Problem- Gold Buffalo with Three Red Spots

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by alhas, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. alhas

    alhas Senior Member

    I purchased this 2008-W Gold Buffalo from US Mint in August. There were no spots when I received the coin. This coin was in two ziploc freezer bags with three buffalos purchase at the same time. The ziploc bags were placed in the safe with several Silica Gel packets.

    Note the two large red spots and one small one on the ribs. There is a black spot in the center of the two large red spots! What chemical reaction could have caused this? It appears to have increased in size with time.

    What can I do to stop and remove this chemical reaction?


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  3. Hobo

    Hobo Squirrel Hater

    They could be copper spots (but I doubt it). Copper spots are common older 90% gold US coins because they were 10% copper and sometimes the copper did not completely mix with the gold. Copper spots are a good indicator of an old 90% gold coin being genuine.

    Your coin is 99.99% gold (and, I assume, 0.01% copper). With modern refining methods I think it would be unlikely there would be enough clumps of copper in the gold to cause copper spots. But anything is possible.
  4. Julien

    Julien Member

    Can't be copper since the coin is .9999 gold and could only contain .0001% impurities and there not likely to be all copper. It must be something deposited on the coin or some kind of contamination it came in contact with. I believe that gold doesn't react chemically to any chemical substance except aqua regia acid.
  5. desertgem

    desertgem Senior Errer Collecktor Supporter

    Since you say it has appeared rapidly, I suggest it might be the oxidation of a thin oil deposit on the surface. It would have been invisible until it oxidized. If the coin can
    be removed from the holder, try some pure acetone on it. If it doesn't dissolve the gunk, it almost has to be copper chunks ( but that would surprise me also as Hobo and Julien said above.

    When finished rinsing it in the acetone, there should be no streaks, if so, the acetone was a little contaminated, so rinse again with acetone with the coin held vertically. If still there, rinse with distilled water. best of Luck.

  6. alhas

    alhas Senior Member

    Hi Hobo, Julien, mrbrklyn, and desertgem,

    Thanks for your thoughts, and for taking time to respond so quickly. I will give other members some time to look into this problem and hopefully get some additional ideas.

  7. jaceravone

    jaceravone Member

    Alhas, can you send them back??? I know the mint has a one month return policy, but I wonder if you call them and get special permission to return your set for another set. I know I had to return my first 4 coin buffalo set due to "defects" that I deemed unacceptable. The second set I received was fine. Stop stressing and call the mint at 1-800-usa-mint now! They are still open until 8pm. It would be great if you can return it for an exchange.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    We've kind of had this discussion before, and inevitably I end up getting told that so called pure gold cannot get copper spots. Well it can.

    Old gold, .986 and up in purity, get's copper spots rather often and it also tones. Don't ask me to explain why, I can't. I just know it does from experience.
  9. 900fine

    900fine doggone it people like me

    That seems the most reasonable to me.

    I'm interested in how this turns out. Stay tuned in !
  10. kevcoins

    kevcoins Senior Roll Sercher

    It looks cool, kinda like he was shot
  11. mrbrklyn

    mrbrklyn New Member

    hmmm maybe its not copper doing that or maybe it has to do with the number 6x 10e+23 per mole of gold

    Did you see that picture of Noah's ark on Mount Ararat? Its also a mystery
  12. CentDime

    CentDime Coin Hoarder

    You still have a chance to purchase a new one from the mint and send this one back as damaged. i think someone didn't mix the gold properly IMO.
  13. RickieB

    RickieB Expert Plunger Sniper

    Thats what I was going to say...a new error :smile variety "The Shot Buffalo" Big Bucks on Flea Bay!! :eek: ;) :thumb:

  14. mrbrklyn

    mrbrklyn New Member

    Let me introduce to you to this organization called PETA: Free the Elephants from the cirrus

    And the Endangered Species Act...


    PS - I thought it was a felt magic marker
  15. mrbrklyn

    mrbrklyn New Member

    or buy another at 60% off
  16. Julien

    Julien Member

    Mix is the wrong word since it is pure (or as pure as you can get) Au and there is not an alloy (mix). Wonder if there is any way or chance it is struck on an American Eagle planchet? To check this you could weigh it. Buffalo would be 15.5 grams and AE is 17 grams.
  17. Julien

    Julien Member

    There is a 0% chance that the mint will discount below bullion vale. If they do I will mortgage my house, empty my IRA, sell my stocks at a loss, sell all my coins and max out all my CC to rase every dollar I can to buy them.
  18. CentDime

    CentDime Coin Hoarder

    it is almost impossible to get pure gold so there has to be some other metals in the gold besides AU even though they claim 99.95% pure.

    I would order a new one and send it back.
  19. alhas

    alhas Senior Member

    Hello all,

    Great thoughts! Per jaceravone's suggestion, I called the Mint and talked to a supervisor for a possible exchange. I was told that they cannot take the product back, for any reason, after 30-days return policy. I will pursue other options discussed. Thanks!

  20. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot there is no spoon

    So what did you do, and what were the results?

    p.s. those sure look like copper spots to my eye....
  21. Soda Ant

    Soda Ant Senior Member

    PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals
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