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Old 01-13-2020, 09:05 PM
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Default Silver Cleaning and Preservation Questions

So I spent quite a bit of time looking back at the archives of this particular subforum in regards to cleaning/restoration of silver coins and methods of preservation. From what I have read/understand, the consensus seems to be that outside of electrolysis, a gentle rubbing with a simple baking soda and water paste is the best all around method to shine up old silver with minimal damage. Also the consensus seems to be use restraint/abstain from cleaning key dates, semi-key dates, and other rarities that could potentially command an above-melt numismatic price; but for commons, "knock yourself out". In regards to preservation, the threads where thin, but Renaissance Micro-Crystalline Wax Polish appears to be the most recommended. Does this seem to be a fair assessment?

If so, I have a couple of follow up questions:
1) As I have posted elsewhere, I found my first Merc (1935, no mint) which from my research is NOT a key or semi-key date, and an 1871 Obv 2 Canadian quarter. I am less afraid of cleaning my Merc, but I am wondering if my merc is too far gone to risk cleaning (see attached pics below).

2) Regarding the 1871 quarter, I was shocked to see how much it has tarnished in the 5 days that it has been in my possession (see attached pics below; first two are the day I dug it, second two are from today). I'm guessing that I handled it too much on the face and the oils from my fingers may have contributed to the rapid discoloring. As this is a rarer older coin, and considering that I have received a few $25-range offers (not selling right now) should I leave this coin alone just in case I ever need to part with it?

3) If I do clean one or either of these coins using a baking soda/water paste, what ingredient ratio should I use, how should I handle the cleaned coin to minimize further tarnishing/damage, and should it be treated with anything else prior to applying a thin layer of the Renaissance Wax?

4) What exactly is the purpose/benefit of the Renaissance Wax? Should I apply it to the 1871 even if I do not clean it or would this affect any potential value the coin could command if I ever need to part with it?

Thanks in advance!!
-Andrew
Attached Images
     

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Gear: Equinox 600, BH Land Ranger Pro, Garrett Pro-Pointer AT. 2020 (Total): Clad $93.92 ($97.05) | WP 81 (82) | Ag 16 (17) | IHP 7 (7) | 925 8 (8) | Au 1 (1) | Buff 2 (2). Notable: 1871 Can Qtr ('20), 1915 Barber Dime ('20), 1941E Nazi 10 RPf ('20), 1864 IHP ('20).

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  #2  
Old 01-13-2020, 09:37 PM
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The merc is pure junk silver if you wanna clean it go ahead, water and baking soda to form a toothpaste like paste, it won’t take much rubbing. I wouldn’t waste my time though.

The 1871 is beautiful the way it is. If you clean it you can kiss any value above scrap goodbye, $25 becomes $2.50.

The wax is more for iron. It prevents rust, silver tarnishes. Big difference but the wax will also reduce value to scrap price.


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  #3  
Old 01-13-2020, 09:40 PM
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Default Silver Cleaning and Preservation Questions

Originally Posted by L0S3R View post
The merc is pure junk silver if you wanna clean it go ahead, water and baking soda to form a toothpaste like paste, it won’t take much rubbing. I wouldn’t waste my time though.

The 1871 is beautiful the way it is. If you clean it you can kiss any value above scrap goodbye, $25 becomes $2.50.

The wax is more for iron. It prevents rust, silver tarnishes. Big difference but the wax will also reduce value to scrap price.


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Plus if you clean it and decide to sell it, you have to tell them it’s cleaned or they can file a report and get their money back unless it’s a private transaction. It’s still only right to tell the truth.

The tarnish is legit and beautiful, cleaned coins lose value immediately

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Old 01-13-2020, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by L0S3R View post
The merc is pure junk silver if you wanna clean it go ahead, water and baking soda to form a toothpaste like paste, it won’t take much rubbing. I wouldn’t waste my time though.

The 1871 is beautiful the way it is. If you clean it you can kiss any value above scrap goodbye, $25 becomes $2.50.

The wax is more for iron. It prevents rust, silver tarnishes. Big difference but the wax will also reduce value to scrap price.


