Professional Service to Remove Solder From Gold Coin

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by gojeffrey, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. gojeffrey

    gojeffrey New Member

    I have a bracelet made of 6 quarter eagles, among them a rare 1864. Unfortunately these were soldered together and so I'm wondering if there is a reputable company who specializes in removal of solder from rare coins. Any recommendations? Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) does not offer this service. Thanks.
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  3. Hobo

    Hobo Squirrel Hater

    Unfortunately your coins will forever be "former jewelry". I know of no service that can remove the solder and repair the damage caused by the solder. NCS is able to remove PVC, dirt, varnish, etc. but I don't think they can help you with your soldered coins.
  4. Haleiwa

    Haleiwa New Member

    Hobo hit the nail on the head. You can't fool those guys. Forever "former Jewelry" tagged for life. :hammer:
  5. davidh

    davidh soloist gnomic

    Here's one opinion - http://www.finishing.com/125/03.shtml - which would likely cause some damage to the coin.

    Another way is to heat the coin to the melting point of solder and then wipe across the soldered portion with a wet cloth. Repeated actions would be needed and the effects would be noticeable on the finished coin, even if all of the solder could be removed.

    Your best bet may be to visit a reputable jeweler - not the typical mall shop - for their opinion. Or someone who does conservation and restoration of coins. You probably don't want to do it yourself.

    I have a few ex-jewelry gold coins, but to me these are bullion and the damage is unimportant.
  6. gojeffrey

    gojeffrey New Member

    Thanks for your replies so far. I've seen many suggested ways for dealing with this but I am not willing to try it on my own. What I'm looking for is a professional to do this. Even if it's former jewelry for life, I still want to retore it as best as it can be. I will try a jeweler if I can't locate someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in doing this with coins. I frankly find it surprising that no one markets this service!
  7. Haleiwa

    Haleiwa New Member

    Yeah, best bet is a jeweler who does the work himself. They're familiar with the torches and just how much heat to use. They also have the ability to appreciate the value of what they're repairing. I'm guessing you'd pay around $35 to have it taken care of.
  8. hontonai

    hontonai Registered Contrarian

    The manufacturing jeweler who cleaned up an early Japanese ¥10 for me charged $50. He did a very skillful job and to the naked eye the coin looks original, but under only 5x magnification the disturbed area of the reeding is quite obvious.

    I have it marked as "ex-jewelery" on the container label.
  9. HandsomeToad

    HandsomeToad Urinist

    They remove solder on electronic thingys so the technique used there should also work for coins:

    If you need to repair a poor solder joint, or replace a component soldered to a PC board, you must first remove the old solder. This may be accomplished using a variety of methods. Solder removal wick or braid is the most common. This product consists of resin coated copper that attracts molten solder. After the old joint has been reheated, the wick is applied to draw the solder off the connection. This procedure requires a bit of practice to master. Another common means of removing solder employs a tool affectionately known as the "solder-sucker." This little device consists of a spring loaded plunger inside a tube. Pressure on the trigger releases the plunger, creating a suction or vacuum at the tip. Simply heat the connection, melt the solder, put your "solder-sucker" in place and viola, clean surface! Concerning costs, a roll of solder wick sells for a few Dollars, the vacuum tool commonly sells for about ten.

    Like everyone else has said, it will forever be an ex-jewelry piece but if you can properly remove the old solder, it's then worth more than bullion. :thumb:

    Ribbit :)
  10. Cloudsweeper99

    Cloudsweeper99 Treasure Hunter

    Let a good jeweler do it. If done well, it should improve the value of the coin due to improved eye appeal even if it can't be slabbed.
  11. rzage

    rzage What Goes Around Comes Around . Supporter

    I've heard of someone who repairs coins advertised in the Numismatist , don't know his name & don't have a present copy , maybe someone else knows his name .
    rzage
  12. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Except electronics solder melts around 400 degree F and gold solder around 1,700 degres F. Your solder suckers and solder wicks typically don't work well at those high temperatures. They have a tendency to melt.


    Suggestion, if you get a professional jeweler to do the work make sure you tell them NOT to try and reengrave any missing details.

    And the guy who does the coin repair is Allen Stockton from Kentucky. Sorry I don't have his address at my fingertips. But if you want I can track it down.

    Also the 1864 is a low mintage but it isn't valued that much above the more common dates. Now an 1865 might be a different matter.
  13. HandsomeToad

    HandsomeToad Urinist

    I understand that gold solder melts at a higher temperature, however, many $1 gold coins were not soldered with gold solder, but rather, with a lower melt silver solder and that can be removed like electronics solder.

    Also, I agree with having a professional remove the solder but some peeps can't afford that and someties the coin doesn't rate spending that kind of money so for those situations the home-remedy works, as long as it's a lower temp silver solder that's being removed.

    I removed solder from a 1831 CBH using a Ronson Soldering Torch and it came out good and cost me $25 for the torch (WalMart). The coin wasn't worth sending to a professional to have it removed so I did it myself.

    Costs vs Benefit must always be taken into account and that's why I posted the info I posted. ;)

    Ribbit :)

    Ps: I wonder how the managed to get the solder to 1700 degree temperatures in the mid 19th century, without melting the coin? :rolleyes:
  14. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    They had the capability to go a lot higher than that. Check out the melting point of nickel (2647 F) or platinum (3221 F). Heck even iron is higher than that (2795 F).

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