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  #1  
Old 01-09-2019, 08:05 PM
waltr waltr is offline
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Default Restore a nearly toasted coin's readablity.

The video is excellent on how to clean old copper coins.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7cf...&index=49&t=0s

Aquachigger does a great job in this video and says that you can not go back to a previous step. Main example is if you wash then with soap, water
& a tooth brush this removes all dirt that actually creates contrast and makes to markings readable.

There are also pretty toasted coins that are very hard to see details.

I have a method to make the details much clearer to see. It will not show anything that isn't there like on totally worn or toasted coins. I have before and after pictures so take a look.

Now the theory is the little bit of light colored dirt give contrast to the raised text and details. Washing this off kills the contrast (watch quachigger's video).

Now if this 'dirt' could be put back it could make to coin looking nicer.

What I did is apply watered down Gouache then let it get nearly dry and rub with my finger (like Aquachigger does in the video).

What is Gouache:
This is a water color paint traditionally used for illustration. It is readily available at any good art supply store or online.
I chose it for two reasons:
1- It is water soluble so can be washed off if it doesn't turn out right or I just want it removed. Acrylic or enamel paints harden and are not easily removed.
2- It has opaque pigments that are very close to the original 'dirt'.

First ensure to coin does have wax or oil on it. That will cause the water paint to just bead up. Clean with denatured alcohol to remove oils.

Any light color paint will work, remember we want to lighten the coin's background. I used a mix of Raw Sienna, Naples Yellow and a light Grey (or white). Just squeeze a dap of each onto a plastic jar lid. Wet a small brush (I use a 1/4" flat but any is fine). Pull some raw sienna over then a little yellow and/or grey to get a light dirt color. Experimenting is fine since if you don't like wipe it off with a damp paper towel.
The paint should have enough water. Soak some into the brush and dab onto the coin. The paint should flow into all the low areas (see photos below). Than leave to dry but best if not too long. When the paint is dry to the touch it is still a little soft. Now rub gently with your finger to remove the paint from the high point of the coin. Notice how the text and details become clearer.

I chose two Lincoln Memory and two Jefferson nickle I had dug and are not easy to read. These were scrubbed with soap & water since they are just modern 'face value' coins.
Photos show before, with wet paint and then after drying and rubbing.

Decide for yourself if they look better.
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2019, 08:07 PM
waltr waltr is offline
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These are the finish coins then the other side of the Nickles.
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2019, 01:59 AM
marcomo marcomo is offline
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Fascinating stuff, Walt. Thanks for the education.

The expanded contrast the Gouache gives really brings out the detail. Do you think you would still get decent contrast with less yellow?
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2019, 09:15 AM
waltr waltr is offline
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Yes, pure white would give the best contrast.
I wasn't to concerned about color since this is an experiment to see it the coins would become more readable.

The yellow is probably enhanced by the incandescent light bulb and the camera's color balance.
Next step would be to experiment with other colors to find one that are most pleasing.

I am going to experiment a little more with toasted Lincolns and Jeff's. Then do the large copper's that are very hard to read.
Will post more and thanks for the comments..
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2019, 03:28 AM
marcomo marcomo is offline
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Looking forward to your research!
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2019, 11:46 PM
waltr waltr is offline
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Ok, here are two Lincolns that are more toasted. Also used no Yellow pigment, just raw sienna and light grey.
Then a Lincoln with Oxide of Chromium with some light grey to look more like a nice green patina.
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2019, 09:33 PM
joe dert joe dert is offline
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Not trying to rock the boat..but painting a coin is not a restoration..it's a parlor trick..akin to rubbing with waxes or pastes..just as whizzing is a deceptive restoration attempt..best to strive for improved eye appeal as the end result of preservation from further corrosion..but hey..it does look like a dirty old coin..I'll give you that..the chromium oxide does have the effect of corrosion resistance as well as giving it some green..but why clean a coin to make it look like a dirty coin? I think I could buy a restored coin...but I definitely wouldn't be interested in buying a painted coin..just saying..

Last edited by joe dert; 01-15-2019 at 11:33 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2019, 11:30 AM
marcomo marcomo is offline
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Joe, what you have to remember is a dug coin that has been environmentally damaged by the ground is going to have minimal value. At best, maybe 10% of what a coin in the same condition without the damage would be worth. Dug coins are anathema to numismatists. So you are almost always talking about a coin that has no or minimal value over face.

You are basically doing this to increase the enjoyment of looking at it for yourself and others you may share it with. Because now you have established visible contrast on the coin and can better see the detail instead of it just looking like a round piece of metal.

