Bronze Disease Questions

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ycon, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. ycon

    ycon Renaissance Man

    I know there are a myriad threads addressing how to treat bronze disease but I have a couple of slightly different questions.

    I just bought a wonderful Alexandrian Drachm from Vcoins that had undescribed bronze disease. It's quite apparent in person but isn't visible at all in the photographs (it's taken root in several cracks around the edge of the flan, and mainly visible when looked at edge-on). I know that given vcoins return policy I'm well within my rights to request a return. However, other than the bronze disease, I really like the coin and would like to keep it.


    1) Do you think it's reasonable for me to request a partial refund from the dealer, and what percent of the total do you think is appropriate? (For context the coin cost about $250)

    2) I'm a bit leery of tackling the corrosion myself. Are there any professionals who you have worked with who would be willing and able to treat it? (paid of course)

    Thanks for your replies!
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  3. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..idk if he still makes it, or if you have or can get any, but imma firm believer in BadThads Verdi-care....there are several methods from different peeps here for treating it......i'd contact the seller and see what he thinks would be fair on the rebate...i wish you well..:)
  4. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Ryro likes this.
  5. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Hard to say with no images. Last time I took care of my BD Maximinus by dunking it in various harsh chemicals
  6. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    If it's for sure bronze disease, then you certainly should let them know.
    Negotiate how you will, but I would simply let the seller know with pictures attached that sadly the coin arrived with BD. See what they say.
    We, of course, cannot assume the seller was aware of the bd (though, you'd hope they would if it was before shipping) as situations, climate, etc can make a seemingly great coin all thre sudden go bad.
    Good luck
    ominus1 likes this.
  7. Amos 811

    Amos 811 DisMember

    I have been experimenting soaking in olive oils. I can not find my one 1853 cent that has been soaking for 2-3 years, when I do, ill post pics
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    If the dealer sent a coin with bronze disease, he should deal with it. Without pictures or detailed description of the symptoms we can not tell if we agree with you and it is quite possible that the seller will say there is no disease and would want to see it before reducing the price. Many Alexandrian tets have green in the cracks and many of them are BD. Others are stabile. If you can not take a photo, perhaps you know someone who would look at it and confirm??? You could submit it to NGC who would refuse it if they see BD. You might ask the seller if he will pay the costs IF the coin is rejected but you would be out the fees if they encapsulate it. I would return it as is and now. You say you like the coin and there are coins rare enough that you might want to take it and treat it. I bought this Volusian (Emmett 3686 - R5) knowing it was infected and treatment left an ugly mess. Bronze disease treatment removes 'bad' metal and does not replace it with 'healthy' metal. I considered it worth the $10 considering this is the best portrait on an Alexandrian of Volusian I have seen. $250? That must be a very special coin if you are considering keeping it with BD.
    PeteB, johnmilton, ominus1 and 2 others like this.
  9. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Ps, to stop the diseases progress, you will want to put the coin in distilled water as so as possible.
  10. ycon

    ycon Renaissance Man

    I'm really not equipped for coin photography, but here is my attempt.


    I am quite confident it is BD and not other encrustation: it is light green and powdery, very soft, and when gently cleared with a thumbtack reveals pitting underneath.

    Here is the sellers pic of coin (which I probably overpaid for somewhat even without taking into account the BD)

    The BD is occurring the crack on the edge of the coin (2 o'clock on the reverse)
    Andres2, ominus1, Ryro and 1 other person like this.
  11. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    Asking for a partial refund is a bad idea, generally speaking. I would return the coin and be thankful that I noticed the problem early on.
    PeteB, Oldhoopster and dougsmit like this.
  12. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    If that is the only spot I would treat it(spot only) and keep that awesome coin. :)
  13. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Tough call. Is the spot on the edge the only area? It could be BD. Is the green spot hard or powdery? How much did the coin cost?

    Treating BD on a large scale is time consuming, and if extensive leaves a pitted surface behind. Treating a small spot is doable, especially since it is on the edge, but my concern would be future outbreaks elsewhere on the coin. A little bid of humidity could set it off, so even after treating the coin, it would require constant monitoring.

    I guess the prudent thing to do is return it for a refund.
    PeteB and dltsrq like this.
  14. Theodosius

    Theodosius Fine Style Seeker Supporter

    If you do anything to it, like put it in distilled water, you won't be able to return it anymore.

    I think you can find the same coin for the same or lower price from someone else. I'd just return it and get my money back. BD is a real crap shoot. That could be coming from inside the coin meaning the whole coin is infected inside. It's pretty much impossible to treat in that case. It could just be a spot on the surface. But once you start treating it to find out you won't be able to return it anymore.

    dltsrq likes this.
  15. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..well, heck...that aint no hill to a stepper...put something on it so it doesn't get any air immediately to stop further spread....but i see light green in the sellers pic on obverse and reverse too....stop air to stop spread period...and yeah, thats a keeper..maybe @BadThad can help you out if he's still around..idk..i ain't seem him inna while...
  16. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    As a new ancient collector, I am still learning about what’s acceptable and what’s fatal. As a U.S. collector for 60+ years, I had a simple rule, don’t buy corroded copper.

    With white medal items there is a disease called “tin pest.” The “experts” say you can’t stop it, but I’ve learned that proper storage arrests it. I had that confirmed by a couple of “true expert” sources. If something does not get worse in a decade, I think I’m clear.

    With ancients I favor silver and avoid copper. When I buy copper, brown is obviously the best. When I buy something that is a little green, I look for subdued. The bright green copper does make it into my collection, no matter how rare it is.
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