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acetone on ancient coins


Cordoba
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i have some silver dirhams that i suspect have pvc residue on them. they're a bit sticky to the touch, but otherwise i can't see anything unusual about them. they were in pvc flips before, but i have removed them. is acetone good to use to remove the residue, and how long should i soak it?

 

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Yes, you can use acetone, just put some acetone in a small dish, put the coin in and swish it around a bit slowly, then take it out. Rinse with a little distilled water and pad it dry.

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12 minutes ago, Cordoba said:

there isnt really anything to take, the coins dont have anything visible on them

Just so you know, whenever I buy a new coin, I always put it in a quick acetone wash. It's never mattered the metal the coin is either. You'd be amazed at how the a few times the acetone turns to a color of some kind, or the organic stuff that was on it just goes away. Sometimes the coin looks so much better. BUT, sometimes the coin can loose an appeal too, but at least it is PVC free.

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9 minutes ago, Kali said:

Just so you know, whenever I buy a new coin, I always put it in a quick acetone wash. It's never mattered the metal the coin is either. You'd be amazed at how the a few times the acetone turns to a color of some kind, or the organic stuff that was on it just goes away. Sometimes the coin looks so much better. BUT, sometimes the coin can loose an appeal too, but at least it is PVC free.

Many thanks for the advice, @Kali.  I'm wondering, though, in what way can the coin lose appeal?  

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8 hours ago, Cordoba said:

i have some silver dirhams that i suspect have pvc residue on them. they're a bit sticky to the touch, but otherwise i can't see anything unusual about them. they were in pvc flips before, but i have removed them. is acetone good to use to remove the residue, and how long should i soak it?

 

Hi ! I have some experience with acetone, I would recommend using pure acetone only(make sure it is the only ingredient, even bitterants should be avoided.) Best way to find them is at the hardware store or sometimes you can find pure acetone at places like walgreens where it is the only ingredient.

 

I would soak for at least several minutes each side, could be longer depending on severity of the residue…at least do it  until you cannot see the residue on the coin anymore. Make sure you do not use plastic as a container and maybe use glass or something like that instead as acetone eats through plastic. Also keep your container in a well ventilated area with some lid over it, as acetone evaporates quite easily and you 1) do not want to inhale and 2) do not want the acetone to evaporate to the point where the coin is no longer fully saturated in the solution and acetone is evaporating on the coins surface, otherwise pvc residue can be redeposited…a big no no.

When you take it out, I would suggest a thorough distilled water rinse ideally before the acetone has much time to evaporate. Then to dry the coin without using, I keep the coin tilted at an angle( I use a piece of paper folded into a V like shape and rest the coin there, picture included as an example). That way the liquid falls down the coin and doesnt dry on the coin. Also since paper absorbs the liquid, it also helps dry up the coin without rubbing it with anything. You can flip the coin around to get this done on both sides. I have done this numerous times and have never had an issue with spotting. 

 

Good luck with doing the pvc residue removal! 

 

Cheers

 

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Edited by John060167
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I have used acetone on a number of my bronze and silver coins to remove the sticky residue of PVC. I just dipped them in a small saucer of pure acetone for several seconds and gently dabbed them with a cotton Q-tip. It worked like a charm. ; did not affect the patina at all. After at least 10 years , there has been no change to my coins. I think you run more of a risk of damaging your coins if you do NOT remove the sticky, PVC residue. Please remember that acetone is extremely flammable!

 

 

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3 hours ago, JeandAcre said:

Many thanks for the advice, @Kali.  I'm wondering, though, in what way can the coin lose appeal?  

Sometimes acetone will remove organics or ren. wax and such, thus removing things that were hidden or different in color.

Some bronzes I've had changed when things that were applied in the past revealed their dirty secrets. Sadly, it happens.

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