Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by MIGuy, Mar 3, 2021.
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I believe the conservator was worried about the possibility that the surface under the residue may have been damaged by the gunk and he didn't want to be responsible if the coin ends up looking worse.
Right, I have it covered tightly with a little curved glass bowl, I am monitoring to see if there's any noticeable evaporation, and it is by a window with a tiny crack in it, not near any electronics, lights or source of flames. Thanks Oldhoopster and Jb10000lakes!
Having said that, this coin is DOA, I'm sorry to say it. Xylene may change a little how it looks, as may acetone, but those aren't going to strip away that surface etching. I'm not trying to dash hopes. More like, been there, done that, and follow the directions on the can if you do use it...
I appreciate your input, yeah, the coin isn't ever going to be nice, I'm not harboring any illusions, that's why I'm conducting the experiment with it, just to see what happens for myself. Now isn't xylene considered a "cleaner" by the TPGs?
Yes. But follow the instructions and warnings on the can. In the old days when we weren't as careful perhaps house painters would get brain damage from this. This stores in the garage, not under the bathroom sink. You don't inhale these vapors. You'll know what to do when you read the can. Good luck and just be extra careful.
I haven’t heard anyone try heating the distilled water, but chemical reactions occur more quickly at higher temperatures, so I can’t see that it would hurt anything.
Most folks have just put the distilled water into a clean container and dropped the coin in for a while. Distilled water is regarded as fairly active - in the distilled state there aren’t any extraneous minerals buffering the active nature of the H and OH radicals, so when they have something they can react with, like some contaminants, the water can actively strip the crud off the metal surface.
Some of the working chemists on the forum can tidy up this statement for you - my chemistry was over 50 years ago, now.
Thanks Ron, I think those will be my next two experiments, now with distilled water do you boil it or just a room temperature soak?
To remove toning, you have to use an Sodium Hydroxide based 'cleaner'.
DO NOT use these in your kitchen or bathroom or on any surface that you wouldn't want damaged. A minor spill on any synthetic or finished surface will have immediate damage done. I would recommend doing this in a cellar or garage on a piece of plywood. Use only a glass jar with a cover for soaking. As with any of the different chemicals people have suggested DO NOT do this anywhere children or pets may go.
After less than 24 hours the acetone won't be having any further effect...so overnight is typically plenty.
Xylene the kind from a paint store (or even more pure Xylenes which is what I use and must be ordered from a chemical supply company) is like acetone on steroids and wont effect toning either...except where the toning is coming from trapped moisture or biological matter.
Both acetone and xylenes will completely remove moisture from the coin which is good!
Similar to an opal...some of the toning color comes from atomic sized trapped moisture in the the surface, so you can notice a slight toning change when using either product.
As mentioned above Xylene is real a brain scrambler (much more so than old model glue base which is Amyl Nitrate) so use in a well ventilated area!!! Your home will smell like model glue if you have to much of it evaporating!
Both acetone and especially Xylene evaporate unbelievably fast...so if your jar isn't sealed maybe make a little mark on the side where it's filled to, because if it's going down at all it's likely to be gone by morning!!! And would redeposit gunk on your coin.
If you end up having some unattractive toning left over that you want to remove I would recommend a product like E-Z-est, but diluted with distilled water. As it very quickly begins to effect the actual metal surface of the coin.
I dilute it at least 10 to 1 with distilled water...give the coin a swish in it for literally just a few seconds...then I rinse the coin for at least 30 seconds under running water COMPLETELY remove all of the e-z-est (rotating it to get the edges too, wearing rubber gloves too, keeping my other hand underneath it just in case!)...then I re-swish the coin in pure distilled water so that there are no spots from impure water. I prefer to air dry it with canister air (holding it tight by the edge so as not to blow it away lol!) and then set it on something soft like a fresh towel (100% cotton only) to completely air dry.
"Dipping" a coin for too long in pure E-Z-est is a quick way to create those blast white looking coins that a lot of us instantly recognize as having been dipped!
I like to use a square of aluminum foil, folded over to fit, on top of the glass jar and secured by a tight rubber band - plastic jar lids and the rubber lining on metal caps tend to dissolve when exposed to acetone, contaminating the liquid.
Keep the jar outside (back porch or steps) while soaking and removing the coins - good luck!
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