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As far as the merc goes, I was just hoping to bring out a little more shine on it seeing as it is only worth melt, just didn't want to run the risk of screwing something up.

That was my thinking regarding the 1871. Funny story though, stopped in a local coin shop to pick up some supplies today and the minute I mentioned "metal detecting" you should have heard the scorn start dripping from the owner's voice. He started throwing out phrases like "IF it's even real" and "IF I could even make out any details" (regarding which obverse it was). He was less than thrilled when I called him out on his BS, LOL. Safe to say I will not be shopping at that store any longer.

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Gear: Equinox 600, BH Land Ranger Pro, Garrett Pro-Pointer AT. 2020 (Total): Clad $93.92 ($97.05) | WP 81 (82) | Ag 16 (17) | IHP 7 (7) | 925 8 (8) | Au 1 (1) | Buff 2 (2). Notable: 1871 Can Qtr ('20), 1915 Barber Dime ('20), 1941E Nazi 10 RPf ('20), 1864 IHP ('20).

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  #5  
Old 01-13-2020, 10:06 PM
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Dude I have a pcgs ms67 merc with toning (the rainbow kind) local shop offered scrap but it’s like 45$ for the coin without the tone, around 70$ currently with the toning. Local shop said they’d crack the case and scrap it...


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Old 01-13-2020, 10:08 PM
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All local shops want is to rip you off (they gotta make money) but you can occasionally find silver in the foreign coin basket for 15 cents


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Old 01-14-2020, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by L0S3R View post
All local shops want is to rip you off (they gotta make money) but you can occasionally find silver in the foreign coin basket for 15 cents


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In other words, when running a legitimate brick and mortar, making a profit is “ripping you off?”
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:07 AM
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My thoughts:

I only do the aluminum foil and baking soda (or spit) to clear off some tarnish.
This is a safe technique and does not involve rubbing the coin. What this does is convert the silver sulfide (tarnish) back into silver and hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell).

I do use Renaissance Wax on copper coins but haven't yet on silver.
This wax puts a clear, easily removable coating that seals the surface thus preventing oxidation (tarnish is an chemical oxidation reaction). For the technical details of cleaning and preserving artifacts see the paper in the sticky thread at the top of this sub-forum.

For a coin with numismatic value I do not know if the wax hurts the value.
This question is better asked on a Coin Forum.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by amc rulz View post
In other words, when running a legitimate brick and mortar, making a profit is “ripping you off?”


Refer back to the comment above that 1


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Old 01-14-2020, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by L0S3R View post
Refer back to the comment above that 1


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If someone offered you $45 for it, jump on it!
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by amc rulz View post
If someone offered you $45 for it, jump on it!


So you’re saying I’m wrong for expecting close to value instead of scrap for a graded ms67 coin? Wow


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Old 01-14-2020, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by L0S3R View post
So you’re saying I’m wrong for expecting close to value instead of scrap for a graded ms67 coin? Wow


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You know that is exactly not what I said.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by amc rulz View post
You know that is exactly not what I said.


Putting your 2 posts together that’s how it sounds, the coin actually sells in the $80s range without the toning. Why should I accept $2? It’s graded as well so not like I made up the condition.


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Old 01-15-2020, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by waltr View post
My thoughts:

I only do the aluminum foil and baking soda (or spit) to clear off some tarnish.
This is a safe technique and does not involve rubbing the coin. What this does is convert the silver sulfide (tarnish) back into silver and hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell).

I do use Renaissance Wax on copper coins but haven't yet on silver.
This wax puts a clear, easily removable coating that seals the surface thus preventing oxidation (tarnish is an chemical oxidation reaction). For the technical details of cleaning and preserving artifacts see the paper in the sticky thread at the top of this sub-forum.

For a coin with numismatic value I do not know if the wax hurts the value.
This question is better asked on a Coin Forum.
Thanks for the tips waltr. I ended up not cleaning or waxing either coin for now. I decided that while I can always clean them at a later date (if desired), once cleaned or a substance is applied, it can never truly be undone. As I am just starting out in this hobby, I guess I'll wait until I amass a bit larger collection before I start "playing around" with my harder to obtain finds.

