Blue Ribbon Coin Coinditioner - Bad???

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by hhearst, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. hhearst

    hhearst New Member

    What is the opinion of using "Blue Ribbon Coin Conditioner" on coins? I was working with a dealer to buy a bulk lot of circulated coins and during the negotiating, he told me that I "had" to treat these coins with "Blue Ribbon Coin Conditioner" (which, he sold of course). I stated "Isn't that cleaning?" and he insisted that it was not cleaning, just perserving. He wet his finger with this stuff and applied it to the surface of a copper coin. It did not really change the "tone" of the coin yet it did give it a glossy/shiny look which may (or may not) have more eye appeal. Whatever improvement there might have been did not seem worth the effort, so I declined the "oil" as he called it. He then also said I could use olive oil. Hummmm.. coin salad... :)

    So, is this stuff really a perservative and what does it perserve against? Regarding the coins, they were all XF to AU copper coins in a bag. They had moderate "bag dust" on them so you hands got dirty after handling them.

    Oh yeah, I know this dealer pretty well, so I don't think he was trying to push the stuff on me for a sale. I am just curious to know if his opinion of this product and technique is shared by others.

    And yes... never, never, never clean coins, I know.

    Best Regards,
    - Hal
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  3. hhearst

    hhearst New Member

    After posting, I did a quick Google on "Blue Ribbon Coin Conditioner" and found this post on PCGS web site. I would have to say that they coins I was looking at did not have "spots" on them. Anyway, here is the article

    - Hal
  4. hhearst

    hhearst New Member

    To continue the googling, I found this product on a web site that sells coin supplies. Here is how it described the product (bold added by me): Blue Ribbon professional coin cleaner/ conditioner and preservative. Removes soil and coatings from coins, leaving a natural finish and color. Adds a lubricant as a protective film. 2 oz.

    So, that sounds like cleaning to me.
    - Hal
  5. susanlynn9

    susanlynn9 New Member

    It seems like cleaning to me, also. There is a very fine line between coin conservation and coin cleaning. This subject always turns into a hot topic when it is brought up. Many (including myself) are of the mind that any alteration of the surface is cleaning (whether light or heavy). There are some who feel that removing foreign matter from a coin's surface is necessary to prevent further damage. This is also a form of cleaning but tends more to conservation. I think you'll get a lot of different replies to this thread. For what it's worth, the only coins I have ever cleaned on any level have been so caked with grime, PVC, or whatever that I felt the coin could not get any worse, so it was worth the try.
  6. hhearst

    hhearst New Member

    And, to finish this conversation with myself, listed right below the "Blue Ribbon" product is a product called "Coin Care". It looks like the same stuff. I also new another dealer who sold me a bunch of IHC's, many which were "perserved" with this stuff. Many of those coins were stored in an album (if that is important) but some were in tubes.

    - Hal
  7. susanlynn9

    susanlynn9 New Member

    It is my personal opinion that altering the surface of a coin in any way is not a good idea. Removing foreign matter that may continue to damage the coin is necessary to prevent further damage, but I would never treat a coin just to "protect" it. I'm sure that there are others on this board who would disagree, but I definitely feel that a coin with an altered surface (even for preservation) loses value.
  8. hhearst

    hhearst New Member

    Hi Susan, Thanks for the replies. Yes, it is a very fine line. I would love to hear from others as well about this practice of "preserving" or "oiling" coins. Why do coins need a "lubricant" or "Protective Film" if they are stored in a album, flip or 2x2. Does it help prevent PVC damage or weird toning from a album? Maybe the simple answer is that they do not, unless the coin is unmarketable or uncollectible otherwise.
  9. rick

    rick Coin Collector

    yeah... I'm going to have to say that this is cleaning, no two ways about it. The only way to preserve your coin is to store it in the best possible environment - that's another subject.

    I would say that calling this anything but cleaning, is just a way of justifying the treatment. I don't mean that to sound harsh - just my thoughts. It sort of reminds me of my kids, when I say 'Quit running in the house.' to which they will reply 'I wasn't running... I was trotting/jogging/walking fast, etc.'
  10. joecoin

    joecoin New Member

    I would say that coating a coin with an inert substance would not be cleaning it as much as it would be protecting it from the outside environment. Not much different than keeping it in a controlled environment, i.e. museum display filled with inert gas. Many early American coppers were coated with laquer. I don't know if it is inert, but I'm sure the idea was to preserve the coin in its original state, not to clean it.
    Every Cloud likes this.
  11. susanlynn9

    susanlynn9 New Member

    But it still alters the surface of a coin. That's what I have a problem with.
  12. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    This product is just something that is used to try and make coins look better than they really are - think of it as makeup for coins.

    Now you can put makeup on a man or a woman too - and as long as you don't look too close - yeah they look better. Just don't look too close :rolleyes:
  13. jody526

    jody526 New Member

    Wonder what would happen if we put some on your Avatar? :D
  14. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Well it might help with the wrinkles :D And I suppose you'll want me to die my hair and mustache too :rolleyes:
  15. jody526

    jody526 New Member

    Naw, don't change a thing, my friend.

    Just tell 'em like I do...

    Just because there's snow on the roof, don't mean there ain't a fire in the furnace. ;)
  16. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Oh I do - I do !! But the snow on the top of the roof is melting :D
  17. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    Never heard of this stuff. Is it from Europe? I only ask because I know many old Conder tokens and other big coppers were often treated somehow (some with wax, I think). Aside form giving them a certain look (not bad, actually), it also seals out any stuff that would start corrusion.

    I am not recommending this stuff - especially for newer coins - but I am just curious about the purpose.
  18. joecoin

    joecoin New Member

    If the coating is inert, it would not alter the surface. When it (the coating) was removed, the surfaces would be just as they were when said coating was applied. If you mean alter the visual appearance, I agree. :)
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