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Author Topic: Do you wax ?  (Read 5454 times)

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Offline Dominic T

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Do you wax ?
« on: November 13, 2018, 07:36:49 pm »
Hello. I would like to take the pulse of different members about waxing our coins. I’m ambivalent on the question if I should proceed with my bronzes or not. Just not sure I really like the « wet look » and also wondering if I must do it for the conservation of these ancient treasures.  So what do you think, specially you, experienced collectors ? Thanks for your precious opinion.
DT

Offline stevex6

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2018, 01:04:21 am »
Nope ... and I'm mad at the few coins that I've purchased that have been waxed (I'm not a fan of that fake look)

=> I like my coins the same way that I like my women woman => honest, beautiful and with zero makeup

 ;)


Offline otlichnik

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2018, 06:19:57 pm »
I wax some bronze coins.  Only with Renn wax.

Sometimes it is to preserve poor patinas/surfaces.  Sometimes for the look.  It can also help keep out moisture - so as long as there is not already an issue within the coin metal itself it can help with preservation.

I find that Renn wax does not usually make coins look too shiny.  Not if used sparingly. 

SC
SC
(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Offline n.igma

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2018, 07:39:05 pm »
Plenty of waxing discussion here ... https://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=61212.0

including the following gem ...
All historical inquiry is contingent and provisional, and our own prejudices will in due course come under scrutiny by our successors.

Offline Dominic T

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2018, 09:43:21 pm »
Thanks for the link....🤣
DT

Offline Lee S

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2018, 06:09:01 pm »
I wax almost all my bronzes... I find it brings out detail, keeps any risk of damage from moisture at bay, and to be honest, I just like the look...
   Should any future custodians of my coins disagree, a wipe with nail varnish remover on a tissue, and it's gone... No harm done...

Offline Bill W4

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2018, 07:00:01 pm »
I do too with my bronzes after drying.  I also like the look and anyone after me can wipe it off no troubles.
I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member!

Offline Meepzorp

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2018, 06:11:06 pm »
Hi folks,

I use Renaissance wax on coins that I previously treated for bronze disease. But that is the only situation I have used it in the past. Regarding 98-99% of my bronze coins, I leave them alone.

Meepzorp

Offline Ken W2

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2020, 06:10:18 pm »
Hello:  Yes, I wax bronze coins with Ren wax- three very thin coats.  I like the look and agree it helps bring out detail sometimes.  I also like the idea of protecting the coin during handling and from moisture.

To the point about not locking in moisture, in the past I have heated coins to above 212 for a short period to drive out any water, then waxed immediately after they cooled down.  However, from my experience with Civil War brass artifacts I learned about solvent dehydration.  Water is completely miscible in many alcohols--methanol, ethanol and isopropanol etc.  I use 91% isopropanol you can buy in a pharmacy (or can when this virus thing is over).  If you soak a group of coins in alcohol any water in the coins will become completely dissolved in the alcohol, meaning there will be very little water in the coins when removed from the alcohol bath after a few days.  Alcohol evaporates quickly and with a little help from a blow dryer or space heater you can drive out that alcohol quickly, then wax. By avoiding the oven I eliminate the risk of changing the appearance--sometimes darkening-- of the coins.

I can attest that Ren wax is easily removable-- I have removed it from two groups of coins to clean them a little more.  A short soak in mineral spirits, wet brushing with a tooth brush, and then a rinse in clean mineral spirits does the trick. My point is, Ren wax is not permanent; its completely undoable. 

Also, I use Briwax on restored iron and brass Civil War artifacts.  It's a high quality wax and much less expensive than Ren wax.  I've never used it on coins though, and because the coins are so small the cost of Ren wax is not that much of an issue.  On a large number of large Civil War artifacts Ren wax would get very expensive.  The Briwax does a good job.  See attached photos of Union breast plate and Confederate 6 pound cannon ball.

Ken           

Offline Retrospectator

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2020, 02:17:22 pm »
I do not wax my bronzes; for me less is more.
I am something of an Inglese Italianato.

Offline Anaximander

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2021, 08:18:14 am »
n.igma shared a link to another waxing thread below, and one post grabbed my attention in particular:

Quote from: Daniel Stewart on November 16, 2010, 10:46:54 pm
When a surface has microscopic irregularities it tends to scatter light that falls on it. The result is a matte appearance and the apparent colour of the surface will be whiter, less saturated, more pastel because the scattered full spectrum (white) light is reaching your eye along with more limited spectrum (coloured) light reflecting off the surface . If that surface is coated with some transparent layer, the scattering effect is much lessened and the surface colour appears deeper or more saturated because it is not mixed with white light. This is why painters often varnish their work--it enhances the colours--and this is why a coin often looks much better when it is wet (or waxed).

