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Valued Member

United States
116 Posts
 Posted 01/08/2019  3:25 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add econrad to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Here are a few pieces that I purchased in a large lot that were covered in green power (BD.) Ancients are really not my thing. These have been soaked in acetone and lightly cleaned with Q-tips. Any thoughts on doing any other conservation? I have heard about baking them, using baking soda mixture, electrolysis & even soaking them in olive oil. Just wondering what most would suggest. Maybe they don't have any value and I'm wasting my time, or maybe they are just too far gone.
Any help with identification & ways to proceed would be much appreciated. Thanks!







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United States
2246 Posts
 Posted 01/08/2019  3:36 pm  Show Profile   Check BigSilver's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add BigSilver to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
They won't become gems, but olive oil for several months should enhance their appearance.
New Member
Germany
27 Posts
 Posted 01/08/2019  3:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DirtyHarry to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1) As of Vespasian?
2) As of Caracalla?
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Canada
2189 Posts
 Posted 01/08/2019  6:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There are other threads on the subject of cleaning ancients. Not everyone recommends using olive oil, and apparently they will smell like olive oil for decades.
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United Kingdom
3990 Posts
 Posted 01/08/2019  6:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ben to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Cleaning would certainly improve them. Olive oil has the benefit of altering the patina by darkening it, which I think would help these.

First things first, they need proper treatment if they have had BD (though I think this might be a different issue, just an inherently weak patina). I would usually advocate using distilled water for the treatment, but this is slow and if they are this badly afflicted, then it is too late for the soft option. You can buy chemicals to treat with, or you can try using sodium bicarbonate (bicarb of soda). Get some water (doesn't really need to be distilled in this case, but I would use distilled anyway) and dissolve a bunch of bicarb in it, put the coin in it and heat it. Turn off the heat when it nears boiling and allow to cool, then give it a brush with an old toothbrush. For this case...repeat that a few times and leave in the mix for as long as you can. It might come out with a patchy looking patina and a cratered surface, but there isn't much to be done about that - the damage is already done. A year or so in olive oil should even it out to a uniform black colour.

In terms of value, that bottom one looks like quite good work. It might come out well - not a high value coin, but not a junker either.
Valued Member
United States
116 Posts
 Posted 01/09/2019  2:56 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add econrad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the help everyone. I will post some pics when they are cleaned up.
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