Numismatic and History Discussions > Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage

Brass Brush


Are brass brushes a dangerous tool to use on uncleaned bronze coins.  When used in moderation, I've had good results - but I don't have the guts to try one out on some of my better coins.  Any thoughts?


Jerome Holderman:
I use them regularly, the brushes I use have fine soft bristles, and are pretty gentle but still there is definately a learning curve. Some patinas will tolerate moderate scrubbing with little to no visual impact, others will be stripped with the lightest touch. Light blue green patina for example will brush right off with a brass brush, where some nice deep green ones can be scrubbed pretty vigorously without harm. Unfortunately you will probably ruin a few coins in the process of learning what can and what can not take the scrubbing.

Thanks for the advice Jerome, I've just begun to get a feel for the holding strenghts of different patinas.


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