Cleaning silver and cleaning copper-nickel

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Twit
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Cleaning silver and cleaning copper-nickel

Post by Twit » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:59 pm

I thought I would share these two links with you all.

The first is a quite complete and scientific look at cleaning older silver and silver-copper alloys

https://www.jcms-journal.com/articles/1 ... s.1021204/

The second is a not very scientific look on what to expect cleaning copper-nickel

https://world-collect.com/article/chist ... vikh-monet

(Note whizzing coins and recoating them by electrolysis is quite frowned on by the numismatic community ... in short, unless the patina is very fine, with cupro-nickle you are likely to end up with a slightly more presentable coin but that is obviously cleaned, with a grainy surface, and erroded features... fortunately most copper-nickel is more recent, but usually best to leave as is with just a surface clean for dirt )

Brass, bronze and copper are their own world , the first two particularly awkward . If I find a complete guide to any of those I will add it here.
Last edited by Twit on Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Cleaning silver and cleaning copper-nickel

Post by cookertron » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:11 pm

Thanks for this, I've needed to clean post decimalisation coins before because they go a horrible brown colour.

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Re: Cleaning silver and cleaning copper-nickel

Post by Saki » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:12 am

This is excellent and exactly the detail i was after.
I would rather know the actual reaction chemically or electrolysis wise than " salt, baking soda, lemon juice and tomato sauce in a bucket for 15 mins.. and hope."

Thanks Twit
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Re: Cleaning silver and cleaning copper-nickel

Post by deepdig » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:39 pm

Nice one twit good to know, here is something for every one to try if you want to clean
Brass
Copper
Bronze
Silver etc
It is called safe pickle you can buy it off flee bay have used it on roman grots just to see what they were it takes minuets, cleans bullet cases etc in minuets i mix mine in a slow cook pot you can warm it up or use cold i am still using mine i mixed 4 month ago read the instructions and off you go
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Re: Cleaning silver and cleaning copper-nickel

Post by deepdig » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:00 pm

SORRY SLIGHT CHANGE TO THE ABOVE POST, SAFE PICKLE WAS BOUGHT OFF THE INTERNET NOT FLEE BAY. HH.

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Re: Cleaning silver and cleaning copper-nickel

Post by Twit » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:23 pm

deepdig wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:39 pm
Nice one twit good to know, here is something for every one to try if you want to clean
Brass
Copper
Bronze
Silver etc
It is called safe pickle you can buy it off flee bay have used it on roman grots just to see what they were it takes minuets, cleans bullet cases etc in minuets i mix mine in a slow cook pot you can warm it up or use cold i am still using mine i mixed 4 month ago read the instructions and off you go
Good Criggy to all HH.
Really need the brand name or ingredient. Commercial cleaners work along the lines of the above article but with stronger ingredients , so you can get an idea of what you are doing (but speeded up) if you know what you are applying. That said, copper for example, won't dissolve much at all in a weak acid but might in a stronger one.. it's really up to people to figure out on an individual basis as a ruined item is a ruined item.

The only pickle I know and use is h2o2 mixed with mild acid. Normally the acid does not disolve copper, only copper oxide, so the h2o2 oxidise the copper layer ( say after cleaning, pure copper stains are left on brass etc.) and the acid weakens that.... but as I mentioned somewhere, if you don't watch it carefully it will take out the coin quite quickly too, leaving it very pitted.

::g

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Re: Cleaning silver and cleaning copper-nickel

Post by Fusion » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:11 pm

One chemical method I've been meaning to try out on Cu-Ni coins is ferrous III chloride. Any electronics tinkerer who has tried etching printed circuit boards will know of it. It dissolves copper , but not nickel, so it has a different effect to normal acid etching, which tend to leave the coin surface very copper-rich.
US detectorists sometimes use a product called Nic-A-Date, which is ferrous chloride. It can bring out detail on a worn Cu-Ni coin, as it's etching behaviour varies depending on the work-hardening etc that takes place when a coin is struck. So high / low points get emphasised, apparently.

I don't expect it to work wonders, but it may lessen the copper pink colour that acid soaks (like lemon juice) produce.

Mechanical cleaning, like tumbling and fibreglass pencils will generally result in something near to the original surface colour.

I'm not too bothered about Cu-Ni coins, but I do have a few buttons and military badges that may benefit from such FeCl3 treatment. I'll report back when I find time for some science, I have a bag of ferric chloride handy.

Nic-A-Date:
https://www.amazon.com/Nic-A-Lene-Nic-A ... B002CJ1X4E

Ferric Chloride is available as a strong liquid solution, or as a powder that you make up to the strength you require. There's sellers on eBay, Amazon, you can find them..
Last edited by Fusion on Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cleaning silver and cleaning copper-nickel

Post by Twit » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:17 pm

Thanks Fusion.

I will read up on that.

:)

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Re: Cleaning silver and cleaning copper-nickel

Post by wicki » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:47 am

are ultrasonic bath cleaners or jewelry cleaners any good for this ?

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Re: Cleaning silver and cleaning copper-nickel

Post by Twit » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:37 pm

wicki wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:47 am
are ultrasonic bath cleaners or jewelry cleaners any good for this ?
I have never tried using one , most of what I have read say they don't have much effect ?

I expect they remove "none attached" dirt , maybe someone will say better....

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Re: Cleaning silver and cleaning copper-nickel

Post by Easylife » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:11 pm

wicki wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:47 am
are ultrasonic bath cleaners or jewelry cleaners any good for this ?
Most just remove surface dirt but the industrial ones may do more harm than good.
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