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Restoring 500 Buffalo Nickels with Nic-a-date

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paland
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United States
34 Posts
 Posted 08/27/2007  02:19 am Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add paland to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

I have been trying nic-a-date lately. Last week, I bought 500 no-date Buffalo nickels off of eBay. I spent Friday night dividing them between Plain, D, S, Type 1 and bad mint mark. I have a 2.5 times magnifying glass and a 10x jewelers eye piece.

Well, last night I went through the type 1, S and D,s. About 100 total. I got a date off of all but 7. Those were just too damaged from scratches in the date area to get anything off of them. I found a total of 13 type 1 nickels. I had to nic-a-date some of the mint marks too. I found 10 plain, 2 D's and One I just can't tell. The back mound was rubbed pretty smooth. I can see a lump after the acid, but I can't tell what the lump is.

I found a 1914 D, two 1915 S's, Four 1916 D's, Two 1917 S, and a 1921 S. I also found 5 1918 D's with one of them possibly being a 1918/7 D. I'm still trying to find out if there were other anomalies about this coin that can help me verify it. I found that they used a new die in 1917 in Denver that centered the D, which was when the 1918 die was actually made, but I still can't tell for sure whether I can use this as a guide. I will do some more research. To me, this is the kind of thing that I find entertaining.

Now I have the 400 plains or really worn coins left. The really worn coins are the most challenging but also have the most potential for a 1913 type 2 (I took all the type 1's out since they are so obvious to find.)

What I have found so far is that the vast majority of the worn coins I have are from the years 1916, 1917, 1918 and 1919. I am looking for a 1916 doubled die but I'm not sure that the nic-a-date would be able to bring that out. There were a few coins from the 1920's but none from the 30's yet.

I do realize that most of these coins are worthless, but I have had a fun time doing this. I have also learned a bit about this Buffalo nickel and which coins are the most worn. I spent $130 on the 500 Nickels, the bottle of Nic-a-date, the 15 plastic rolls, and the 200 2x2 slabs, and a new stapler made just for this. For me, that was a pretty cheap price to pay for 15-40 hours of fun. And yes, I do find that getting these dates and finding what nickels are in this bunch a whole lot of fun. When I am finally finished, I will make a spreadsheet of all the coins that I purchased and the distribution of these coins. That day will still be several weeks off since I can only work on these on the weekends. I'll let you all know what I find out when I am done.

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668 Posts
 Posted 08/27/2007  02:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add zacharycash to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What is nic a date?
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United States
34 Posts
 Posted 08/27/2007  02:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add paland to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nic-a-date is a small bottle of ferric-Chloride that eats part of the metal on a nickel. By putting a drop of this on the date, area, waiting about 60 seconds, then washing it off with water, you can see the date on most nickels. You can buy it at many coin shops or get it on eBay for a total of $8.
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14452 Posts
 Posted 08/27/2007  08:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bryan1315 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
the reason nic-a-date works is because the area around the date or any details of a coin is softer than the details themself so it will eat the softer metal and bring up the harder metal that was pressed as part of the detail
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United States
277 Posts
 Posted 08/27/2007  09:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Fatcat161 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Does this not damage the coin?
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7616 Posts
 Posted 08/27/2007  10:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add coppercoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1. Yes it damages the coin - takes most of the numismatic value out of them. Still, though - you find a 1918/7D or a 1916DDO and you have at least a $100 coin, no matter what grade.

2. I believe the originator of the thread and the owner of the nickels realizes all this...stated it right in the thread.

3. The 1916 doubled die WILL show with nic-a-date.

4. My opinion....don't just do the date. Do the whole coin so the color and texture will all be the same. I mean, if it's already acid treated, why just a dot at the bottom? The stuff is only $5 a bottle, dip the whole coin in it.

5. Let everyone know here when you build an entire set. I think a whole nic-a-date set would be really cool.

6. Kids like buffalos no matter what. Rinse them and give the duplicates away.

7. BTW, how much did ND buffalos cost? I might wnat to do the same project.
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 Posted 08/27/2007  12:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Vaslin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I found that completely nic-a-dated buffalos look terrible and grainy. The 'date area only' ones are tremendously nicer.
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 Posted 08/27/2007  2:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add coppercoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Twas just my opinion. I would raher have a coin that's grainy all over than have one that just has a grainy spot.
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United States
34 Posts
 Posted 08/27/2007  3:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add paland to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I paid $81 + 12.99 Shipping for a bag of 500 no-date nickels on eBay.
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12311 Posts
 Posted 08/27/2007  6:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with coppercoins. Try the entire coin and on both sides.
After you have tried that, rinse well with distilled water. Now here is another thing you may want to try. Buy some Gun Bluing solution from most any sporting store. Put some on a piece of cotton and apply to a coin that has been treated with the nicadate stuff. Of course there are several types of Gun Bluing solutions and some work well and some don't. Most will not have an effect on a Copper coin but work well on Nickel materials. Might help make the coin look normal again.
just carl
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2443 Posts
 Posted 08/27/2007  7:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Amazon99 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sounds like you had fun. Personally, don't know if I would have had fun doing all of that. Are you going to try it again?
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902 Posts
 Posted 08/27/2007  10:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Vaslin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting idea Carl! Would love to see if that fixes some of the coins.
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United States
7616 Posts
 Posted 08/27/2007  11:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add coppercoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well, "fixing" and "deceiving" run awful close together here. My point was to make the coin look even, without the unsightly blob around the date...full knowing the coin has very little numismatic value, I wouldn't be in the market to sell the better dates as anything other than what they are - restored.

I wonder how long it would take to assemble a full set plus major varieties using the nic-a-date method?
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