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Fingerprints On Gold 2?

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Valued Member
United Kingdom
67 Posts
 Posted 10/01/2021  5:29 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add hwilkinson to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello Everyone,
I hope you are all well. I recently acquired a pretty special coin, a 1887 Queen Victoria 2/double sovereign. It is a very nice coin, but I was putting it in a capsule, and afterwards I noticed a few lines that looked a bit like fingerprints on the obverse of the coin. I suspect I might have accidentally touched it and got fingerprints onto it. Would you please tell me if these are fingerprints, or something else? If so, what are these lines? What can I do about it? I have provided some close up photos and circled the part with the lines.
Thank you very much!



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14659 Posts
 Posted 10/01/2021  5:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JimmyD to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Looks like a fingerprint but not much can be done about it.
After awhile the fingerprint becomes embedded into the coin and cannot be removed.
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United Kingdom
67 Posts
 Posted 10/01/2021  5:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hwilkinson to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@ JimmyD That doesn't sound so good. Would you recommend trying to wipe it off with a cloth?
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14659 Posts
 Posted 10/01/2021  6:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JimmyD to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As I stated, they cannot be removed. The oils in your skin eventually etch
into the coin leaving a permanent mark.
Wiping with a cloth would only make things worse. Your going to have to leave it as is.
The only thing you could have done was soak it in acetone immediately after you touched
it and there still is no guarantee that the fingerprint would have been removed.
Edited by JimmyD
10/01/2021 6:33 pm
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 Posted 10/01/2021  7:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'd think an acetone soak would be your best shot, but agree that you need to keep expectations low.
"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."
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United Kingdom
67 Posts
 Posted 10/01/2021  8:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hwilkinson to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@JimmyD and @Spence thank you, I may try that.
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Australia
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 Posted 10/02/2021  01:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Over a period of a century or so, 22 ct gold coins can tone very slowly in aggressive storage conditions, due to the copper in the alloy.
If you go to Google Images, search for '1887 Victoria proof double sovereign', look for those coins that have had slight scuffing to the raised parts of the design, and you will see how 22ct gold can adopt an 'old gold' tone.

Very difficult to be sure in this case, but if they are fingerprints, they have been there for a very long time.
Acetone may help if those stains are recent, but not if they have been there for decades.

Give acetone a go anyway, it will certainly not do any harm.

Edited by sel_69l
10/02/2021 01:20 am
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 Posted 10/02/2021  03:36 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Zurie to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Likely fingerprints, but unlikely that you caused them (if you acquired the piece recently). Gold is not very reactive, so they were probably there years ago. Definitely don't try to wipe them off if acetone doesn't work.
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 Posted 10/02/2021  04:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Can it be professionally "conserved" by PCGS and would it be worth all costs involved in doing so?
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 6.5 +/- Million Cents Since 1971
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 Posted 10/02/2021  06:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would not think it is worth the cost of having it conserved.
To be honest, I had a hard time trying to see the evidence of 'fingerprinting'. Even if that evidence may be there, it is certainly only a very mild detracting feature, especially so when this coin does not appear to be a proof.

If it were my coin, I would be perfectly happy, and very tempted to leave it alone.
"Glorious inaction", as Sir Humphrey would be apt to say.

Not all coins are perfect, and neither am I.
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United Kingdom
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 Posted 10/02/2021  3:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hwilkinson to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@ sel_69l, @ John1, @ Zurie thank you all! This really helps
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 Posted 10/02/2021  8:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BStrauss3 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
However, you could contact The Sun ... they would love to splash a headline "COULD BE Jack the Ripper's FIRST VICTIM - Victoria Sovereign with his fingerprint"
-----Burton
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United Kingdom
227 Posts
 Posted 10/05/2021  09:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Collector28 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The real question here is why you wasn't wearing gloves to put an antique gold coin in a capsule. I can understand not bothering for lower value coins but a coin of this magnitude, you really should have been taking more precautions.

Nonetheless, the bright side is that others seem to agree that you didn't cause the damage and honestly even on the zoomed in pictures it was hard to make it out. I'd just advise you invest in a pair of gloves to handle such coins with.
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United Kingdom
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 Posted 10/05/2021  11:07 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hwilkinson to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@ Collector28, thanks for the advice. @ BStrauss3, very funny, perhaps I will do that! :-D
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Australia
1130 Posts
 Posted 10/06/2021  4:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add David Graham to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:

The real question here is why you wasn't wearing gloves to put an antique gold coin in a capsule. I can understand not bothering for lower value coins but a coin of this magnitude, you really should have been taking more precautions.

When transferring noodled and bought coins to storage I often use bare hands but always give my hands a wash before handling to remove grease and then give the coin an acetone wipe before final placement. Coins destined for capsules are only handled with coin tweezers once cleaned with acetone.
Edited by David Graham
10/06/2021 5:28 pm
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Canada
4477 Posts
 Posted 10/06/2021  5:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Third party graders do not use gloves, I have been told.
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