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Author Topic: Making the bronze coins shine.  (Read 1765 times)

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Offline Dmitriy B

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Making the bronze coins shine.
« on: May 12, 2019, 06:39:53 pm »
Hello guys,

Please excuse if this has been covered before but I couldn’t pull anything up in search.

I recently got into Roman coin cleaning/collecting (buying “uncleaned coins” and cleaning them up). The typical process so far is; distilled water soak, a gentle rub down with acetone, more distilled water soaking, diamond dusted fine tip trolls for removing the dirt, complete drying and application go Renaissance Wax. The issue I have is, when the final product dries, and the Wax settles in the bronze coin becomes very dull. Is there a way, for display purposes, to give coins a little shine? (I know one restoration expert mentioned using a silver polishing cloth, which I haven’t tried yet). Any tips or suggestions?

Thank you in advance!

Offline JBF

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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2019, 07:17:59 pm »
Usually a layer of patina is preferred for bronze coins (oxidization).
1 A good patina "looks good."
2 An authentic (looking) patina helps reassure collectors that the coin is authentic.
3 A patina (oxidization layer) protects the coin.

Wanting to have bronze coin shine like a new copper penny (1 cent), is going to put the experienced collector on edge.
To an experienced collector it doesn't look "real."  They just don't come that way unless someone has aggressively removed the patina, or if there never was a patina on it in the first place (because it is a modern forgery).  Generally the attitude is to do no harm.  Part of the way you know a coin is authentic, is that it has an authentic patination.  But I don't think even that is a guarantee.

It is possible to craft attractive patinas for bronze coins that due to cleaning, need to be repatinated.  But, it is an art and not something to be dabbled with.  A bad patina job probably looks worse than no patina at all.  If there is a patina job for a coin, the observer has to ask themselves if it was an attempt to cover up a forgery, or is it just a bad patina job?

Offline Jay GT4

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Re: Making the bronze coins shine.
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2019, 07:23:04 pm »
I don't think he wants it to look like a new penny.  I understand that after cleaning and waxing, coins tend to look dull.  A lot has to do with the condition of the patina that is there.  Each coin is different.  Try buffing the wax with a soft cloth, sometimes that helps.

Offline Dmitriy B

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Re: Making the bronze coins shine.
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2019, 08:19:46 pm »
I don't think he wants it to look like a new penny.  I understand that after cleaning and waxing, coins tend to look dull.  A lot has to do with the condition of the patina that is there.  Each coin is different.  Try buffing the wax with a soft cloth, sometimes that helps.

That’s precisely it! I’m not looking to remove patina, or make them shine like new bronze. I’m just looking to give the nice patina a shine. (I’ll try the cloth method, thank you).

Offline PMah

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Re: Making the bronze coins shine.
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2019, 10:50:43 pm »
"Don't Mess with It." 

Over-cleaning, over-waxing, over-brushing  -- are all negative.

Today, I saw an over-manipulated coin sell for 50% more than I thought a reasonable collector would bid.  I cannot say the person "over-paid"  .  It was a higher end coin and perhaps the buyer was a  zillionaire.  Perhaps not even a zillionaire,  but a person for whom "$1000" difference is meaningless.

But, I do think the manipulation of the coin affected the price.   I personally think collectors should push back against manipulated coins by letting them pass.  But I know almost no ancient coins are in the same condition as found. 

So, I personally try to not buy manipulated  common ancients.
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Offline otlichnik

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Re: Making the bronze coins shine.
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2019, 05:31:22 pm »
Renn wax does lose its shine over time, but a quick buff-up restores it - for a while. 

Any microfibre cloth is fine - including silver polishing cloths.

If you are dealing with bronze coins instead of silver then you don't even need it to be microfibre.  Any soft fabric will do.

I have even buffed-up the wax on bronze coins with a felt wheel on a dremal tool - you use light touch and fairly slow RPM.  Works well if you are buffing up many coins.

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(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Offline Dmitriy B

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Re: Making the bronze coins shine.
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2019, 08:13:05 pm »
Thank you guys for very useful information!

 

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