May seem like a strange question but

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by all10ofusfriend, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. all10ofusfriend

    all10ofusfriend Junior Member

    Can anybody tell me if it's possible to remove gold plating from a coin without damaging the coin. I picked up a 1928 Peace dollar really cheap ($50) one problem though it has been gold plated to wear with a gold bezel and chain. The coin looks to be in great condition judging by the details coming through the platinng. Is it possible to remove gold plating from a silver coin without damaging the coin itself? Is there somebody who does this kind of work?
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  3. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    Usually in the jewelry business when something is gold plated the matrix ( coin) is highly polished and acid cleaned so the plating adheres well. Recently, some use a thin layer of palladium plate, and then the gold. Probably yours was done long ago. Also, since the coin or jewelry was going to be plated it could be repaired before plating. Not saying yours was treated this way. There are ways to remove the gold, such as cyanide solutions, but the ends would most likely not justify the means.

    And it is possible it was plated because it was altered or counterfeit to begin with.

    If you just have to try, you might find a rockhound/goldhunter who has some cyanide and some experience in handling it to give a try. I would keep it as it is, and maybe wear it to coin shows :)

  4. all10ofusfriend

    all10ofusfriend Junior Member

    Thanks for the reply you can pick up alot of the detail through the plating, but there is no 100% way to make sure its not a counterfeit with the plating on it.
  5. borgovan

    borgovan Supporter**

    If it were my piece, I might use aqua regia (a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids.) Neither one individually will dissolve the gold, but in concert, it will.

    This solution could harm the silver, but I'll bet a really quick dip (1-2 seconds, then very quickly rinsing under fresh water) would be enough to take the gold off, leaving the coin relatively intact. If the quick dip doesn't do it, you could try progressively longer dips.

    You need to be familiar with safety procedures for working with strong acids before attempting this.
  6. all10ofusfriend

    all10ofusfriend Junior Member

    Any idea where you can get aqua regia?
  7. all10ofusfriend

    all10ofusfriend Junior Member

    I was told you could hook two lines to a battery the other end to a piece of iron and that piece of iron could remove the gold. Does any of that sound familiar?
  8. borgovan

    borgovan Supporter**

    You just get nitric acid and hydrochloric acid, and mix them together. A 1:1 mixture is probably fine. The strength you use is up to you.

    Just do a little homework on it, and be careful.
  9. LostDutchman

    LostDutchman Under Staffed & Overly Motivated Moderator

    yeah, definitely don't breathe in those fumes... bad news
  10. rlm's cents

    rlm's cents Numismatist

    Granted, they are not too much fun, but they announce themselves about as much as they are bad. However, I guarantee that stuff will take care of the coin as fast as it takes care of the gold. Try carrying it in your pocket for a while and see how much of that gold goes away.
  11. willieboyd2

    willieboyd2 First Class User

    Cyanide, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid...

    I do remember a story about a coin collector who was working with cyanide.
    It was an obituary.

    Maybe should just go out and buy another coin.

  12. Breed

    Breed Junior Member

    or get your picture taken with the coin before you start
  13. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER" Supporter

    Good advice ;)
  14. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Do not use aqua regia on the coin (It will remove the gold but it will attack the silver more strongly than it will the gold.)

    The plating can be removed but not without some damage to the coin. It will be much less damaged than it is now though. The easiest way to do it is reverse electrolysis. It was plated by immersing in a gold bearing electrolyte and being connected to a DC current with the coin as the cathode and a piece of gold as the anode. If you reverse the polarity, gold atoms will come off the coin and go into solution, and gold atoms will come out of solution to deposit on the gold cathode. Some silver will also come off the coin but if your electrolyte is gold bearing the gold will come off at a significant faster rate than the silver. After the gold is removed the coin may have a very slight roughened surface, but that is better than a gold plating.
  15. all10ofusfriend

    all10ofusfriend Junior Member

    That was the processed that was explained to me when I get home I'll post a before picture and when I get done I'll post an after.
  16. Xenoyia

    Xenoyia Junior Member

    If you take off the plating, you can get some money from gold buyers. Not much, but still some profit.
  17. bhp3rd

    bhp3rd Die varieties, Gems

    Before all that foolishness IMO (for the coins most likley ending condition) first I would weigh it and measure it and look at the diagnostics very closely to be certain it probably is a genuine 1928.
    The surface of this coin is going to suffer to the tune of VG on it's best day and then who wants the thing but,, do as you wish.
  18. Just Carl

    Just Carl Numismatist

    Sort of like Conder101 said. Do not use Aqua Regia on anything. As to the suggestion of taking a photo of yourself with the coin, good idea if you do use the Aqua Regia. One splash and you'll have something to show the reconstrution doctors at the hospital. Fumes given off may also not be exactly what your lungs would appreciate.
    Electrolysis and almost any thing else you attempt will more than likely be really a waste of time and money. If that coin was plated with almst any procedure, the atoms of Gold will have penitrated the surface and create a real mess removing them. Note that an attempt to reverse the process properly would mean the method would have to know which atom of what is to remain and which should stay. This is on the verge of a fantastically new method. My suggesetion is to just leave that coin alone.
    Not sure if listed there but prior to using any possibly dangerous substance, go to teh ATSDR web site. Agency for Toxic Substancess & Diseace Registry.
  19. vipergts2

    vipergts2 Jester in hobby of kings

    About the only way to take it off is about the same way it was put on. I have an electroplate kit to do gold plating and there is a solution to use to remove plating as well.

    If the coin was polished before it was plated then the damage has already been done anyway. If the plating is electronicaly removed I wouldn't think it would be any worse than if the coin had been cleaned as apposed to plated.

    It shouldn't be to hard to tell if it was pollished before the plating. The luster of the gold will be pactically the same as the surface of the coin under it.
  20. all10ofusfriend

    all10ofusfriend Junior Member

    Hope I did this right here she is:

    Attached Files:

  21. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    I think it's a 28-S, and I think it probably wasn't in that great a condition before it was plated.

    Better pictures would be nice so we can see what the after surfaces really look like.
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