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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Uncleaned Ancient Coin Discussion  |  Topic: how to remove wax? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: how to remove wax?  (Read 294 times)
B-Chicago
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« on: December 26, 2019, 08:24:59 pm »

apologies if this topic has been raised before - I was unable to locate a discussion on it

I have recently received a half dozen or so coins that are coated in wax and I would like to remove it

I am unsure what kind of wax it is

please advise

thank you

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TenthGen
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2019, 04:20:18 pm »

Any chance it is renaissance wax? Often Ren Wax is added to help bring out the features of coins. Removing it may not actually be the best thing to do. That said, I've heard hot water and soap +/- alcohol might work.
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otlichnik
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2019, 09:15:39 am »

Ren wax will dry to a whitish residue.  Ren wax will buff up, even if it is old.  Rubbing the coin fairly hard with a fine cloth will make the wax transparent and the coin shine.

In some places in Europe they actually put, or used to put, beeswax on coins.  That dries to a yellow-beige residue and will smell of beeswax if warmed.

There are many other possibilities that people may have done like furniture wax.

What kind of coin is it?

Usually pure acetone (not nail polish remover as it has lots of additives with the acetone) will remove it but read up other threads on safety and use.

You can also try warming the coin to see if the wax melts a bit and can be rubbed off with a cloth.

SC
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SC
(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)
B-Chicago
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2020, 09:44:11 pm »

thanks for the input


for some odd reason I have come across several coins from different sellers that are coated with something?...after never having this issue before

I thought it was wax at first but am not so sure at the moment

I buy coins that I think I can improve and whatever was put on them was put on over things I would remove - yes they may have looked nice for presentation at one point but I think I can do better - 1st clue was they didn't stay wet very long

some of them seem to be coated in lacquer, ugh but still worth taking a crack at - this is more problematic than wax - it seems to be very old

I am surely concerned about using things that aren't so nice on those (or to me)  and will keep that in mind as I try other approaches before breaking down and trying paint thinner or nail polish remover or .....?

I did try hot water w soap and then rubbing alcohol on the couple of coins that I think have renwax on them - didn't budge

I might try boiling in a separate pot for problematic coins like these

if they work out I will post pics but who knows when that might be

 






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n.igma
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2020, 10:42:23 pm »

In the past I have come across some coins with bronze disease that were apparently dried by light heating and then coated with lacquer or wax to seal the surfaces from humidity and prevent the recurrence of bronze disease. Best you know what your dealing with before trying to remove the coating.
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otlichnik
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2020, 04:01:23 pm »

Yes, BTA (benotriazole), used for BD treatment/sealing, can leave a lacquer-like residue.  Though it is usually fairly thin and can even be a bit yellowy.

Rubbing alcohol won't do anything but evaporate....

Acetone should work but don't use paint thinner or nail-polish remover.  Get a small vial of acetone from drugstore.

SC
 
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SC
(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)
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