Green substance that apparently is not pvc related

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Gilbert, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Gilbert

    Gilbert Part time collector Supporter

    Forty years ago I purchased a complete set of Peace dollars F-12 to AU, that has been stored in a Whitman 9430 album. I haven’t really paid much attention to them, but last week I took a look and was shocked to see green crud on 9 of the 24 coins. Initially they were soaked in distilled water, but this did nothing. Thinking the green substance might be pvc related, I tried soaking in acetone for 24 hours. In the past I have treated pvc damaged coins using this method with good results, but again there was no improvement. Next they were soaked in xylene for 24 hours, and again no improvement. This is baffling. Thoughts? Should I try a quick dip?
    Edit: This is the worst of the nine. Some only have crud on one side and to varying degrees.

    8E700D42-4683-40A0-9A79-19D1C71C5E89.jpeg 9015081E-E8EC-43E0-BE45-ECBF0CBEB714.jpeg
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  3. Islander80-83

    Islander80-83 Well-Known Member

    9 of the 24? That is shocking!! Do they all look like this one? Both side, very weird! Obviously something was on the coins before you purchased them. Or something was touching them in the album. The first thing I do is give my raw purchase coins an acetone bath.

    Whatever it is it looks like it's baked into the surface.
  4. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    Yikes! Forty years is a long time. I've often wondered if over the course of many years, that maybe new items introduced into the environment would affect coins. Fumes from new carpeting, spraying for a bug infestation. Fumes from painting or coating a wood floor. Oils travelling in the air from a kitchen to another room. I don't really have a clue.
  5. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Nasty looking coins. Best wishes in restoring them.
  6. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Variety Collector

    I had a client who I was selling off the family coins and stamps.
    She gave me 5 rolls of IHC rolled in the old paper tubes red, then you folded the ends over.
    Each coin in each of the 5 rolls....was coated in a redish orange power ,the cents as if they had been eaten by a mild acid as you could see devices and dates .somehow something got on the rolls or a small elertical current was somehow erroaded the surfaces.
    To the point they no longer weighted correct weight of a cent.
    tommyc03 likes this.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Gilbert -

    The Whitman 9430 album - (an example below)

    - is the problem. They are arguably the worst thing ever invented for coins, and are directly responsible for screwing up more collections than could possibly be counted. The problem, is the glue. Ya see, when those things ar eput together in the factory, the entire outer page is coated with glue. Then it is applied to the cardboard with the holes in it so the two stick together. Then when a collector puts his coins in these folders the surface of the coin is touching this glue.

    And of course the paper and the cardboard both are completely laden with sulfur - it's the sulfur, combined with the glue, and the moisture in the air, that is causing what you see on your coins.

    And no, water, acetone, xylene - none of that is going to take it off - it's toning. And none of those things affect toning in any way - as you yourself have discovered. You have one choice, well two choices - 1 - sell or trade them off as is, 2 - dip them. Neither of these is a good choice but that's all ya got.

    Dipping circulated coins, well it just doesn't turn out well. The coins look really weird, unnatural when dipped. It'll take the yellowish toning off the coins alright, but they're gonna look really weird when finished. I wish I had a better suggestion for ya but there just isn't one. You could send them all in to a TPG for "conservation", cleaning in other words, but all they can do is what I've already told ya. And the coins aren't worth what it would it cost.

    But either way, you need to get any other coins you may have in folders like those out of those folders and throw the folders away. And if you decide to dip the coins, and you haven't ever done it before - well then you need to get somebody who has done it before to do it for you, maybe a dealer or collector friend you know.
    Gilbert and Paddy54 like this.
  8. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    @GDJMSP Good pick up on the Whitman # Doug. The only folders I ever used were for the cents and nickels so I never ran into this problem with those coins.
  9. Maxfli

    Maxfli Well-Known Member

    This can't be said enough. If you have coins worth more than face value in a Whitman folder, get 'em out.
  10. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    And also the old Coinmaster series. Can't tell everyone enough just how horrendous these were.
  11. Gilbert

    Gilbert Part time collector Supporter

    Thanks for the insight Doug. Is this problem also found with other brands? Are all Whitman albums to be avoided? Are any of the manufacturers better? Dansco?

    Edit: I have removed the coins from the 9430 and will look into replacing the nine that have this problem. (so glad it didn’t affect the 1928)
  12. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Gilbert, I've probably posted this same thing a hundred times - as a general rule, just about ALL ALBUMS should be avoided - they are terrible for coins ! But the ones you chose to use, those are probably the absolute worst.

    The problem with coin albums are the materials they are made of, paper, cardboard, and vinyl in most cases, and of course glues. Paper and cardboard are laden with sulfur which is very bad for coins. And the vinyl is made PVC, pretty sure you already know about that. And the glues, well you've seen what the glues can do.

    Now there a few exceptions but they are very few and far between. To be an exception, all materials in the album need to be made of inert materials. And to the best of my knowledge there's only 2 or 3 companies that make albums like this. There's been thread after thread posted on this subject, find them, read them, and you'll get their names.
    Gilbert likes this.
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