Featured Thoughts on Renwax?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Clavdivs, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    I do not buy expensive coins (although I admire all that I see here greatly. One can only dream!).
    I do apply Renwax to most of my coins to enhance their appearance.
    I have never sold a coin - so I am certainly not trying to hide anything from anyone..
    just trying to bring out as much detail and eye appeal as I can. Sometimes it does wonders.. sometimes not so much. It can also be removed without much fuss.

    Here are a couple of "before" and "after" shots. The first is the seller's picture and then mine after application. Not the same photography setup - so not truly "apples to apples" but I can assure you that in hand both depictions are/were very accurate.

    I can also state that quite a few of the coins I have purchased already have wax applied and this fact is not mentioned when describing the coin. Does not bother me at all - but would that be an issue for the more experienced/high end collector?

    How do you feel about applying Renwax to coins?


    PhilObv2.jpg PhilRev2.jpg

    ArabsObv.jpg ArabsRev.jpg


    ConstansObvOrig2.jpg ConstansRevOrig2.jpg


    Constans2Obv.jpg Constans2Rev.jpg

    I have many more examples.. but these are the latest additions...

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  3. Sallent

    Sallent Supporter! Supporter

    My only concern is that wax traps moisture and can lead to BD infecting your coins. Monitor them carefully and often. Personally I use verdicare for coins. It shines up the bronze a little and doesn't cause BD, but I see nothing wrong with your method as long as you keep a close eye on them and understand the potential issue with moisture.
    Paul M., philologus_1, Ajax and 4 others like this.
  4. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Good point. I do "bake" the coins prior to application. To reduce moisture and it melts the wax which makes application very easy. Not sure that is enough but we will see I guess.
    benhur767, Theodosius and Alegandron like this.
  5. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I do not particularly care for the strong chemical odor of Renaissance Wax, but otherwise have no objections to its use. Certainly it can make the coins look better, in my opinion. Your results above look pretty good to me.

    I typically use Vaseline (petroleum jelly) to remove surface gunk on more modern copper and bronze coins without affecting their natural color. I apply a little bit, then wipe it off thoroughly, rubbing firmly but not too hard with the cloth or paper towel. This leaves the surfaces glossier looking, but sometimes a bit greasy if I fail to completely remove it.

    I've found Vaseline to be a fairly harmless treatment for stuff like Lincoln and Indian cents and British large pennies, but have not used it much if at all on patinated ancients. I readily admit that RenWax might be better for those. I do have a little tin of that, but haven't used it much. Vaseline just happens to be a quick, cheap, readily available alternative for most of the bulk bronze coins I deal with (which are old, but not ancient).
    Paul M., benhur767 and Alegandron like this.
  6. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    What is your method for "baking"? Could that hurt the coins? Yours look nice with Renwax applied. I had never considered it before. Just curious to know a bit more about your process.
  7. Sallent

    Sallent Supporter! Supporter

    I don't know how he bakes them, but water boils at 212F, which is 100C for those in the civilized world. My guess is he probably puts them in an oven at around 235F (112C) to 250F(121C).

    I have no doubt that heat will soften the coin metal somewhat, and cause expansion inside a coin that may already be weakened by crystalization or other environmental damage from burrial, but whether the additional internal damage (which is probably slight) bothers you or not, thats up to you. My guess is a few heating sessions may not cause noticeable damage, but I get the feeling that enough of them over successive owners will probably start to see some of them turn to dust or several pieces.
    benhur767 and Johnnie Black like this.
  8. Johnnie Black

    Johnnie Black Neither Gentleman Nor Scholar

    I’ve done like @Sallent mentioned and baked at 250 for about 2 hours. I saw the method from Wayne Sayles to treat bronze disease and the final step involved RenWax. I tried it on a few cheap coins that were suffering BD. It has been a few months and appears to have worked so far but I continue to monitor.

    The baking should remove any moisture, but you should apply the RenWax while the coin is still warm. Be careful not to burn yourself. ;)
    Paul M., philologus_1 and benhur767 like this.
  9. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    I use this method... and I have burned my fingers a few times lol.
    Justin Lee and benhur767 like this.
  10. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    How do you know if ren wax was applied to a coin?
  11. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Just rubbing the coin between your fingers.. you can feel the waxy smooth surface.
  12. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Like so many things, there are many people who think if a little Ren-Wax is good, then a thick slather of it must be better. The proper application of wax or any other surface enhancement (Verdicare, nose grease, tooling, smoothing, polishing etc.) will not be obvious. We use to say, "If you can tell what was done, it was done poorly."
  13. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Let me ask if you did any other "cleaning" to the coins before applying the wax? The first coin appears lighter and the second one appears to have either some BD or toning that seems to have disappeared.

    Relating to the temperature, perhaps you are heating too high. I know the boiling point of water is 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C, but it is not necessary to get to these temperatures. If I spill water on the floor, it is gone tomorrow although the temperature never got to 212 degrees...why...evaporation. Probably 200 degrees or less would be sufficient.

    Finally, Renaissance Wax is apparently a hydrocarbon, as is Petroleum Jelly (Not for toast :yawn:) and Mineral Oil. My question/concern is the evaporation of any of these products. If a coin is treated and then stored in a flip of some kind, could the evaporation of the product distort, dissolve or discolor the flip?
    Roman Collector likes this.
  14. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    I did nothing to the coins outside of heating and applying Renwax.
    Roman Collector and Kentucky like this.
  15. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

  16. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Great information. Looks like this thread is featured... which is surprising and kinda nice.
  17. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES! Supporter

    Yeah, sometimes I would put on WAY to much. You can see the wax on the surface of this coin.

  18. Mary Boettcher

    Mary Boettcher New Member

    I have read you shouldn't "clean" coins because it actually decreases the value but it sounds like you can if you can't tell it was done? How do you do this?
  19. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Cleaning modern coins is harmful, but most or all Ancient coins require some degree of cleaning. Two different animals altogether.
    TIF, Kentucky and Alegandron like this.
  20. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Hi Mary, there is a thread here on cleaning ANCIENT coins:


    I am sure there are many more older threads too... search for "cleaning ancients" or something to that effect. Most of it involves leaving them in distilled water for a very long time.. and occasionally scrubbing lightly with a toothbrush.
  21. Mary Boettcher

    Mary Boettcher New Member

    Great. Thanks for the info. I don't have any "ancients" (at least, not any I think are real), so I won't need to worry about cleaning. I have a few of those Greek and Roman trinket/tourist coins you've been talking about but nothing I think is worth anything.
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