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We need a how to thread for uncleaned coins


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I might go another round with a few uncleaneds.  I might just leave them as-is, unless there's corrosion, as what a little hoard would look like.

I had bad luck with the Balkan ones before so I'm going As-sized and 'high grade' middle eastern finds. I'm staying away from silvered.

We need a how to-thread; tutorials, tricks, and what to do when we're done cleaning.  How to dry them properly and conserve them, etc.

How come one hardly sees any uncleaned Sestertii?  I realize the cost factor, but I'm talking common or grotty ones, where one can tell what it is already.

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I recently bought a book on cleaning coins. I had often run across posts from the author on Facebook groups I follow showing before and after cleaning photos. It’s seemed he had some great luck with coins similar to ones I have that I always thought could use a bit more cleaning. 

Anyway, I have yet to be able to fully dive into it but it seems to be a good guide and is worth checking out for the price. The photos look a bit like mine (so not the best) but they are good enough to show results.

A Method for Cleaning Ancient... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B7QG3CRD?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share


Edited by Orange Julius
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The 2004 ones I had a go at were a complete failure.  Because I didn't have better information at the time, I used the olive oil method.  What a slimy mess and it didn't really work. I just ended up with dark, decrepit coins.  10 years later, some were still in there.  Didn't really do anything.

I also don't enjoy the cleaning process.  When I bought some better ones from Dr. Fishman I just left them alone. SOme of those were uncleaned Nezak AE and AR Drachms, and although they'd benefit from cleaning, I really left those alone.  I think I'll do that with the current batch of stuff (couple 'large' (As?) coins, Byzantine, medieval) and a few 'high grade' middle eastern ones, which I'll leave as is.  If the 'high grade' middle eastern are anything like Dr. Fishman's or the picture, those are pretty decent.  However, they're not really uncleaneds - they're more like partially cleaned.

The picture that goes with the restored Balkan offerings on dirtyoldcoins is rather misleading unless you delve more deeply. The initial picture looks totally awesome, but then one clicks on reality, which isn't horrible, but it's not what the initial one was.  (I didn't order any of those).

Who knows?  If the asses aren't totally horrible, I might have a go.  I'd practice on LRBs first.  I'm staying away from silvered coins.

It's pretty daunting to someone who doesn't know much about cleaning.  I have some picks, but if I can find them, they're still covered in olive oil.  Yuck.

There's also some youtube videos.

However, it would be extremely helpful if someone who cleans a lot would have a basic how-to page, step-by-step.

My Hostilian's about as close as they come to uncleaned Sestertii.  I plan to leave it as-is.  More charm that way.




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Pictures of each step (generally speaking) and what to do when would be very helpful to cleaning noobs.  Keep in mind that we don't know how much of that stuff to use, how long, etc.

Galba's pics, although fresh out of the ground, look like they'd have more detail peeking through than my large AE uncleaneds. Does one know right away if it has an aqua patina, or is that only revealed under the crud?

The aforementioned two don't have the emerald green or aquas I've seen in many Balkan provincials.  It's more like the 17th c. Spanish coins' color and soil covering.

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I plan to leave the rest as-is, but the Trachea look to be the 'easiest' of the lot.  They're large enough to work with and it just looks to be dirt covering them.  What would I do?

My tools

nylon brush (new)

I probably can locate the metal picks I bought a long time ago.  How would one clean off the olive oil?  I may have not even used them. I was afraid to damage coins.  I didn't even like using the brass brush.  I only used that because there was a coating of olive oil protecting the coin.

I want to use the gentlest method, one which would preserve any patina. No olive oil.

That's why we really need a how to or links to good how-to's.  We noobs just don't know what to do at each step.



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@Nerosmyfavorite68 I think this one is actually worth trying to see what you have under all of the gunk. I think it will surprise you because one side on the left coin is already showing some decent lettering. I can already make out a M and maybe a two G's. I think staring with a gentle brushing will be a good start then maybe some soaking followed by some manual cleaning. Best of luck! hope you have fun and get a cool coin!!

10 hours ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

When the before is like this, is it a safe bet to say that even the best cleaning wouldn't help much? How do you tell when you have a keeper?



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