It all comes down to personal preference. I much prefer the look of a dug coin with detail to a coin that looks unnaturally cleaned. Judging from many pictures on the forums, a lot of my fellow dirt fishers feel otherwise.
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2019, 01:41 PM
joe dert joe dert is offline
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Originally Posted by marcomo View post
Joe, what you have to remember is a dug coin that has been environmentally damaged by the ground is going to have minimal value. At best, maybe 10% of what a coin in the same condition without the damage would be worth. Dug coins are anathema to numismatists. So you are almost always talking about a coin that has no or minimal value over face.

You are basically doing this to increase the enjoyment of looking at it for yourself and others you may share it with. Because now you have established visible contrast on the coin and can better see the detail instead of it just looking like a round piece of metal.

It all comes down to personal preference. I much prefer the look of a dug coin with detail to a coin that looks unnaturally cleaned. Judging from many pictures on the forums, a lot of my fellow dirt fishers feel otherwise.

It all depends on the level of damage..that determines the potential value.. technically only a MS70 is undamaged at 5x magnification.. everything else is a damaged coin.. Top coin grading organizations offer restoration services for a reason..they can assign environmental damage details grade..or grade a coin and describe it as cleaned..dipping is not considered cleaning when done by a professionally accepted method.. the value of which then depends on the buyer..check the sold history of Indian Head pennies like the 1869 or 1877 Indian Head on EBay and see..it may surprise you..and then you have all the ungraded coins for sale.. many environmentally damaged coins on eBay..they all sell...not to the keen eye of an experienced numismatist perhaps.. I don't think a professional would even buy a slabbed and graded coin off eBay sight unseen..the rule is buy the coin not the grade
..and most non professional buyers and sellers tend to judge ungraded coins at a higher than actual appraisal..and the market for them is very active..as most folks are not professionals..just collectors..
the idea of a good restoration is to look as naturally acceptable as possible..and from a restorative perspective you must remove or nuetralize and seal a copper or copper alloy coin..it is known that there is no perfect copper restoration..but to restore an even color you need an even looking surface..a clean slate..it is what it is.. saving the past the best we know how...by professionally accepted methodology..or by simple personal preference..

Last edited by joe dert; 01-16-2019 at 03:57 PM.
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  #10  
Old 01-17-2019, 01:21 AM
marcomo marcomo is offline
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You make good points, Joe.

And you seem to be in the loop on ebay coin values, so let me ask you a question.

I know a lot of detectorists clean their finds, I'm specifically thinking of silver coins cleaned with abrasive methods. Not a look I like, but one man's ugly is another man's pretty. As you said it's personal preference. I've always thought with a bullion coin it makes little if any monetary difference anyway.

But am I thinking wrong here? I know if I was buying a roll of silver coins I wouldn't even think of buying a roll of cleaned coins unless it was selling for less than the intrinsic silver value. I have to imagine any bidder with any numismatic knowledge whatsoever wouldn't want them either.

Would a roll of obviously cleaned silver coins sell for less on ebay? If so, then the argument against becomes more than just an aesthetic one.
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  #11  
Old 01-17-2019, 01:58 AM
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Ice Scratcher Ice Scratcher is offline
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Originally Posted by marcomo View post
Would a roll of obviously cleaned silver coins sell for less on ebay? If so, then the argument against becomes more than just an aesthetic one.
No matter what, in most cases, most uncleaned coins and cleaned coins, are only worth "scrap silver" prices, that being said, most cleaned coins are worth the same as most uncleaned coins..

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  #12  
Old 01-17-2019, 12:55 PM
waltr waltr is offline
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All good points.

My only purpose is to made a nearly TOASTED coin that has NO VALUE have features that are easier to see.

The idea came from Aquachigge's video (link in first post) on what he does to clean old copper coins. Watch the video to understand the basis of what I am showing.
He like to leave a little dirt around the raised details that make these details easily seen. Then he goes and washes the coin removing all the dirt and the details become very hard to see.
I have washed copper (nickles also) coins that are now hard to see details. Since the coins have no value I thought of a way to make the details see-able. Thus putting thinned paint on them to replace what the dirt had done.

To me the King George and US LC's have value as historic finds but no monetary value if selling them. Once washed they just look like a weather copper disk and no one I show these to is impressed. By increasing the contrast of the details one can see what the coin is and be impressed with me finding and them holding such an old coin.

This thread is just sharing ideas of how to make any of these old toasted coins more pleasing to look at. Nothing more.
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  #13  
Old 01-17-2019, 07:04 PM
joe dert joe dert is offline
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Originally Posted by waltr View post
All good points.

