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  #1  
Old 09-25-2018, 10:45 PM
spenglure spenglure is offline
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Default Silver Coin Help

Hey everyone. I found an 1893 O barber half and itís in rough shape. Heavily worn but also covered in some black crust. Iíve heard all about electrolysis helping removing black crust off silver coins but Iím not set up for electrolysis at this time. Any other suggestions to test? Does boiling water with aluminum foil actually work? A lady told me to put try hand sanitizer on it - never heard of that before. But I wonder if it would remove the black crust without damaging the silver... Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2018, 11:05 PM
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I have my one and only walker and it was encased in iron like yours. I worked at getting it off with hard plastic scraper and a wire wheel. Its one side is worn more than the other.
Also you can pick at it with wood tool too. Its hard work.

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Old 09-25-2018, 11:05 PM
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Just be as gentle as possible.

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Old 09-25-2018, 11:07 PM
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You can also boil it in water then freeze it many times, it may work too.

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  #5  
Old 09-25-2018, 11:08 PM
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Congrats on the find!

I'm not sure how well this would work, but here is how I cleaned a silver round that I had: My Thread Post 1 has the before pics and post 15 has the after cleaning pics as well as the method I used.

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  #6  
Old 09-26-2018, 10:09 AM
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The black crud looks like another material that stuck to the coin.
No easy way to remove this so the tooth pick method is probably best.

You could try to determine if this crud will dissolve in something to make it easier to remove.

The Aluminum foil and electrolyte method is ONLY for AgS (Silver Sulfide) the common Tarnish. This method galvanic reverses the oxidation (reduction) to form Ag and AlS (pure silver and Aluminum Sulfide).
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by metaladdict View post
You can also boil it in water then freeze it many times, it may work too.
try this first to loosen it all up, refrain from scratching at it
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  #8  
Old 09-26-2018, 11:20 AM
wsb79 wsb79 is offline
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As a chemist I can tell you that cleaning a coin is part science, part art, and part luck.

Since it is a nice old coin I would recommend starting gentle and then working up to more drastic measures. You can always try more aggressive techniques later but if you damage it off the bat there is no way of fixing it.

I think the first thing i would try would be a couple of days soak in mineral oil. And then gently picking at it with a toothpick. It may help it may not, but if any of that crud is organic in nature it could soften it some making removal easier.

Next depending upon how the mineral oil worked would be the freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw sequence that has been mentioned by others.

Great Find! Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by wsb79 View post
As a chemist I can tell you that cleaning a coin is part science, part art, and part luck.

Since it is a nice old coin I would recommend starting gentle and then working up to more drastic measures. You can always try more aggressive techniques later but if you damage it off the bat there is no way of fixing it.

I think the first thing i would try would be a couple of days soak in mineral oil. And then gently picking at it with a toothpick. It may help it may not, but if any of that crud is organic in nature it could soften it some making removal easier.

Next depending upon how the mineral oil worked would be the freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw sequence that has been mentioned by others.

Great Find! Good luck and keep us posted.
freeze thaw will do less damage than a tooth pick rubbing that stuff against the silver. I suggest freeze thaw first then soak and pick.
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  #10  
Old 09-26-2018, 11:44 AM
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I soak in plain old household ammonia. may not be too good for luster, but I knew a jeweler that used ammonia in an ultra sonic machine and it worked. I just soaked a 35% silver 1945 war nickel overnite in ammonia and cleaned hard crust off that looks similar to yours.

its a dug coin.. if not a key date its still a dug coin. very nice dug coin... but a dug coin. congrats.

I have no problem with people who disagree or correct or point out something to me. so if anyone thinks this is bad speak up. the choice is the owners. toothpick may not scratch but it can rub the material on the coin and scratch, although I do it all the time on dug pennies.

if its a high dollar key date.. send it in to be pro cleaned.

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  #11  
Old 09-26-2018, 08:49 PM
spenglure spenglure is offline
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Originally Posted by metaladdict View post
I have my one and only walker and it was encased in iron like yours. I worked at getting it off with hard plastic scraper and a wire wheel. Its one side is worn more than the other.
Also you can pick at it with wood tool too. Its hard work.
Originally Posted by metaladdict View post
Just be as gentle as possible.
Originally Posted by metaladdict View post
You can also boil it in water then freeze it many times, it may work too.
Originally Posted by Wolf-Dog View post
Congrats on the find!

I'm not sure how well this would work, but here is how I cleaned a silver round that I had: My Thread Post 1 has the before pics and post 15 has the after cleaning pics as well as the method I used.
Originally Posted by waltr View post
The black crud looks like another material that stuck to the coin.
No easy way to remove this so the tooth pick method is probably best.

You could try to determine if this crud will dissolve in something to make it easier to remove.

The Aluminum foil and electrolyte method is ONLY for AgS (Silver Sulfide) the common Tarnish. This method galvanic reverses the oxidation (reduction) to form Ag and AlS (pure silver and Aluminum Sulfide).
Originally Posted by Tpmetal View post
try this first to loosen it all up, refrain from scratching at it
Originally Posted by wsb79 View post
As a chemist I can tell you that cleaning a coin is part science, part art, and part luck.

Since it is a nice old coin I would recommend starting gentle and then working up to more drastic measures. You can always try more aggressive techniques later but if you damage it off the bat there is no way of fixing it.

