Numismatic and History Discussions > Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage

Is this horn silver? IVLIA PAVLA denarius


Ron C2:
Hi all,

I guess because I collect severan period debased denarii I don't often encounter horn silver and have little experience deciding if an encrustation is horn silver or just old dirt & minerals. From what I have read, copper-alloyed silver is generally much less susceptible to horn silver corrosion.  

This coin has a few pin-point size encrustations that are lead-colored, which I know is the color of horn silver, but I don't usually see photos of it that look this small and isolated to little bits.  I've only had the coin a short while, so it's not like I would see the progression yet.

Just in case, and on the general idea that I will encounter horn silver eventually - after reading up on it I ordered some sodium thiosulphate powder online just in case - won't have it for a week or two though.

Most of it is around the L in IVLIA, but there are very tiny specs of it on both sides of the flan in isolated areas.

Should I do a precautionary sodium thiosulphate bath with a DW soak just in case?

Quote: ". . . so it's not like I would see the progression yet."

Horn silver is not the same as bronze disease.  Bronze disease can eventually destroy a coin, but i think horn silver is fairly stable.

From your picture, it appears the coin is lightly toned. I would not do anything to it that would get rid of that toning.

Ron C2:
I don' think sodium thiosulphate removes toning? But even if it did, silver retones naturally after a few years.


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