54 pm
I just bought a dremel like kit 8-|

Not for what I find ... there is only me between it and everything I have found so far though sw;
I also bought a Dremel - no I'm lying - it is the Wickes version - not because it's useful in everyday life but because I've always wanted one. An opportunity has now arisen to use it - probably to no avail.

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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by thefiggis » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:26 pm

Absolutely agree with Batman in the context/dating side of things. Until now this particular permission has only given up one Charles II (a bawbee) which may have been there by some sort of fluke but now I've got a definite second coin that goes towards cementing occupation during that time period.

Lesson learned though - anything with the slightest detail is going to get a right larraping. Aside from the info it might give, I actually quite like the new 'patina'. Mark you, I'm not sure I could bring myself to lobbing something mechanical like a Dremel at it. Seems somehow sacrilegeous, even if it is knackered.
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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Twit » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:26 pm

Phil2401 wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:19 pm
Twit wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:54 pm
I just bought a dremel like kit 8-|

Not for what I find ... there is only me between it and everything I have found so far though sw;
I also bought a Dremel - no I'm lying - it is the Wickes version - not because it's useful in everyday life but because I've always wanted one. An opportunity has now arisen to use it - probably to no avail.

Phil
I must confess ,':( ... I used the dremel on a rusty recent coin ( no emoticon for someone cowering) .

There is a rubber emery disc... the coin looks different now :{ . As I don't appreciate machine worked items of any kind particularly , much prefer hand worked, the machine is banished except for relatively junk pieces ... now back to my workplace

https://specialistworkclothing.files.wo ... -steel.jpg
Last edited by Twit on Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Phil2401 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:39 pm

Phil2401 wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:34 pm
Lowland wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:31 pm
Awesome
Next step repatinate them.
Not googled it but I bet it’s doable
::g
Since I've got nothing better to do, have just used the Dremel soft brass brush on a cruddy George V penny, which is now shiny - and am experimenting with the fish n chips method - just a salt and vinegar solution - give me a couple of hours and I'll report whether the penny is destroyed or looks its age :)

p.s. I have Googled - all sorts of weird and wonderful / dangerous chemical concoctions...

Phil
OK nearly 2 hours on, my advice is (as if you didn't know) - don't. I now have a copper disc with very little discernible detail - will leave well alone in future :)

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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by thefiggis » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:48 am

Yes, I've heard that acids such as vinegar and lemon can scoff your coin so tend to give them a wide berth. The only acid I use is ascorbic (vitamin C) which is very mild.

Thanks for letting us know, Phil.
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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by smudge.g » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:22 am

I have used very fine grade (000) wire wool for years, its very delicate and simply removes dirt/tarnish without damaged the find. I use it on most of my copper finds (especially good on military buttons) but never on silver/gold. HH.
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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Lowland » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:01 am

Phil2401 wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:39 pm
Phil2401 wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:34 pm
Lowland wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:31 pm
Awesome
Next step repatinate them.
Not googled it but I bet it’s doable
::g
Since I've got nothing better to do, have just used the Dremel soft brass brush on a cruddy George V penny, which is now shiny - and am experimenting with the fish n chips method - just a salt and vinegar solution - give me a couple of hours and I'll report whether the penny is destroyed or looks its age :)

p.s. I have Googled - all sorts of weird and wonderful / dangerous chemical concoctions...

Phil
OK nearly 2 hours on, my advice is (as if you didn't know) - don't. I now have a copper disc with very little discernible detail - will leave well alone in future :)

Phil
:)) that’s good to know :))
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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Easylife » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:45 pm

Twit wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:54 pm
I just bought a dremel like kit 8-|

Not for what I find ... there is only me between it and everything I have found so far though sw;
Angle grinder next? :)) :))
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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Twit » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:09 pm

Easylife wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:45 pm
Twit wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:54 pm
I just bought a dremel like kit 8-|

Not for what I find ... there is only me between it and everything I have found so far though sw;
Angle grinder next? :)) :))
Only for very large coins :D .

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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Twit » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:27 pm

thefiggis wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:48 am
Yes, I've heard that acids such as vinegar and lemon can scoff your coin so tend to give them a wide berth. The only acid I use is ascorbic (vitamin C) which is very mild.

