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Wax On Uncirculated Pennies

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United States
2 Posts
 Posted 09/02/2017  4:15 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add lola3 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

I collect pennies and of late have been focusing on BU rolls. I recently got a few rolls on eBay that were supposedly obw, but were clearly opened. On going through them, several coins had some leftover wax goobers. A year back, I got a BU roll from APMEX and it had the same thing. (I returned it).

I've been trying to figure out what it is/why. There were a few that were not uncirculated (AU, but not unc) in a recent roll, so I'm guessing people cleaned them with wax and didn't do a very good job? (Though I'm not sure what they'd be trying to clean off uncirculated coins. Maybe they wanted to polish them?)

The only other thought I had was counterfeit pennies from China, but these are just 59-65 memorials (not even 1960P SD) and again, a few were a bit worn & I can't imagine someone making fake AU common date memorials.

Any ideas?

Thank you!
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United States
45177 Posts
 Posted 09/02/2017  4:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add coop to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You might be seeing clear grease on the coins. This is usually found near the rims or sometimes in the centers of the bays on Memorial cents.

A tooth pick will easily move this clear grease.
Richard S. Cooper
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Edited by coop
09/02/2017 4:24 pm
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10197 Posts
 Posted 09/02/2017  4:32 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Crazyb0 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
First, I assume these are all same date rolls(all 50 are1964D, etc). I too buy OBW LMC's. Depending when and how first put up from original bag, tubes ( brand matters), paper(matters) foil wrapped inside paper(absolutely best). Not all coins seem to tone the same way, at same rate, even per side. Never had wax trouble, then again never buy rolls off eBay either, just won't do it! Get mine in on line auctions. Have heard wax is cheaters way of trying to repair what I described above, don't take that to the bank tho, don't know for sure. Hint: if you're looking for gem quality high MS, not on eBay!
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United States
2 Posts
 Posted 09/02/2017  10:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add lola3 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you both!

coop -
That might be it. Grease didn't even cross my mind. It's more waxy/dense than what I usually think of as grease, but also more oily than something like paraffin. It definitely 'collects' around the edges and in any indentation and can be removed. What really threw me off was seeing it on a few pennies that definitely did not appear uncirculated; but then seeing it in 3 other unc rolls as well, I just couldn't figure it out.

Crazyb0 -
Yes, sorry. The pennies in each roll are all the same date (though the 4 rolls I've now encountered this on were different years/mm (roll of 59,roll of 61D, 62, 62D)). It sounds like you're saying waxy stuff might be used to alter the tone? This too might explain it.

I don't blame you on avoiding eBay. On occasion I've gotten something I'm pretty excited about, but there are *so many* scammers & counterfeit coins & etc etc that I often want absolutely nothing to do with it.

Good to know about the foil. I wondered about it after seeing some rolls that were stored in foil and had that deep, rich, beautiful red, but wasn't sure about it good or bad & didn't want to risk the latter. I read a bit about storage methods (inert plastic, moisture) but I'm still trying to figure out how to balance looking at them on occasion and protecting them from turning brown or spotty.

If you're willing to share, what auction sites do you use?

Thank you both, again. This helps a lot.
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