Numismatic and History Discussions > Uncleaned Ancient Coin Discussion

paper T on bronze

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and am divulging one of my better finds over the many years of crafting my approach

wet paper towel > often better than toothbrush with reduced bristles

especially with oily residue that is problematic and difficult to contain, at later stages of clean up of bronze or copper and... orichalm


or try in your bag or tricks and report at a later date

- long term soaker w primary approach being distilled water and 'scrubbing'

Virgil H:
Haven't tried this specifically, but I have found that wet cleaning is far more effective than dry, regardless of what I use (brush, towel, etc) than dry. I am not super experienced and haven't done a lot, but I have completely stopped drying coins off after soaking and now keep them wet at all times. The wetness also brings out details when looking with a magnifying glass or microscope. Note that I soak in distilled water for weeks and months as I progress.


yeah you might be on to something

have not seen this mentioned before so I thought I'd throw it out there for debate

I am surprised nobody other than you chimed in

this is a tough crowd.....cannot fully understand those diamond dusted high or speed dudes... but oh well...haven't seen any slabbed coins or auction lots mention it....seems to me like fabric is far less abrasive....

this is a solid tool in my conservation tool kit

you might even try a q-tip on the details....I mean it's somewhat acceptable on silver so....

one of these days / years ...I will post some pics... before / after

Jay GT4:
I think a lot of people have given up on uncleaned coins.  The quality has declined drastically.  I haven't purchased uncleaned coins in over 15 years.  But I agree, wet cleaning always worked better for me.

Wet always worked well for the initial stuff and the easy stuff.

However, the frustrating fact is that all the DW soaking and soft brushing (or paper toweling) in the world will not clean everything off many, many of the uncleaned coins we face.

I think that this is one reason many people eventually give up on uncleaned coins or resort earlier and earlier to chemical treatments.

The scalpels and dd-picks/files are the only non-chemical way to treat the really hard stuff and they require investment, time and skill.

But believe me, if the DW soaks and "soft physical" fail to yield process after a couple of months it is 99% certain they won't do anything more and you need to employ something harder.

PS The process can be cyclical at times.  In other words, sometimes the "hard physical" approach - like scalpel or dddp - removes a small layer and then what is under responds to DW and softer approaches - other times there is only har stuff there.



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