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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage  |  Topic: Removing adhered metal from a denarius?? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Noah
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« on: December 05, 2009, 10:36:50 am »

I am in the process of acquiring this denarius.  It used to be mounted as jewelry, and some unknown metal is adhered to the reverse.  Does anyone know what it is likely to be or a way to remove it without damaging the coin?

Best, Noah

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romeo
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2009, 03:32:14 pm »

i maywell be just some solder from when it was set for jewellery. There was a discussion on moneta-l about such things and how to remove it. I will see if i can find it again. I think you can buy a solder removal gun, but i will double check.
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Noah
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2009, 06:23:24 am »

Thanks Romeo!  I was guessing that, but did not make assumptions since I was given no specifics by the dealer (who probably didn't know either and did not want to guess either).  If you fing the link or any other info, please just post it here.

Best, Noah
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romeo
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2009, 12:17:19 pm »

hi, these are some of the comments i was looking for on moneta-l,

You can buy a solder removal suction syringe, heat the coin up till the solder
becomes liquid then just suck it off with the syringe, anything remaining can be
wiped off with a piece off leather/hide cloth like what safety gloves are made
of. Dont forget it going to be hot so be careful.

There is also a material called "solder wick" which is basically a
"braided" copper rope filled with a bit of rosin. It will suck up most
of the solder (even better than the solder sucker) it will leave behind
some of the rosin, and perhaps some of the solder, but depending on the
metal in question, it is possible nothing will get it all off...

Although the solder wick will only suck up solder it can, and perhaps
leave behind some rosin... if you catch that hot rosin/flux with
something tough, Like the leather i saw mentioned (do it outdoors Smiley,
you might get enough of the solder to make it unnoticeable... And when
he said hot... remember, solder melts at around 600 degrees... Your
oven baking a cake is Cold by comparison... needle nose type pliers can
be used to hold the coin... but then again... we are talking about
potential damage again...

If the coin in question can be cleaned with no problem if the "patina"
is removed or altered (Likely so, since is has solder on it) you can get
yourself a propane/butane torch, with the proper head (I like the kind
that produces the little blue pointed inner flame (with the larger blue
flame surrounding it) Heat the coin to red hot... you can let it cool
in air for a couple of minutes (don't be stupid and see if it is cooled
by touching it) or give it a dunk in CLEAN cool/warm (NOT icy cold) water...

After that, use normal cleaning methods... dip, acetone (Nail polish
remover, but PURE acetone is better, no oils and that) Formula 409, soap
and a extra fine toothbrush, etc... You will likely remove a LOT more
solder, but you will have a different looking coin, but given a little
time, it may begin to look proper... also, after cleaning it down to a
shine... a good EVEN heating, not quite to red hot, will "speed up" the
aging process... it won't look perfect, but if done properly, it will
look good.

I hope some of this info helps!
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romeo
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2009, 12:22:08 pm »

i have just re read the info posted, personally for what its worth, i would get a simple small solder gun and reheat it till it softens up again, then wipe it off with a strip of leather before it hardens up again.
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Dino
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2009, 12:57:30 pm »

Noah,

I saw and considered that coin as well.  I got a bit nervous in reading the description which described the coin as a bit "wavy."  That in conjunction with the chips made me fear that it would break if I tried to remove the adhered metal.  As a result, I chickened out.  It's a pretty nice coin even as is.  Be careful and let us know how it turns out.
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Noah
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2009, 04:54:07 pm »

Romeo, thanks so much for going to the trouble of posting all that info for me.  Honestly, I would be very, very nervous heating up the coin to red hot.  I fear it would damage it further...  I could, however, purchase a soldering gun and try to remove it the easy way.  Perhaps it is some other metal altogether. 

Dino, I debated back and forth over whether to get this coin or not, but realized I could never afford such a nice portrait of his without sacrificing something.  In this case, the sacrifice is that the coin has some damage.  The wavy flan and scratches do not bother me.  I doubt it is brittle either, but it is possible it could break.  I hope not!  If I can't remove the foreign metal, I will still be happy with this coin.

I'll let you know how it turns out.  I won't receive this coin until I pay it off in January coming up.

Best, Noah
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SVLLAIMP
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2009, 05:51:35 pm »

Well I wouldn't worry about the silver melting before the solder, if you try to just heat it up until it falls off.  If I remember right, silver does not melt until like 960 degrees Fahrenheit, the solder should come off long before that.
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Jay GT4
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2009, 08:32:14 pm »

Noah I also considered that coin but I didn't have the guts to pull the trigger.  I'm glad you got it.  I'll be following the progress!  Congrats.
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2009, 09:25:54 am »

I could never afford such a nice portrait of his without sacrificing something. 

