Numismatic and History Discussions > Uncleaned Ancient Coin Discussion

How to Clean Silvered (not Silver) Coins

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Joe Sermarini:
Discuss methods for cleaning silvered coins (that is silver plated or coated coins) here.  If you have questions about a specific coin, please start a new topic.  

Mayadigger:
Ave!

OK, it's about time I chimed in to this thread.

Silvered issues comes in all sorts of condition...from already shiny to dark black to encrusted, etc.

In the case of the coin seen below, it appears to be a hopeless mess, eh? Not so.
As seen in the first photo, we can see just a bit of silvering beneath the encrustations. That is a good sign. Looking deeper, we see that the basic portrait and legends appear to be firm and intact. Even better. Now, use a dental pick to gently probe the surfaces, a scrape here and there to to be sure that the silvering is firm, rather than flakey or brittle. In this case, the silvering was firm and intact.

After I established the above condition, I was ready to clean the coin. Short soaks in lemon juice (2-3 minutes) helped to soften the green encrustations. After each short soak I applied a Diamond-dusted Dental Pick #1, my favorite tool, to gently remove the softened encrustations, then a very quick and gentle brush with a soft-bristle Dremel brass brush under running water. Half-way done as seen below.

I continued to repeat the above process, but now using a Diamond-dusted Dental Pick #2 to clean between the legends and for the final detail work. A last brush with the soft-bristle brass brush and the final result is as seen below.

I was very lucky with this one. The entire process took less than two hours.

As time allows, I'll further thoughts/methods to this thread.

Your opinions?

K

kerux:

--- Quote from: Mayadigger on January 31, 2005, 08:26:51 pm ---Ave!

a very quick and gentle brush with a soft-bristle Dremel brass brush under running water.


--- End quote ---

Doesn't the dremel brush leave scratches on the silver surface?

Joe W.

Mayadigger:
Ave!


--- Quote from: kerux on July 25, 2005, 12:50:29 pm ---
--- Quote from: Mayadigger on January 31, 2005, 08:26:51 pm ---Ave!

a very quick and gentle brush with a soft-bristle Dremel brass brush under running water.


--- End quote ---

Doesn't the dremel brush leave scratches on the silver surface?

Joe W.



--- End quote ---

Not, not really... This brush has very soft bristles. As long as you remember too barely touch the coin's surface, you should be okay.

K

Robert T2:
Hi All, thought I might chime in on this thread with some experience I've had cleaning a silvered radiate antoninianus received in a recent uncleaned batch. Not that I had any inkling it was silvered as it had moderate to heavy blue green corrosion present all over with no sign of silver. Initially when the silvered parts appeared I had thought it was fragmentary as there were large patches of brown... however, I've found these brown patches (which underlay the green) also lie on top of the silver and that the silvering appears at least 90% intact. Since the silvering was detected I've progressed by dabbing the corrosion and brown patches with lemon juice on a cotton bud and scraping with a toothpick or gental picking with dental pick. Anyway, just an observation to add that green on a silvered coin, even total coverage, doesn't necessatilly mean the silver is lost. I'll post a pic when done.

cheers,

Rob

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