Thanks for letting us know, Phil.
Vinegar and salt is very active, not a good idea.
Vinegar or citric won't dissolve copper, silver or gold ( unless activated by adding other compounds) just the oxides, so if used carefully they are ok to strip a very crusty coin with brushing. Those two however do dissolve zinc and to a degree tin, so they are not really for brass unless a junk coin or used carefully. Mechanical cleaning is too tedious to do properly for what some coins are worth is all, steel wool seems like a good compromise, some times the junk patina is very hard though. Electrolysis has a place too, using bicarbonate. Ammonia is not a good idea unless you read about it.

In short the best is to leave coins alone, or if intent on cleaning one go by the least destructive method
possible that will bring a great/decent/fair result according to time/why you choose to clean the coin, avoiding the stronger formulas and heavy mechanical cleaning.

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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Phil2401 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:20 pm

Twit wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:27 pm
thefiggis wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:48 am
Yes, I've heard that acids such as vinegar and lemon can scoff your coin so tend to give them a wide berth. The only acid I use is ascorbic (vitamin C) which is very mild.

Thanks for letting us know, Phil.
Vinegar and salt is very active, not a good idea.
Vinegar or citric won't dissolve copper, silver or gold ( unless activated by adding other compounds) just the oxides, so if used carefully they are ok to strip a very crusty coin with brushing. Those two however do dissolve zinc and to a degree tin, so they are not really for brass unless a junk coin or used carefully. Mechanical cleaning is too tedious to do properly for what some coins are worth is all, steel wool seems like a good compromise, some times the junk patina is very hard though. Electrolysis has a place too, using bicarbonate. Ammonia is not a good idea unless you read about it.

In short the best is to leave coins alone, or if intent on cleaning one go by the least destructive method
possible that will bring a great/decent/fair result according to time/why you choose to clean the coin, avoiding the stronger formulas and heavy mechanical cleaning.
Think that covers it:)

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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by detectorman5050 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:10 pm

I tried this 'trick' on a crusty 1865 penny. Didn't rub it too much, and I'm afraid that it rubbed most of the Queen's face off.

The crusty bits took pieces of the coin with them I am afraid.
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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Koala » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:22 am

Caustic soda works well on copper and bronze. Does turn them black though :(

Safe on you coins. But not your fingers or aluminium as it dissolves both.

Wire wool or fibre pen afterwards.


But if its a blank disc it will always be s blank disk.


Although it is possible to grind and mirror polish then acid etch to reveal some detail its still a toasted coin.

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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by thefiggis » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:45 am

detectorman5050 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:10 pm
I tried this 'trick' on a crusty 1865 penny. Didn't rub it too much, and I'm afraid that it rubbed most of the Queen's face off.

The crusty bits took pieces of the coin with them I am afraid.
Sorry to hear that, chap, but if that coin started falling apart it sounds like it was on its last knockings. What kit did you use for electrolysis and how long did you do it for? I use a 5v phone charger and give the coins a minute's zappage at a time.
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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by Ladybird66 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:33 am

I agree with thefiggis. If in it’s found condition, there’s absolutely no hope, then I pull out the stops and go for it. So far I’ve had 3 good out-comes.

1. Black blob off the beach. Result, Bull head sixpence.
2. Green blob from a Rally. “. Bronze Age unit.
3. Black blob from a field. “. 1st cent. Roman Bronze.

None of the above would have passed an interest test by a collector but to me they were complete surprises and very satisfying results.
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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by detectorman5050 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:21 am

thefiggis wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:45 am
detectorman5050 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:10 pm
I tried this 'trick' on a crusty 1865 penny. Didn't rub it too much, and I'm afraid that it rubbed most of the Queen's face off.

The crusty bits took pieces of the coin with them I am afraid.
Sorry to hear that, chap, but if that coin started falling apart it sounds like it was on its last knockings. What kit did you use for electrolysis and how long did you do it for? I use a 5v phone charger and give the coins a minute's zappage at a time.

No problem, I have got too many of the old pennies anyway. Plus, it's always interesting to try out new ideas. I have to point out that I didn't 'zap it.'


Just tried the wire wool bit.
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Re: Getting a bit extra out of toasted coins

Post by thefiggis » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:43 am

detectorman5050 wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:21 am
I have to point out that I didn't 'zap it.'


Just tried the wire wool bit.
Good lord. That really was on its last legs.
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