Numismatic and History Discussions > Uncleaned Ancient Coin Discussion

Long term olive oil soak

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Roy W:
Hello, all. I’ve cleaned hundreds of uncleaned ancients back in the day, maybe 25 years ago, with olive oil soaks (it was the thing to do at the time. I’m now retired military, and getting back into it).

I’ve got about 100 soaking in DW (changed daily, brushed every other day), and I agree this is the better method.

My question: is there any additional reasons, other than possible patina darkening, that olive oil shouldn’t be used for long term soaks? For example, if I’m working on the current 100, and get in 200 crusties, what is the conventional wisdom on throwing those 200 crusties in olive oil? More or less “I’ll be busy with these for a few months, so you crusties just chill out over in the olive oil until I can get to you”. Then begin again with the daily DW.

I had already planned to stop any residual acid effects from the olive oil with a baking soda mix after that long initial soak, so that’s not a concern for me.

Thank you for any input!

Lee V:
The only drawbacks beyond those you mentioned would be the messiness of the oil and removing any residual oil from the coins after the fact.

Roy W:
Thank you for the input. That’s about what I was thinking also.

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