Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by capthank, Nov 27, 2018.
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That's where I get mine. I need a reminder - now that I've found a good source of Xylene - what does Xylene do that acetone can't on coins?
Does xylene work well? Never tried it.
Found it! It works slick on adhesive residues.
Really does not sound like something I would want to use. "The main effect of inhaling xylene vapor is depression of the central nervous system, with symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting."
So, like, every Sunday morning at about 3AM? I would only use it for adhesives, and only outdoors.
Be very careful. Nail polish remover frequently contains perfumes, even moisturizers.
I do see, though, that Walmart sells a polish remover labeled as "pure acetone", ingredients: acetone, period. That seems pretty unambiguous.
The party line on here has been that xylene is completely non-polar, and therefore best for non-polar contaminants like waxes and oils. I know acetone is more polar, but I've never seen it hesitate to attack non-polar stuff -- it gobbles up styrofoam, which is about as non-polar as you can get.
Xylene isn't terribly toxic as such things go, but acetone is a lot more benign, easier to get rid of (set it out to evaporate/burn it off/dilute it heavily with water and flush it), and to my mind more generally useful.
And that's why people huff it (and related compounds). Remember, headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting are fun! How else to explain college parties?
You can ask the resident chemists, but in simple terms it dissolves some things that acetone cannot, or does a poor job of doing. That, and the fact that it will not, cannot, harm coins is what makes it useful.
Water dissolves some things that acetone and xylene will not. And acetone dissolves some things that xylene will not. And coin dip dissolves some things that neither water, nor acetone, nor xylene will dissolve.
But if used properly, none of those 4 things will harm coins. But all 4, will each quite often help them. And that's really all you need to know.
Here's why I say that. There is hardly ever a time that anyone can tell for sure what exactly is on a coin. I mean short of an advanced lab - you just can't tell. It could be a mixture of anything, several anythings.
So you use the 4 things in steps. 1 - you start with distilled water, if that does the trick you quit, you're done.
2 - if distilled water does not do the trick, then you try acetone. If it works you quit.
3 - if it does not you try xylene, if it works you quit.
And 4 - if it does not you try a coin dip.
Nope, sorry, no can do, Doug.
I know what I use both acetone and my Kodak dip for. I am no fan of randomly splashing about in an ad hoc arrangement. I have a higher standard for knowledge than that. Doug's system is "practical", and fine as a first go around. But that has never been enough to satisfy my needs. I need to be able to understand and predict, not just "brute force" a solution. Just the way I'm wired, I guess.
I can start with the practical sequence, but part of it is taking careful notes to eliminate future uncertainty to go right to the correct chemical on the first try. I am no fan of "keep using different stuff 'til it works". I find that intellectually lazy.
I am the product of a lab accident with nasty fumes. It's how I got my super powers. I also used to play with vials of raw mercury as a kid. We didn't have no slick exotic stuff like MSDS sheets and all that stuff you kids have today. Men were men, and our women were glad of it.
Seriously though, I'm an old school photo lab rat who dabbled with some highly weird processes. We don't chemically scare very easily.
Bottom line: the next time I see a nice coin "ruined" by oily adhesive residue, I'm goin' "all in" on a Xylene job. My neighborhood True Value is within walking distance and open 7 days a week.
[Is it just me or did anyone else "hear" Pat Summerall's voice in their heads while reading that last bit?]
That's fine and works great if you KNOW what is on the coin. In most cases you don't know. You may suspect, but you can't be sure.
I'm hoping to throw my new-ish microscope at that phase of the problem.
"Funny, you don't LOOK newish."
You can get it at the grocery store. Nail polish remover. Just make sure it says 100% acetone on the bottle.
I was under the understanding that dip is only used on Unc or AU coins. Does this mean a dip can also be used to potentially remove a contamination from a circulated coin; that is, after trying water, acetone, and xylene?
In my opinion, no. Dip is for one thing and one thing only - toning removal. End of story. The other three are for removing contaminants that have no natural business being on a coin.
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