To acetone or not to acetone that is the ?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Brenda Brown, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. Brenda Brown

    Brenda Brown Member

    When should you acetone and not. Most of my wheat pennies and mercury dimes are from my Grandparents gas station from the 1930's to 1970's. Some aren't too bad though and what about the couple rolls of 1943's. When is it ok and when is it better not to be a dip.
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  3. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    I've heard mixed responses on whether copper should get dipped in acetone. Otherwise, your silver and nickel coins should be just fine to dip. Acetone will not react with them.
  4. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Welcome to the boards. The question you are asking leads me to believe that
    it would be best if you did not to touch them.

    More coins are ruined than helped when most folks try to improve them. Unfortunately, your question would take over 1/2 hour to explain the ins-and-outs + some methods and warnings.
    Kentucky, medoraman and Seattlite86 like this.
  5. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    Acetone (read: pure acetone as you would get from a hardware store) is safe for most coins. Please read up on proper acetone use and safety before attempting this. There are dozens of threads on this forum with exhausting information already.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

  7. Brenda Brown

    Brenda Brown Member

    Thank you, what about grunge 1943 penny?
  8. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I agree. More coins have been destroyed by "collectors" than any other group. Most of the time they thought they were helping. Just leave them be for now. In a few years, as your knowledge grows, there can be a place to do stuff to them, but wait until you are more expert and then come back here for more advice. :)
    Insider likes this.
  9. Brenda Brown

    Brenda Brown Member

  10. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    The only evidence proposed that would indicate acetone can damage copper is the article that is quoted in this abstract. the full article can be found on certain research paper forums, but may require a fee, the one at the end should be enough. It was written by scientists supported by grants from an alternate copper pipe cleaning agent, so there is some "leaning" in the results. IMO.
    The result of weak acid production can occur If- the setup is left in the acetone for 12 hrs or more~IF there is strong UV or other high energy light used on it, and a very high humidity level. And these are not normal living conditions.

    If you rinse the coins in acetone and slosh them around for 10 or 15 minutes, and then pour it off and repeat until the fluid appears clear and allow coins to air dry on paper towels. You should have no problems unless there is an open flame. You can reused the acetone, as long as the final acetone dipping is new from the can.
    Oldhoopster likes this.
  11. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    I should add that many coins are damaged by other cleaning situations, such as brillo pads, acid dips, wire brushes, tarnex type of soutions, even emery paper, etc. No physical cleaning should be used. The above posts are correct in that aspect. Jim
  12. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Not exactly the only evidence Jim. Though I would agree it very may be the only "scientific paper" written on the subject.

    And you already know this of course, but for the sake of those who do not, I have personally seen copper coins rinsed in acetone sometimes, stress sometimes, turn weird colors later on, and seen it many times. And I'm far from being the only person who has seen and reported this happening. You may not, but I would call that evidence as well.
    Kentucky and Insider like this.
  13. Oldhoopster

    Oldhoopster It seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Wish I could give this multiple likes.
  14. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I would agree with post #4. Miss Brenda, he is a professional grader and certainly has seen the results of good intentions gone bad. Your coins have survived many decades without a cleaning. So why not give it a little more time until you become a bit more coin savvy? Those coins will wait for ya!
    Taurus57 likes this.
  15. Mainebill

    Mainebill Wild Bill

    Soaking in acetone will not hurt your coins. It also will not remove environmental damage toning etc. it will get rid of organic based grunge pvc and other contaminants
  16. paddyman98

    paddyman98 No Common Cents! Supporter

    Clean it
    It wouldn't change it's worth
    Now if you find a Transitional Mint Error 1943 Copper or a 1944 Steel then you never ever clean or dip them im Acetone!
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