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The Experiment Continues

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Valued Member
United States
150 Posts
 Posted 12/30/2019  11:13 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add HGK3 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Please understand that "cleaning", "restoring" and "conserving" are very polarizing terms in the coin community. Any time you bring them up you are going to get an array of responses from across the spectrum of opinion, and some of them are likely to be very strong.

I think it's more important that you understand WHY you're getting these results, as opposed to understanding WHAT results to expect.

Essentially, the copper used to make the coins chemically reacts with the environment over time and forms a new substance that is brownish in color. It's similar to iron reacting with air and turning to iron oxide, which we know as rust.

Acids, like vinegar, actually strip that thin layer of new copper material off the coin and unfortunately leave the coin with what many consider and unnatural pinkish tone. By removing layers of metal it also affects luster and if done excessively can affect overall appearance.

Solvents like acetone and xylene dissolve certain substances on the coin, but don't react with copper. A cent treated with those chemicals will look cleaner if there were substances that could be dissolved, but won't necessarily look "brighter" or closer to their original condition.

Someone else already suggested this, but member Bad Thad is, I believe, trained as a chemist and has posted many threads on this subject. Search them out as it may save you much time and trouble.

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