Although waxing is adding a foreign substance to the coin and changing the feel of it, nothing is added to the appearance that wasn't there before. Actually, something is being taken away--the scattered white light. In that sense the practise is like cleaning(!). And, as many have said, it is easily reversed anyway.

Dan

I've heard how waxing can improve a "dry" bronze coin, and how it can protect one. 

Having gone through the treatment of coins for bronze disease (using the technique shown in the Forum's Numiswiki), I know that it's a far better idea to defend against such corrosion rather than treat it.  Now I use silica gel packs (periodically refreshed) and, when needed, waxing using Renaissance Wax.  I don't wax often, just when it seems warranted.  I'll never get remotely close to using up my small, 65 ml, tub of RenWax.
Chris “Anaximander” Thomsen. Member Since 2019.
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Online Ron C2

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2021, 09:27:33 pm »
I ren wax LRBs, especially if I cleaned them from uncleaned lots.  Too many times I've seen BD start with stored and un-waxed bronze coins that spent a lot of time in the ground.
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Offline Ken W2

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2021, 12:24:03 am »

Hey Ron. Your point about protecting from bd has been one of the main reasons I have waxed my LRBs to date. I also like that it enhances design details. I just attributed 20 LRBs (about 1/4th of my pandemic cleaning production), but I’m considering not waxing these. The natural matte finish is appealing to me and waxing enhances the coins flaws as well as design details. But I live in the SE US and I worry about humidity, especially in power outages from hurricanes and how that moisture would be trapped in flips with the coins. It’s a hard call— the more natural look and showing fewer flaws vs. protection by waxing.
Ken

Online Ron C2

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2021, 08:34:09 am »
Honestly, you can take it all off with hardware store light fluid. Totally reversible, so I don't sweat it much.
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R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Virgil H

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2021, 09:30:31 pm »
Just seeing this thread and I am happy that you can take the wax off easily. I was looking at an auction yesterday and there were a few coins I was interested in, but I am almost sure they are waxed. They look "good" on one level, but horrible on another. Not natural looking at all although detail is more evident. If those coins weren't waxed, I have never seen anything natural like it. Problem is, I have no idea what they will look like if I strip the wax, so I passed. Pretty sure they were waxed to increase eye appeal and value. If so, it backfired on me. I just don't get it. Isn't this the same as a fake patina? If not, what is the difference? I would expect that a seller should disclose the use of wax just as they should disclose a modern patina or tooling. Or am I being too critical here? Personally, I don't want any coins with wax, fake patina, tooling or being fake.

Virgil

Offline lawrence c

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2021, 10:17:00 pm »
As noted already, waxing can be quite useful in high humidity environments. I've found that if I don't wax -- I live in Western New York, and our summers can be quite humid -- my coins are much more likely to suffer from bronze disease. If used reasonably judiciously, I really can't say that I see a huge amount of difference in the look or feel of the coin.

Online Ron C2

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2021, 07:15:35 am »
Just seeing this thread and I am happy that you can take the wax off easily. I was looking at an auction yesterday and there were a few coins I was interested in, but I am almost sure they are waxed. They look "good" on one level, but horrible on another. Not natural looking at all although detail is more evident. If those coins weren't waxed, I have never seen anything natural like it. Problem is, I have no idea what they will look like if I strip the wax, so I passed. Pretty sure they were waxed to increase eye appeal and value. If so, it backfired on me. I just don't get it. Isn't this the same as a fake patina? If not, what is the difference? I would expect that a seller should disclose the use of wax just as they should disclose a modern patina or tooling. Or am I being too critical here? Personally, I don't want any coins with wax, fake patina, tooling or being fake.

Virgil

If you like a coin and it is waxed, that would not sway me from buying it, it is easily removed - which is why museums almost universally use Ren wax.
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Offline otlichnik

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2021, 07:39:36 am »
If a good product like Ren Wax (Renaissance Wax) is applied properly you should hardly notice.  You might notice it is a bit shinier in a before and after photo but that is about it.

If you see clear signs of wax it is likely something else and may be worrying.  It could just be a poor job with a cheap wax - there are even cases of beeswax being used - or it could be signs of an entirely fake patina.

SC
SC
(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Offline Virgil H

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Re: Do you wax ?
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2021, 10:15:43 pm »
I think what moved me to post was seeing some coins in an auction that were on the one hand, quite beautiful, and on the other, totally unnatural looking, including the shine and reddish tint. The unnatural look put me off. If the wax helps with bronze disease and is close to transparent, I would be OK with it.
Virgil

 

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