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Mercury Dime - Is This Corrosion And Can It Be Restored?

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 Posted 03/26/2021  10:21 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add one_fine_dime to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hey folks, this dime looks like in decent shape, but these spots appear to have gone from toning to corrosion. Is this something a PCGS Restoration Services could potentially restore, or would a TPG simply label it as "corroded"/"environmental damage"? Thanks!

My avatar is from the reverse of the US 1987 Constitution Silver Dollar and features 13 diverse people intended to represent the wide cultural and social spectrum of the United States.
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 Posted 03/26/2021  10:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Guessing this is beyond restoration. A details coin (ED).
Edited by Coinfrog
03/26/2021 10:43 pm
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 Posted 03/26/2021  11:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dearborn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
are all the black areas etched into the coin or is it deposited on top of it?
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 Posted 03/26/2021  11:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add llewellin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Maybe it's worth a soak in acetone. If it's some hydrocarbon buildup then that might get rid of it
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 Posted 03/26/2021  11:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add macmercury to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I haven't send in anything to restore, but this coin has some hard built up that might not be completely removed.

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 Posted 03/27/2021  05:04 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add smat45 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
with llewllin...a LONG soak. Couple of days covered in a glass container w/lid then with a round toothpick swipe (probably gonna need a couple of toothpicks as they flatten out)...start at the edge...trying to push/shove it off...I do mine while still in the shallow bowl w/the acetone so as to not let it dry out while picking (once out of the acetone coin will dry out fast)...just might get some of that to pop off...might have to repeat the process...stuffs been on there for a long time...so it might take a long time to get it to soften up.
See how that goes...and if that doesn't work...might have to be more aggressive...?
If this were my beautiful 19-S coin...this is what I would do...but this is just my opinion.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
smat
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 Posted 03/27/2021  07:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think it's a gonner and surface might be already etched . But because the coin is in such good condition I would try a 2or3 second dip in e-z-est silver dip .
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 Posted 03/27/2021  07:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ijn1944 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Agree with the suggestion to give the dime a looooooong soak in fresh acetone--several days at a minimum. Cannot hurt the coin, could loosen-up some of the crud. I soaked a foreign silver coin with similar looking, hardened gunk, and was able to gently reduce the intensity--and in some cases remove--a good portion of it. Total soak of three weeks.
Edited by ijn1944
03/27/2021 07:54 am
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 Posted 03/27/2021  07:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dearborn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I also think a good soaking couldn't hurt, which is why I'm wondering if the black stuff it raised or incused.
Collecting since 1972. Learning from then on
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -Benjamin Franklin
My Dansco 7070 type set coin count: 31/76
My Dansco 8176 Eisenhower set coin count: 36/36
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 Posted 03/27/2021  08:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I am pretty darn sure that an Acetone soak will do nothing for this coin . Acetone is not a miracle solvent that will remove everything .
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 Posted 03/27/2021  09:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I can understand why you wish to remove the black stuff; it would be a much more valuable coin without those unsightly stains. To be honest I would be perfectly happy to have this coin in my collection, just as it is.
Some coins aren't perfect, and neither are some people, and yet, we accept the people with their faults.

Unfortunately,
the black patchy areas are most probably a black inorganic (mostly**) silver oxide/sulfide composite that has etched it's way to a very shallow depth into the coin.
Because it is inorganic, acetone will not remove it.

Actually the staining can be removed, but I will not say how, because if it is removed, the results of that cleaning will be obvious, and the coin will have a lower value than it does now.

You also may consider what T-BOP has suggested, but that is up to you. Generally speaking, coins should not be cleaned.

**The 10 % copper in the alloy also has black oxide and sulfide compounds.
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 Posted 03/27/2021  10:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cipster to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree that the coin may always be a details coin but maybe it can be improved. I'm not a chemist so I don't know if the substance is organic or non-organic.

Whenever I try acetone and it doesn't help the coin I always follow up with a long soak in Xylene. Like acetone - xylene will not damage the coin but it is much stronger and can remove non-polar organic compared to acetone which removes polar organic.

WARNING: Xylene won't hurt the coin but can hurt you. Only use it in a well ventilated space and do not breath the fumes.
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 Posted 03/27/2021  11:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Kcm to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There's a lovely coin 'neath that crud. If it were mine, I'd treat it with MS-70 (That's the name of a widely used product). CAUTION: If you do, be sure to follow directions with absolute precision. MS-70 won't damage your coin but you sure 'nuff can by abrading it!

Kevin
Given the option of choosing between a very interesting coin or a rather valuable one, I'd choose the former every time . My vexation lies in the fact that the two so often coincide.
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 Posted 03/27/2021  2:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fortcollins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I played with your photos a bit. I see areas where the black gunk seems to have come off the surface.

Look closely at these areas:
A SSE-NNW line from just between the "G" and "O" of GOD upward just left of the chin
Just below the "R" and "S" of TRUST
About one-fourth of the way between the "I" of IN and the bottom of the "L" in LIBERTY

It looks like the gunk came off those areas without exposing surface pitting. There is slight discoloration where the patina was disrupted.

If so, you may have a chance to rescue this coin. It won't be "restored," but it may come out OK.

The acetone bath makes sense. There isn't any downside.

Before doing this next step, let's see what others think. This is potentially a risky step.

If the gunk can be loosened, gentle agitation may be enough to dislodge it. What you need is cavitation, rather than scraping or wiping. To accomplish this, one possibility is an ultrasonic cleaner. Most jewelry stores have these cleaners. Stay far, far away from auto parts cleaners. They are much too rough for what you need.

What does everyone think? Is an ultrasonic cleaner too rough? If not, what would everyone think about ultrasonic cleaning in distilled water? (I get squeamish about using acetone near anything with the potential for having a spark ignite the acetone.)
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 Posted 03/27/2021  3:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jimbucks to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If it was mine, I'd dip it. Try acetone first, but I doubt acetone will do much if anything.
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 Posted 03/27/2021  5:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
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