Hello, everybody As a fist post - happy to be here and hope that you will allow me to share my brief experience with uncleaned roman coins. The "why" Recent changes in life created some spare time and the possibility to purchase ancient coins without facing jail time. I've always been attracted to indoor activities involving patience and not involving any artistic talent. Already reading and drinking wine, so there was place for one more. Been collecting modern cheap coins before. Not willing to spend much on the hobby. Not looking to get rich. Not looking to create a valuable collection for my heirs or for selling when getting old. Maybe not very convincing reasons, but good enough for me to begin this journey. The "how" Learned with other activities that reading alone will not make you an expert, and neither practice alone. So started reading on how to clean coins, where to buy them from and how to store them. For cleaning, I rejected the olive oil. I do not see myself using that on coins, and more important, I do not see my wife seeing me doing that. So distilled water it was for soaking. For the actual cleaning process I ended up using two high precision cutters, out of which one with a super-sharp tip. These are cheap and come with spare blades, as the blade will become blunt quite fast. Needles before the cutter, but the cutter is just better. Then toothbrush and wooden toothpick for softer dirt. The cutter can easily ruin a coin. Yet, with proper patience, it proves to have a great precision, the sharp tip being sharper than the needle and great for letters and fine detail (if you are lucky to find one candidate). And to see what I am doing, I bought a National Geographic microscope with two set of lenses - 10x and 25x. I use the 25x just because some of the x will compensate the glasses, while the 10x would be sufficient for a normal healthy eye. Been purchasing some dirty old coins, some forumancient ones and some uncleaned lots on Ebay. Been to the local coin fair and purchased nothing (well, I do not live in England and metal detecting locally is complicated, and local dealers seem to not sell uncleaned). Checked some other sites selling uncleaned, but did not like the sellers' style. Maybe in the future will time a city-break with the family during a Numismata fair (one Numismata is on the whish list anyway, but never managed to get to one). For storage I had to chose between trays and flips. I stopped to adhesive flips, because I see trays fit for some more expensive coins; hate the staples; do not want to bother with multiple pockets; do not actually want to handle the coins every day; have a really bad experience with bronze disease and I live in a pretty humid country. So adhesive flips it was, to be stored in plastic boxes of 100 pcs. Overall pretty cheap solution - approx. 20 EUR for 100 coins. The bad part of this is that taking photos of the coins once flipped is a challenge, especially considering that taking any coin photo proves a challenge for some reason, in spite of detailed reading on the subject. To seal the coin and protect it further, I am using Renaissance Wax applied twice with the fingers, left to dry and buffed with a microfiber cloth. Seems that this is also enhancing the details of the coin, making it easier to identify. The "experience" The first thing to do was to drop the magnifying glass for the microscope for better visibility of the working area. The second one was to find a tool that will feel comfortable in hand, will offer good precision and will be able to remove the encrustations. Then it was the technique itself - how to support and move the hand&tool, wet&dry cleaning (wet kept). Then - attention, horror activities described next - I experimented the effect of various substances & techniques on coins showing low details after some precleaning - lemon juice, vinegar, Coke, bicarbonates, electrolysis and even the dishwasher. Let's say that I stick to mechanical cleaning for everything. In terms of quality, the Ebay lots are what I would describe as "leftovers". Bought 3, all coming from the central-eastern part of Europe. The coins fit into three big categories. First, the ones that have been pre-cleaned to know what they are, and they are nothing fancy - mostly soldiers with standard(s), victories and small fell temp. Second, the ones that are "dirtier" and allegedly were not checked. These will mostly prove without details, very low quality and of the same type as the first. Third category - the bait - a few good quality very common coins on top of the pile and/or bigger very low quality coins that will prove almost no detail left when "cleaned". All the coins are AE3, but mostly AE4, except for the bait. Cleaned a few before putting the rest aside for later. Some cleaned fin, but the coins are nothing to brag about. What noted, in addition to what was already mentioned above: unstable patina and unstable detail, easily taken off and "dirty" coins cleaning to show missing or patchy patina that make you wonder how they got dirty in the second place... For now, I will take my wondering for later, when I will go back to the other half of the lots and with some more experience on board. I had my cleaning fun with them, and fun they are indeed to clean, so I am not complaining. If you buy for other reasons, think twice. The uncleaned dirty old coins were all cleaned by now and it was an interesting batch. It included some clean metal pieces that once might have been recognized as coins, but mostly "normal" uncleaned coins ranging from really small to AE3, whose dirt I have no doubt it was the original one, which I was happy to take off and the coins were reluctant to let go. The content of the lot was quite diversified and I hope to be able to present it as a flash-back from the current cleaning project and to get some help for identification. Overall, a good experience and a purchase I do not regret. The uncleaned forumancient ones are the current cleaning project. Just received the coins and they look like this (pic below, hope will work). Preliminary screening: purchased 20, received 22. Lot includes - 9 homehow havier encrusted coins, out of which one is probably a vota and one has 50% of the edge trimmed, with the cuts being obviously recent ones (?!); - 10 lighter encrusted coins, out of which I can guess one Gloria Romanorum (emperor dragging captive); one Constantine quadriga commemorative where seems like somebody started the job before me, just enough to see what it is; another Constantine quadriga commemorative with a bad obverse and nice reverse, preliminary SMAN(Z?) mintmark; one fel temp with phoenix; one fell temp fallen horseman; and one Gloria exercitus with one standard; - 3 potential slugs, out of which one pretty clean and pretty worn, which might be a Gloria exercitus with one standard; one showing a portrait on obverse and a soldier on reverse and one encrusted, but with what appears to be high corrosion and legend loss on one side (chipped). If you still bear with me after the long and boring bed-time story above, I promise more (bad) pictures to come and the thrill to uncover the dirty … (let's call them) coins.