I think the first thing i would try would be a couple of days soak in mineral oil. And then gently picking at it with a toothpick. It may help it may not, but if any of that crud is organic in nature it could soften it some making removal easier.

Next depending upon how the mineral oil worked would be the freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw sequence that has been mentioned by others.

Great Find! Good luck and keep us posted.
Originally Posted by Tpmetal View post
freeze thaw will do less damage than a tooth pick rubbing that stuff against the silver. I suggest freeze thaw first then soak and pick.
Originally Posted by dixiedigger57 View post
I soak in plain old household ammonia. may not be too good for luster, but I knew a jeweler that used ammonia in an ultra sonic machine and it worked. I just soaked a 35% silver 1945 war nickel overnite in ammonia and cleaned hard crust off that looks similar to yours.

its a dug coin.. if not a key date its still a dug coin. very nice dug coin... but a dug coin. congrats.

I have no problem with people who disagree or correct or point out something to me. so if anyone thinks this is bad speak up. the choice is the owners. toothpick may not scratch but it can rub the material on the coin and scratch, although I do it all the time on dug pennies.

if its a high dollar key date.. send it in to be pro cleaned.
Thanks everyone. Iím going to try the freeze/thaw method first. The. If necessary other measures.

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  #12  
Old 09-26-2018, 09:11 PM
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For the gunk I'd first try. Hydrogen peroxide. Zap the peroxide in a microwave till it boils. Add coin. Let sit till fizzing stops. If it works repeat process until clean. If that doesn't work than the foil process is the next step. Find a bowl line it with foil, enough that some is above the water. Boil water and pour it in the bowl. Add a good bit of salt and baking soda. Enough baking soda that the water is cloudy. This works but sometimes you need to touch the coin with a metal utensil or dip half in and hold other half with hand. I don't know why but it works better that way. Last resort is 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup CLR. Amount doesn't matter half and half is best way to start. You can dilute it or strengthen it after the half and half. This last resort works best. Do not use on copper relics though. Will turn them pink.

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  #13  
Old 09-27-2018, 12:26 AM
spenglure spenglure is offline
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Originally Posted by bmcouni3 View post
For the gunk I'd first try. Hydrogen peroxide. Zap the peroxide in a microwave till it boils. Add coin. Let sit till fizzing stops. If it works repeat process until clean. If that doesn't work than the foil process is the next step. Find a bowl line it with foil, enough that some is above the water. Boil water and pour it in the bowl. Add a good bit of salt and baking soda. Enough baking soda that the water is cloudy. This works but sometimes you need to touch the coin with a metal utensil or dip half in and hold other half with hand. I don't know why but it works better that way. Last resort is 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup CLR. Amount doesn't matter half and half is best way to start. You can dilute it or strengthen it after the half and half. This last resort works best. Do not use on copper relics though. Will turn them pink.

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Cool! Thanks for the tips!!

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  #14  
Old 09-28-2018, 05:34 PM
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Try soaking it in lemon juice.

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  #15  
Old 09-30-2018, 10:25 AM
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Try poking it with a toothpick. Should work in getting at least some of the gunk off.

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  #16  
Old 09-30-2018, 12:15 PM
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Default Silver Coin Help

Originally Posted by spenglure View post
Hey everyone. I found an 1893 O barber half and itís in rough shape. Heavily worn but also covered in some black crust. Iíve heard all about electrolysis helping removing black crust off silver coins but Iím not set up for electrolysis at this time. Any other suggestions to test? Does boiling water with aluminum foil actually work? A lady told me to put try hand sanitizer on it - never heard of that before. But I wonder if it would remove the black crust without damaging the silver... Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!





Spit and foil before and after. A lemon juice bath wonít hurt either. I wish I left my silver oxide on but u have an extreme case.



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  #17  
Old 10-01-2018, 01:03 AM
spenglure spenglure is offline
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Originally Posted by TrashMasterCCS View post



Spit and foil before and after. A lemon juice bath wonít hurt either. I wish I left my silver oxide on but u have an extreme case.



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Thank you TrashMaster! I love that coin you found! So you spit in foil and let it sit? Or do you rub it?

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  #18  
Old 10-01-2018, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by TrashMasterCCS View post
Spit and foil before and after. A lemon juice bath wonít hurt either. I wish I left my silver oxide on but u have an extreme case.

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Just FYI:
If the spit & aluminum foil removed the tarnish then it was AgS (Silver Sulfide) on the coin not an Oxide.

This technique is a galvanic reduction of the AgS & Al to AlS & Ag (Silver Sulfide to Silver and Aluminum to Aluminum Sulfide).
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  #19  
Old 10-01-2018, 10:16 AM
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Looks like it may be like tar or the like. Try a little acetone, mineral spirits first. Can't hurt the coin and might just wipe off with the right solvent. Even nail polish remover.

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  #20  
Old 10-01-2018, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by spenglure View post
Thank you TrashMaster! I love that coin you found! So you spit in foil and let it sit? Or do you rub it?


Spit and rub gently. It will heat up and smell like rotten eggs. It took seconds to clean mine. Yours will take longer. My buddy had a 1769 Bavarian Silver dollar that looked just like yours. He used lemon juice and it cleaned up nicely. There is a nice coin under that crud.


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