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What Is Best Way To Decontaminate Indian Head Cents For Storage/Display

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 10 / Views: 706Next Topic  
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United States
8 Posts
 Posted 10/02/2022  3:28 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add divesww to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Easy question for you experts. I've bought some Indian Head cents to start my collection and want to prepare them for storage/display (I'm being careful not to use the word clean). I want to remove loose debris and contaminants like skin oils and plastic residue. What is the best way to do that? I've read soap and water bath is all that should be done but also read that water is not good to use on coins. I've read to use acetone bath and let them dry naturally (some say lighting conditions are important if doing that or it could affect toning). I've also read that some people advise to coat the coins with olive or grape oil. So what is the best way to prepare Indian Head cents for storage/display? Thanks.
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73337 Posts
 Posted 10/02/2022  3:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would start with a simple acetone soak - this should deal with most of your issues.



to the CCF!
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United States
383 Posts
 Posted 10/02/2022  4:10 pm  Show Profile   Check CarrsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add CarrsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
using olive or grape oil isn't the best choice. both are organic and can be reactive. they get sticky over time. mineral oil will do a better job.

proceed with caution. most coin conservation advise is somewhere between inaccurate and malicious. the good coin doctors dont share their methods very often. start with the ugliest and least valuable. do one and wait months to see what happens. take before during and after photos.

maybe post some pictures of the coins you are thinking about "conserving" and see what the coin community thinks of the idea.

i do some coin conservation from time to time. it took me close to a decade of practice before I stopped damaging coins.

here is a thread about a coin that I did some cleanup work on.

http://goccf.com/t/429618
i like large cents. I currently have >225 Sheldon varieties and >235 middle date Newcomb varieties.
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United States
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 Posted 10/02/2022  4:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumismaticsFTW to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Acetone
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 Posted 10/02/2022  6:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Just to be clear:never clean coins.
ONLY use 100% pure acetone,not standard nail polish remover.
Practice on junk coins first.
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 6.5 +/- Million Cents Since 1971
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 Posted 10/02/2022  6:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Also, work in an area with strong ventilationólike outside.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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Australia
20344 Posts
 Posted 10/02/2022  7:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Separate out all of those the may have even the slightest hint of verdigris. Special treatment needed for these. Museums regularly deal with this problem, with copper and bronze objects of all kinds.

For bulk lower grade coins,
soap and water is OK to remove loose dirt and oils, but they must be rinsed and dried thoroughly with fresh water, then rinsed and dried again with distilled water. Because the soap and water has cleaned your hands as well, gloves not needed.

Acetone OK, but not warranted for most coins in this case.
Acetone is only effective for removing organically soluble gunk. Acetone in most cases will not remove inorganic gunk.
The reason why acetone is favored, is because it will never do any harm, even if it is not the right solvent.

Olive oil is not the way for IHC's, only occasionally used in particular circumstances for ancient coins. Olive oil is slightly acidic, and will darken copper and bronze coins with long period soaking.
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United States
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 Posted 10/02/2022  9:39 pm  Show Profile   Check CarrsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add CarrsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
i realized I wasnt super clear with my comment about olive oil.

i should have said that it shouldnt be used as a final surface treatment. there are better ways to build up a protective layer of patination.
i like large cents. I currently have >225 Sheldon varieties and >235 middle date Newcomb varieties.
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Uruguay
65 Posts
 Posted 10/05/2022  5:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add marckdaniels to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
And what do you rub it with? Cotton fabric?
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United States
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 Posted 10/05/2022  5:38 pm  Show Profile   Check CarrsCoins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add CarrsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
dont rub. you will scratch your coins. dab vertically.
i like large cents. I currently have >225 Sheldon varieties and >235 middle date Newcomb varieties.
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Australia
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 Posted 10/05/2022  6:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
With less than AU coins, rinsing them with plain water OK, then when most of the dirt removed by rubbing with with wet fingers in soapy water works well.
Because your hands are clean and skin softened, the coins will be OK.
Rinse with distilled water to ensure all soapy water is removed. Pat coins dry with soft towel or rag. Allow coins to completely dry out both sides before store or display in albums.

This has been my approach to cleaning dirty coins for more than 50 years, never had a problem with less than AU coins that have seen circulation.
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