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Andrew D. BSN, RN
Gear: Equinox 600, BH Land Ranger Pro, Garrett Pro-Pointer AT. 2020 (Total): Clad $93.92 ($97.05) | WP 81 (82) | Ag 16 (17) | IHP 7 (7) | 925 8 (8) | Au 1 (1) | Buff 2 (2). Notable: 1871 Can Qtr ('20), 1915 Barber Dime ('20), 1941E Nazi 10 RPf ('20), 1864 IHP ('20).

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Old 01-15-2020, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by YooperBSN View post
Thanks for the tips waltr. I ended up not cleaning or waxing either coin for now. I decided that while I can always clean them at a later date (if desired), once cleaned or a substance is applied, it can never truly be undone. As I am just starting out in this hobby, I guess I'll wait until I amass a bit larger collection before I start "playing around" with my harder to obtain finds.
Good plan.
I see those coins in holders, that is the best for now.
Good luck on increasing your collection.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by YooperBSN View post
So I spent quite a bit of time looking back at the archives of this particular subforum in regards to cleaning/restoration of silver coins and methods of preservation. From what I have read/understand, the consensus seems to be that outside of electrolysis, a gentle rubbing with a simple baking soda and water paste is the best all around method to shine up old silver with minimal damage. Also the consensus seems to be use restraint/abstain from cleaning key dates, semi-key dates, and other rarities that could potentially command an above-melt numismatic price; but for commons, "knock yourself out". In regards to preservation, the threads where thin, but Renaissance Micro-Crystalline Wax Polish appears to be the most recommended. Does this seem to be a fair assessment?

If so, I have a couple of follow up questions:
1) As I have posted elsewhere, I found my first Merc (1935, no mint) which from my research is NOT a key or semi-key date, and an 1871 Obv 2 Canadian quarter. I am less afraid of cleaning my Merc, but I am wondering if my merc is too far gone to risk cleaning (see attached pics below).

2) Regarding the 1871 quarter, I was shocked to see how much it has tarnished in the 5 days that it has been in my possession (see attached pics below; first two are the day I dug it, second two are from today). I'm guessing that I handled it too much on the face and the oils from my fingers may have contributed to the rapid discoloring. As this is a rarer older coin, and considering that I have received a few $25-range offers (not selling right now) should I leave this coin alone just in case I ever need to part with it?

3) If I do clean one or either of these coins using a baking soda/water paste, what ingredient ratio should I use, how should I handle the cleaned coin to minimize further tarnishing/damage, and should it be treated with anything else prior to applying a thin layer of the Renaissance Wax?

4) What exactly is the purpose/benefit of the Renaissance Wax? Should I apply it to the 1871 even if I do not clean it or would this affect any potential value the coin could command if I ever need to part with it?

Thanks in advance!!
-Andrew
good thought out questions want to hear the responses on this one ,have some older silver coins sitting around that I haven't done anything to yet.

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Old 01-15-2020, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by YooperBSN View post
.

2) Regarding the 1871 quarter, I was shocked to see how much it has tarnished in the 5 days that it has been in my possession
Do you smoke? I have a shelf next to where I sit on the couch and smoke. A silver coin on the shelf next to me will tarnish a lot quicker than one left in the back room
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  #18  
Old 01-16-2020, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Scooterjim View post
Do you smoke? I have a shelf next to where I sit on the couch and smoke. A silver coin on the shelf next to me will tarnish a lot quicker than one left in the back room
Used to, quit about 4-5 years ago.

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Andrew D. BSN, RN
Gear: Equinox 600, BH Land Ranger Pro, Garrett Pro-Pointer AT. 2020 (Total): Clad $93.92 ($97.05) | WP 81 (82) | Ag 16 (17) | IHP 7 (7) | 925 8 (8) | Au 1 (1) | Buff 2 (2). Notable: 1871 Can Qtr ('20), 1915 Barber Dime ('20), 1941E Nazi 10 RPf ('20), 1864 IHP ('20).

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