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  #1  
Old 10-28-2018, 01:39 AM
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Volksman Volksman is offline
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Default Cleaning hard crud off pennies and nickels

I found some pennies that have a hard crust on them. What is the best way to clean these? Im not even sure if theyre wheats or Indians the crust is so bad. The day before I pulled an 1863 IH cent out of the same area.
The buffalo nickels were in what looks like a bottle cap but were fused into it. I got them apart but the back of one has the rusted steel attached to it.
What could I use on them?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-28-2018, 01:42 AM
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Here is a pic of the 1863 Indian.
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Old 10-28-2018, 08:29 AM
Walknstik Walknstik is offline
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I use to hunt an early 1900's dump area where they would burn the trash to keep the volume down and the rodents out. We could find old coins in there but a lot of them had like a concretion buildup on them and tumbling in a rock tumbler was about the only way to clean them!

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Old 10-28-2018, 08:42 AM
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Tumbling or electrolysis may be your only hope for them. Even with that those could be too far gone to save. Could always give it a shot, not like you can make them any worse by trying.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:13 AM
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Thanks guys. I have an electrolysis set up I will try with.

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Old 10-29-2018, 08:44 PM
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Donneybrook Donneybrook is offline
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Originally Posted by Volksman View post
Thanks guys. I have an electrolysis set up I will try with.
What I would do is gently scrap off the outer coating of the crust (if its just dirt) with a box cutter and then put them in hot hydrogen peroxide (put in the microwave for 30 seconds) and drop them in to bubble afterwards. Works pretty well for wheats/buttons. Then rub baking soda on them either with your fingers or toothbrush (which works better than fingers)

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Old 10-30-2018, 07:35 AM
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In a situation like this, I tumble them with fish tank gravel. I realize that they are already too far gone to be of value, I just want to know what they are. I have had little luck with electrolysis. First off you NEED to have a good connection to the coin. This means digging the roach...er alligator clip into the coin. I also found that once an area of a coin becomes clean the current can flow easily and some other areas that have really stuck on green stuff will not come clean. Also be aware that electrolysis will move metal, including metal from your coin. I have copper plated nickels and nickel plated copper in experiments.

Tumbling gets more crud off and is far easier.

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Old 10-31-2018, 07:43 PM
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^ Agreed^

There's no value to them, so take the easiest route.

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  #9  
Old 11-05-2018, 08:34 PM
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Thanks for the CLR tip. I have been thinking about picking up a tumbler and will have to stop at my local Harbor Freight.

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  #10  
Old 11-07-2018, 12:14 AM
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Crushed walnut hulls. Get it at the pet stores. It will be real dusty when you tumble them so add a cap full of mineral spirits or some type of liquid wax or both.

That is what I use to clean my brass for reloading. The newest thing is stainless steel pins in the rotary tumblers water with soap. Don't know how it would work for silver but it should work great for the copper. It takes brass that is black and turns it to shiny new.
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  #11  
Old 11-13-2018, 12:29 AM
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Been getting some real rough ones off site nicknamed "Acid Beach" i set down wirh my dremil tool with a small brass wire brush on it and go at them. Fist i scrape off what i can with a old razor knife (watch the fingers) then dremil the rest. A few mins would get those there all done. Something worth a little would get a difrent treatment.

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  #12  
Old 12-04-2018, 11:37 AM
spenglure spenglure is offline
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I find a lot like this too. Especially Indian heads from fields. They seem to get like this from harsh farm chemicals. I never found a good way to clean them even the hardened mud is stuck to them like concrete. I would say the best rout would have to be tumbling. Maybe before tumbling let them soak in water for a while? Perhaps that would slightly loosen the hardened layer and would do minimal damage.

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  #13  
Old 12-04-2018, 11:42 AM
Tpmetal Tpmetal is offline
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i have good luck on coins with that mud crust using distilled water soaking and a tooth pick to incrementally clean. Soak 24 hours, tooth pick and repeat until clean. distilled water is key to dissolve some of the minerals and such.
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