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Author Topic: A new ancient coins collector  (Read 1903 times)

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Offline Andrew S

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A new ancient coins collector
« on: November 13, 2017, 05:48:39 am »
Hi everyone,

This is my first post here. I have spent many hours reading the various sections of this forum in the last few months.
I have been collecting coins for many years, although I don't have a big or rare pieces in my collection.
Coins just attract me in a particular way and I don't know exactly why.

However, I've just recently bought a lot of uncleaned coins, nothing special from a numismatic perspective but really important to me. The idea is to protect them for future generations.
At the same time, I am pretty sure that some of these coins can be improved to show more details, but too many doubts at the moment.

For a quick example, I left this coin in a solution with distilled water and baking soda for 3 weeks circa, changing water any 4 days and gently brushing with toothbrush every now and then.
This is the result.


I am not an expert, but it seems that details can be improved.
Now I am wondering if I need to use another solution to soften the surface or to clean it mechanically.

It would be good to have some good advices.

Thanks.


Offline EB

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Re: A new ancient coins collector
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 03:02:25 pm »
Hi Andrew,
Welcome!
I have no experience cleaning coins, but it looks to me from the photo like you are pretty close to the bare metal already. The experts here will be able to offer you a more informed opinion.
Regards,
EB

Offline peterpil19

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Re: A new ancient coins collector
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 06:02:37 pm »
Hi Andrew,

Welcome to the discussion board!

Uncleaned coins is a great way to learn about ancient coins. After cleaning the coins you will be faced with the challenge of attributing them. Fortunately, there are lots of useful tools on this site which can assist you when that time comes.

There are some great posts on this 'Uncleaned Ancient Coins Discussion' board about how to go about cleaning coins. There are examples of coins that have been cleaned too little and too much.

As EB says, your coin looks like it has been pretty much cleaned. If it were my coin I would not clean further.

For bronze coins, the objective is to keep the patina intact. Removing the patina, in most cases, reduces the attractiveness of the coin and thus its value. It also increases the risk of the coin contracting 'bronze disease'.

Below is a coin I cleaned a decade ago. There is still some dirt on it and someone with better skill could probably have cleaned it further, but I decided it was clean enough.

Peter



Offline Andrew S

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Re: A new ancient coins collector
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 07:59:00 am »
It's hard to understand, for a newbie, when cleaning is enough. Pretty hilarious.

Looking at your coin, Peter, you have been able to clean it properly, we can clearly see the details. Maybe, because the conditions were better than this one I posted.

Your advices will help me with other coins I need to clean, some with malachite and some with BD. Now I know when it's time to stop and with more experience it will get better.

Being honest, this coin is already inside a 2x2 cardboard.

What do you think about treating this coin with acetone, heat and Paraloid B72, before to cover it with microcrystalline wax?
Is this a good way to preserve the coin for a long time?

Thank you!


Offline peterpil19

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Re: A new ancient coins collector
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2017, 07:38:13 am »
Hi,

I recommend you spend some time looking at cleaned coins. As a start, spend some time looking through FORVM's coin shop for example. You will start developing an idea of what a cleaned coin should look like.

You can also post your coins mid-cleaning on this board and seek advice.

I am not familiar with the treatment with acetone that you refer to.
I do not recall ever needing to treat coins in this way after cleaning them.

I remember using renaissance wax many years ago until I read that it can trap moisture in with the coin (not good for bronze disease). I don't know whether there is much truth to that or not but I stopped using it anyway. I have not had any problems with my bronze coins since.

Peter

Offline Andrew S

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Re: A new ancient coins collector
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2017, 09:34:10 am »
Hi Peter,

Indeed; I will continue to explore the Forvm. I have already seen many, many pages.
The acetone, as far as I have read, should be useful to remove any oil on the coin, right before heating it, the same way as the paraloid can create the needed coating. Doing this way, the wax will not be directly in contact with patina.

All of this, of course, is what I am reading these days with no chemical knowledge.
I have to consider that I live in a place where the sun hits at +43° C during summer and humidty is always above 60%, with cold winter.
Silica gel is actually my only weapon, but a bronze Constantine Follis, my first ancient coin, already lost the original look because of malachite in 3 years.



 

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