It's more than just the portrait that's nice.  The reverse is very nice and clear too.
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Noah
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2009, 04:46:45 pm »

Yes, I am happy with it indeed, but will not have it in-hand for another month when I make my final payment to the dealer.  Then I will take a crack at removing the solder.  I know that the silver will sustain the heat better than the solder, but having not done this before, I am still nervous of inadvertently doing something wrong...  Undecided

Best, Noah
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2009, 06:14:34 pm »

Better to use a 'needle nose' soldering iron and NOT a soldering gun (the word 'trigger' alerted me!).  The former is not as hot.  We oldsters when we had to assemble mazes of capacitors and resisters in building an amplifier or pre-amplifier from a kit ALWAYS took the precaution of using the needle-nosed iron.  It also avoids putting heat where you don't want it.  Worth the patience required to melt the solder more slowly.
Pat L.
Let us know how things work for you.  Six years ago I bought the attached from a seller who fancied himself as an artist.  After the coin came, I never looked at another coin of his again or took seriously anything he said or did.  I'm pretty sure it's solder, all right, but would like to get it OUT and know what's inside (presumably base core?).  P.L.
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Noah
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2009, 07:20:43 pm »

Pat, I will probably use the 'needle nose' solder iron since that is all I am familiar with.  I remember my dad using one in the 1980's when he would mess around with his audio equipment (much like yourself) and solder different components while either building or repairing them (what exactly it was I do not know).  I will definitely attempt to remove the metal unless I feel it is something other than solder.  Sorry about your poor experience with that dishonest dealer; I am sure many collectors have experience this at least once... Angry

Best, Noah
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2009, 12:52:41 am »

I'm not sure I would dare to remove that solder Noah, the portrait is so nice I wouldn't give a chance to damage it...

Let us know how it ends though
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Noah
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2009, 12:32:32 pm »

Jean Claude, I sure will let you all know my decision.  I have in my mind to remove it, but once it is in hand, I could have a change of heart... Roll Eyes

Best, Noah
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2009, 02:50:59 pm »

Lead dissolves silver, so be extremely careful!
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Noah
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« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2009, 10:06:48 am »

Lead dissolves silver, so be extremely careful!

There are several reasons I am apprehensive about this task...that being one of them.  I will assess the situation when I get the coin and then make a decision.  After all, the coin is beautiful as is.

Best, Noah
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Noah
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« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2009, 08:40:23 am »

After seeing it and considering all options, I have decided to not tamper with this beauty now.  Maybe, if the mood suits me, I will attempt it some other time, but for now, I will not remove the solder.  Thanks to all of you for your suggestions and apprehensions. 

Best, Noah
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Jay GT4
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« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2010, 01:49:46 pm »

Good call.
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2010, 08:49:33 am »

Quote from: Jay (Titus Pullo) on January 01, 2010, 01:49:46 pm
Good call.

I'd hate to completely wreck a nice coin.  For example, I had a Maximinus  I  "Thrax" denarius with spectacular dark toning.  It really was something, and I loved it, but it had a bit of some mysterious substance on it that I wanted to remove because it covered some of the legends.  I used a cleaner (this was during my second year of collecting, so I did not know that toning was that desirable - I was used to US coins that are prefered nice and shiny) and completely took off the mystery "goop", but also stripped ALL of the toningCry  The denarius still is nice and has good detail; I did not damage the coin, just lost the awesome toning.  Well, now I am hesitant to tamper with things I am unsure of. Below is a Geta denarius of mine that has similar toning to what the Philip I had, and the second coin is the Philip I denarius as it is now.

Best, Noah
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Potator II
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2010, 11:16:23 am »

... and the second coin is the Philip I denarius as it is now.


Ahem,

I think you mean Maximinus I thrax  tongue

Best
JC
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Noah
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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2010, 11:41:50 am »

Crap...I was just reading about Philip I in "Chronicle of the Roman Emperors" by Chris Scarre and then decided to add to this thread.  Now I feel like a moron...completely.  Thanks Jean Claude for correcting my error.  Yes, my Maximinus I "Thrax" denarius was the one I ignorantly stripped of its toning.  I don't even have a Philip I yet!! I was reading of how Philip I had Gordian III dispatched to "other side."  Anyway, how dumb do I feel now!  Still, I feel worse about the botched job that lost my toning on the Maximinus I coin than my mistake here!  Undecided

Best, Noah
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