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  #1  
Old 12-31-2011, 07:31 PM
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Default What happens to silver in salt water?

I have never hunted salt water beaches before, and I am wondering... What happens to silver coins and jewelry? Does the silver decay and dissolve and eventually disappear, or does it last a long time like gold does?

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Old 12-31-2011, 08:44 PM
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over time, it turns black, then develops a thick black encrusted layer...those old silver finds will dissolve/break if you aren't careful.
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by icurabeachguy View post
over time, it turns black, then develops a thick black encrusted layer...those old silver finds will dissolve/break if you aren't careful.
Yep, what he said. Most of the silver I find in the saltwater is either black or green.

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Old 12-31-2011, 08:57 PM
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Can you clean the black off? Or does that remove too much of the coin?

And how do you clean silver that has been exposed to salt water?

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Old 12-31-2011, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by stewart73 View post
Yep, what he said. Most of the silver I find in the saltwater is either black or green.
yup, forgot to add that most old silver quarters I find have a green encrusted layer while some other years have a black encrustation. I guess it matters what the alloy is (if any)?

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Old 12-31-2011, 09:00 PM
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I use electrolysis to clean silver coins affected by salt water.....they are basically toast anyway.

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Old 12-31-2011, 09:42 PM
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Just went thru this yesterday- here's before/ after. Baking soda and al-foil / hot water method worked for me. Polishing can be done afterwards.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:59 PM
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In my videos, You will see what we do to remove the encrusted layer from a silver and copper coins and what they look like. I like peeling my on the spot. The thicker they are, The harder they're to remove. Letting it dry makes for easy peeling. We have a nickname for it.....cookie coins.



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Old 12-31-2011, 11:10 PM
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Thumbs down cookie coins

ya cookie coins....some times the cookies crumble!! the thicker the coin the better chance to salvage some silver out of it...i have had many dimes turn to dust once out of the water!

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Old 12-31-2011, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by BEACH-HUNTER View post
ya cookie coins....some times the cookies crumble!! the thicker the coin the better chance to salvage some silver out of it...i have had many dimes turn to dust once out of the water!
True!

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Old 01-01-2012, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by beachdude View post
Can you clean the black off? Or does that remove too much of the coin?

And how do you clean silver that has been exposed to salt water?
Put the coin in a glass with enough lemon to cover the coin - let it stay there for a few hours and wipe off the coin - repeat if nescasary... - I've cleaned a silver coin that way, and it did wonders.

beware that a cleaned coin looses value, so check with the local coindealer before the cleaning a valuable coin.

This treatment will make the silver look like old silver, and if you wish, then you can polish it after the cleaning to make it shine. (It will look good in your drawer, but will loose even more value.

Think twice before cleaning - if you have to do it, then use the lemon, and don't polish it afterwards - the lemon will let the coin keep it's patina, and it will still look old (But clean!)

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Old 01-01-2012, 10:09 PM
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Here are some dimes I dug up today!

One on left is clad minus most of the silver and has a small hole eaten through it.

@nd from left is a Merc that is barely recognizable and very thin.

Third from left is a barber dime and in even worse shape.

Last dime is clad with most of the silver intact.

In less than 14K gold will tarnish, but some alloys are worse than others.

I have never seen 14K and higher grade tarnish.

GL&HH Friend,

CJ

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Old 01-01-2012, 11:11 PM
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Wow! I had no idea the sea was so destructive to precious metals...

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Old 01-02-2012, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by stewart73 View post
Yep, what he said. Most of the silver I find in the saltwater is either black or green.
Found some real green ones a while back most of them can be cleaned up almost as good as new with a bit of work. After initial cleaning may need some sanding with 1000-1500 grit wet and dry paper then polished with a silver polishing cloth.

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  #15  
Old 01-04-2012, 04:31 PM
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What happens to silver in salt water? It gets wet!!!!!

We pull hundred year plus old coins off the beach. Some look VG, others not so hot. I found a 99 year old Barber Dime that looked like it was lost the day it rolled off the mint. However, most beach coins look how you'd expect - Beat!!!!
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