Featured 1960 British Honduras 25c, A Cleaning(?!) Pictorial

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by 7Jags, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Hi all, just got this from Ebay & invested a tremendous $10 plus shipping. The reason that I am posting is that this is a scarce BH coin, and possibly even rare in higher grades. The pictures on Ebay showed a pretty grungy coin with oxidation and possible issues, BUT it had a very "clean" rim. It was softly struck as usual and not really the best of planchet prep. as I don't think great care was taken at the RM with these (OK, understating the case).
    I also have an ex-Richard Stuart example in NGC63, so nothing to lose...

    Here is before and after with apologies in advance for slackluster photos:

    T2SBicqDSvOJopy39Np49g.jpg I6tAFBqsR1qfpLJVZIil9A.jpg


    fullsizeoutput_1c53.jpeg fullsizeoutput_1c53.jpeg fullsizeoutput_1c4d.jpeg

    I took the last at an angle as I was trying to show lustre on a softly struck copper-nickel coin. For sure there are bag marks but under 5x mag, appears that some of the marks in and around the cheek and neck are planchet issues prior to striking.
    Anyway, the point of this is to show that decent coins can be had for not a lot of money.
    Also, some of the colonials are very hard to find well struck or even half way decent appearing during this "late empire" era.

    Bonus Run On Material: this was cleaned in light ammonia followed by liberal irrigation with H2O and tamp drying....

    Reminder: please take time to look and edges, denticles, etc. on Ebay coins & not to mention those in hand.
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  3. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    The coin looks better after the cleaning.
  4. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Yes, I was trying to be helpful as sometimes Ebay lots are a bit hard to "dissect". This came with a rather poor 1954 50c and there were many other collected bits in other lots - none appeared of this quality.
    In hand, I believe it the equivalent of the Stuart MS63 piece.
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  5. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    Splendid job. Most people wouldn't have bothered, as you know. Things like this are still a little too "modern" for a lot of collectors and as such, many would probably relegate them to "junkbox" status. But by conserving a "sleeper" coin, you're giving it a ride into a future where it might be more appreciated.
    Maxfli, Seattlite86 and SorenCoins like this.
  6. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Ah thanks, I just think that people should remain as "collectors" and not just investors...I try to keep an eagle eye for these even though I venture into the deeper end of the pond on occasion...
  7. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    Do you by chance have a chart for which metals are best/safely cleaned by which methods? Up until this point, the only options I've ever considered were pure acetone and distilled H2O.
  8. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    I’ll give a brief on return home tonite.
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  9. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    OK, I don't have a chart but taking it from the top:

    - Palladium and Platinum are pretty much immutable and therefor can use modest or strong acid or even organic solvents such as acetone or even rubbing alcohol.

    - Gold 0.900 and above (and possibly as low as 0.500, with lesser results as the fineness drops) will respond to oxidation of the alloys such as copper with reduction reactions. This would be the boiling water with aluminum foil placed in and then coin and baking soda. This will take off most dreaded red spots that is seen even on .999 fine coins. I showed this before on these boards with the 2014 Kennedy struck in 0.999 gold - it removed the spot with NO traces.
    Note that this is NOT destructive to the host coin metal on 0.900 and above.

    I have not seen metal destruction to occur on several Franklin Mint 70s/80s vintage o.500 gold coins but I am not sure of the alloy metal mixed with the gold.
    In any case, I have not seen pitting or other destruction to occur with this method.

    One can use acidic solutions such as the common dips on gold as well, but they don't seem to address the red ("copper") spots as well.

    Detergents can remove gunk or dirt with liberal wash and tamp dry. Note rubbing gold may rather easily hairline the surface.

    Ammonia can be used on gold as well but one should make sure it doesn't have a bunch of coloring or aromatic agents in there as it can not be easily tested and as they say, results may vary.

    - Silver: ah, this is where it gets controversial. Reduction reactions can work like above. However higher voltage tricks with batteries which accelerate this reaction can be dangerous.

    Dips in moderation are treating the silver surface with acid and result over time or long exposure with potential loss of lustre on a microscopic level. However, they are used by many and with lesser and careful exposure can lead to decent results if not in excess. These have been employed many times when "blast white" pieces are encountered. Silver coins from the 19th C. and before should not ordinarily be "blast white " and 99% are indicative of a dip.
    As a precautionary measure, all residue from the dip must be liberally washed or rinsed from the surface with as close to distilled water as possible. I generally wash with a mild detergent, THEN the water. With either method I tamp dry with a HIGH NAP WHITE COTTON TOWEL - this removes moisture and should not harm surface.

    Notum: this silver bit is occasionally tricky and I don't advocate its use by inexperienced.

    Detergents and warm water can remove surface debris on silver coins. Acetone OK - I tamp and not rub that on with Q-tip and then use rinse off technique like above.

    The other agents, like "Coinsolv", etc. can also sometimes remove gunk but IMO should be removed in a fashion similar to the dip mentioned above.

    Copper: I am not going there, way too dangerous.
    However quick acetone usage like silver mentioned above is usually alright - I rinse as above. Prolonged exposure can alter metal surfaces on "red" specimens or "red brown" specimens (there is a time and temperature dependent slow chemical reaction even with this "inactive" solvent).
    Detergents and water with rinse off like above.

    The other copper cleaning agents are hit and miss and will not elaborate except to say I occasionally use them with liberal detergent and rinsing...

    Anyway, I am out of breath and energy...Maybe we can revisit later....
    lordmarcovan and Seattlite86 like this.
  10. joecoincollect

    joecoincollect Well-Known Member

    I have quite a few modern British Honduras coins like that one, from 10c and up I think in AU/Unc for almost nothing. I saw low mintages and thought they were scarce too, but demand is low so I question scarcity factor. Citric acid dipping is worth looking into (I’m experimenting with Keurig de scaling solution, not diluted). I leave ancients in for a few hours and it loosens dirt better than water. And I’ve never seen this covered but sodium sesquicarbonate for moderns works like it does for ancients. I have an Instagram account where I exhibit my conservation attempts, if you’re interested
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  11. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Don’t know about Instagram except that’s where athletes go to get girlfriends. Lol
    I would like to see your coin projects though
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  12. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

  13. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Indeed, this Ebay coin is every bit (in hand) the equal of the Richard Stuart NGC specimen MS63 which FWIW is top-pop there, with both better struck with better obverses than the MS65 graded by PCGS.

    [Pet peeve: the grading of some of these British and Br colonial seem to be all over the map. Robp has said, and I tend to agree, that some of their grading looks to be done with the dartboard and perhaps a blindfold - LOL].
  14. Light cleaning with acetone is always my preferred method for removing gunk from coins, it removes the dirt without affecting the natural patination. Anything else is a definite Nono for me and the least said about polish the better you would be as well attacking the coin with an angle grinder
  15. ddddd

    ddddd Member

  16. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    No polish here. Copper nickel has some very odd properties, and ammonia solution is quite helpful - but it is most definitely NOT polish, nor are the other methods described. I do however recommend that you experiment with pieces not valuable, and especially with regards to copper nickel coins.

    Guess maybe I will check into the Ig thing eventually...
    Seattlite86 likes this.
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