Lucius Verus Dupondius - Loop Removal Tips?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Marsyas Mike, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Starting out 2018 bottom-feeding on eBay. Pretty happy with this one, a dupondius of Lucius Verus, Mars reverse (I'm still trying to attribute it - the TRP V on the reverse is stumping me). Just under $6.

    Anyway, as you can see, it has a small loop soldered on. Any tips for safely removing it? Can I heat it over the stove to loosen the solder without damaging the coin?

    Lucius Verus Dupondius Mars loop Jan 18 (1).JPG
    Lucius Verus Dupondius Mars loop Jan 18 (4).JPG

    Lucius Verus Dupondius Mars w loop Jan 18 (7).JPG
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  3. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I'd just cut it as flush as possible with wire cutters and then file down the rest. Heating old bronze coins can lead to trouble. Ask me how I know ;)
  4. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Thanks, TIF. I think that will be my approach - manual tools. I ruined 2 Canadian silver dimes with the old stove method (small loss). I do love horror stories - do share!
    Theodosius likes this.
  5. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    Do you think a soldering iron would get it hot enough? Or just do what TIF said...
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  6. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    The problem is me and tools often equals a disaster. Which is to say I am not handy at all. I might take it to a jeweler, if I can do it on the cheap.

    I think I figured out the attribution:

    Lucius Verus Æ Dupondius
    Rome Mint
    (164-165 A.D.)

    COS II S C, Mars, helmeted, nude, walking right, carrying spear and trophy.
    RIC 1422
    (12.00 grams (loop) / 25 mm)
  7. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    I dunno... I kinda like to use the industrial strength method... much more professional

    Fast and easy...

    When in doubt... always take the BASS-O-MATIC approach to solving problems:
    Works every time.

    Someone started on this coin to make change...
    Lucania Paestum (Poseidoneia) 218-201 BCE AE Semuncia Poseidon-Dolphin (started cut for change) Craw 4-1
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  8. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    I remember that Bass-o-Matic sketch when it first aired c. 1975. It was absolutely the funniest, weirdest thing I'd ever seen on TV. I was 11 or so. But I'm still laughing. Thanks, Dan Ackroyd.
  9. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    LOL, well shame on me... I actually DID that in University at a party... 1978...
    ominus1 and Marsyas Mike like this.
  10. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Well, it wasn't too horrible... In my first months of ancient coin fascination I bought bunches of "uncleaned" coins (what a misleading and just plain wrong term, in most cases) and experimented with various cleaning techniques.

    I thought it might help to heat the coins to either burn off or loosen some of the superficial stuff. Well... propane torches do get rather warm and my attention wandered for a second and I got a little close. Some type of silver metal (lead, I'd guess) burst out in little droplets, like metal pimples popping. I don't remember what type of coin this was but it was likely a late Roman bronze.

    Anyway, unless you know the type of metal and solder used for that loop, you don't really know what temp will be required for removal. Obviously someone put it there, so heat was used once. Did that heat damage the coin? Hard to say, given its condition. Probably best not to heat it again though.
  11. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter
    You might enlist the aid of someone who works on circuit boards and has experience sucking solder. The concept of soldering is adding a metal that melts at a lower temperature and controlling the temperature. The question is whether the end result is worth taking it to a neurosurgeon or if the desired amputation could be done with the chain saw. I'd risk the soldering iron if it were my coin but not all mistakes can be corrected and this might just be another equal to the one that put the loop there in the first place.
    Marsyas Mike and randygeki like this.
  12. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for your advice - I knew I could count on you. I like TIF's "sweating bullets" account - sorry that it happened, but it is instructive.

    I have a lot of non-ancient coins with loops or pins attached (I have a thing for coins used as jewelry, love tokens, etc.). From time to time I've busted off a loop with pliers and filed gently. This works okay. But I've never had an ancient bronze with a loop of a different metal (silver?) attached. With all the weird things that happens to ancient metals (crystallization, enbrittlement, etc.) I am really hesitant to ruining my only Lucius Verus dupondius.

    I think at some point I might try the soldering iron - I'd never heard of the "sucking solder" concept, but that sounds like what is needed.

    Fortunately for everyone in my neighborhood, I do NOT own a chainsaw. Or a Bass-o-Matic '76.
    Jay GT4 and Alegandron like this.
  13. IdesOfMarch01

    IdesOfMarch01 Well-Known Member

    If you do try this technique, first buy one of these:

    Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 9.13.39 AM.png
    They cost about $6.00 plus shipping.
    ominus1, Marsyas Mike and Alegandron like this.
  14. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the tip - I've never heard of such a thing.
  15. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..isn't that amazing! ><...
    Alegandron likes this.
  16. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    i seen those when i was shopping for a soldering iron..kool idea Ides.
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