My only purpose is to made a nearly TOASTED coin that has NO VALUE have features that are easier to see.

The idea came from Aquachigge's video (link in first post) on what he does to clean old copper coins. Watch the video to understand the basis of what I am showing.
He like to leave a little dirt around the raised details that make these details easily seen. Then he goes and washes the coin removing all the dirt and the details become very hard to see.
I have washed copper (nickles also) coins that are now hard to see details. Since the coins have no value I thought of a way to make the details see-able. Thus putting thinned paint on them to replace what the dirt had done.

To me the King George and US LC's have value as historic finds but no monetary value if selling them. Once washed they just look like a weather copper disk and no one I show these to is impressed. By increasing the contrast of the details one can see what the coin is and be impressed with me finding and them holding such an old coin.

This thread is just sharing ideas of how to make any of these old toasted coins more pleasing to look at. Nothing more.
I compliment you on your work despite what I say... it really looks like a dirt fished coin..and sharing ideas is a good thing..

I get your point about showing details.. I do the same thing.. I rub off enough coloring before sealing to show the amount of contrast that I like..not what I think other people like..

I'm not trying to disrespect the aquadigger guy.. he's very accomplished at finding things..but the reason his coins look like !!!! when he tries to clean them is because he stops at that point.. yeah..he stops and throws up his hands and says I've ruined it..nope..you just quit before the next step..because what he calls ruined I call a coin ready for restoration..first you gotta get down to the primary level..under the dirt..that exposes the enemy.. corrosion.. and nothing is uglier than that layer of rot..so yeah..if you quit at that point then you have a real mess that's only going to corrode even faster now...So when Aquaman says he ruined it he's right...but only because he doesn't know what to do next...
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:34 PM
joe dert joe dert is offline
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Originally Posted by marcomo View post
You make good points, Joe.

And you seem to be in the loop on ebay coin values, so let me ask you a question.

I know a lot of detectorists clean their finds, I'm specifically thinking of silver coins cleaned with abrasive methods. Not a look I like, but one man's ugly is another man's pretty. As you said it's personal preference. I've always thought with a bullion coin it makes little if any monetary difference anyway.

But am I thinking wrong here? I know if I was buying a roll of silver coins I wouldn't even think of buying a roll of cleaned coins unless it was selling for less than the intrinsic silver value. I have to imagine any bidder with any numismatic knowledge whatsoever wouldn't want them either.

Would a roll of obviously cleaned silver coins sell for less on ebay? If so, then the argument against becomes more than just an aesthetic one.
If it was just a bar of silver who cares about scratches..but bullion coins are different..they have a value outside of spot value..take eagles for instance.. definitely don't want to use an abrasive method that leaves scratches..
Personally..if it was dipped then I'm ok buying it..if it was cleaned in a way that left scratches then no..

Older silver coins that were made shiny and even scratched can have a very natural tarnish induced very quickly without touching the coin and doing more damage...just expose it to the right air..here is an example..if you put a freshly burned model rocket engine in a ziploc with a silver coin it will immediately start to tarnish...because of the sulpher..that's a real tarnish..sulpher naturally does it..if you suspended the coin somehow for even exposure then you might pull off a natural look..it wouldn't take long to go from too shiny to probably very acceptable..right up to deep blackish purple..

Cleaned roll of old silver coins on eBay..hmm..well first off eBay is a crapshoot.. people pay some rediculous prices ..and yeah..old coins can look very clean..if they have very low wear..like uncirculated and higher...but a worn coin that's shiny?..then spot unless it's a key date
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  #15  
Old 01-18-2019, 08:34 AM
waltr waltr is offline
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Originally Posted by joe dert View post
I compliment you on your work despite what I say... it really looks like a dirt fished coin..and sharing ideas is a good thing..

I get your point about showing details.. I do the same thing.. I rub off enough coloring before sealing to show the amount of contrast that I like..not what I think other people like..

I'm not trying to disrespect the aquadigger guy.. he's very accomplished at finding things..but the reason his coins look like !!!! when he tries to clean them is because he stops at that point.. yeah..he stops and throws up his hands and says I've ruined it..nope..you just quit before the next step..because what he calls ruined I call a coin ready for restoration..first you gotta get down to the primary level..under the dirt..that exposes the enemy.. corrosion.. and nothing is uglier than that layer of rot..so yeah..if you quit at that point then you have a real mess that's only going to corrode even faster now...So when Aquaman says he ruined it he's right...but only because he doesn't know what to do next...
Ok, that makes sense but I do not know what the next step is.

Can you post these next steps to 'stop' corrosion and then finish restoration?
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