Which tool tool cleans like this?
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17 posts in this topic

I know nothing about cleaning. I use a lens cloth and toothpick for for crud. If the pictured cent has been cleaned, how was it done?

 

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I have used a plain cotton swab before.  it removes dirt and crud without the scratching

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There does appear to be signs of mechanical cleaning (vertical scrape marks in the first pic), particularly around the edges of the head, rim and numbers/letters where crud would accumulate over time if not protected.  Some geniuses use a small dremel wire wheel and buffer thinking they will end up with a nice shiny penny worth a lot, when in reality they just destroyed the value.  It kind of looks like that.

When people ask about cleaning, I understand the correct response is DONT DO IT, especially for older coins where a good part of the value could be the surface appearance or luster and color that can be affected by something simple like using a chemical cleaner or solution, which coin grading experts can usually detect.

BTW don't use a toothpick even for basic crud cleaning, because even that will leave little scrape marks visible under magnification.  My understanding is that the most you should do for less valuable coins is clean them with mild soap and water, or maybe a cleaner like MS70 and a cotton swab with warm water, and NEVER mechanically clean a coin.

And for coins that may be valuable, it might be wort having it professionally cleaned by a company like NGC (Coin Conservation | NCS | Numismatic Conservation Services | NGC (ngccoin.com).  I think when you send a coin to NGC they may say it has to be restored first before it can be graded, or you could request that.  Maybe some of the more seasoned members here have had experience with doing that.

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The flattening of the letter tops appears to be the result of abrasion rather than any kind of cleaning.

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Abrasion would not be so localized. I suspect insufficient metal flow - possibly related to insufficient planchet edge upset.

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On 7/11/2022 at 7:03 AM, Ray Tatum said:

I know nothing about cleaning. I use a lens cloth and toothpick for for crud. If the pictured cent has been cleaned, how was it done?

A lens cloth can leave the surface of a coin with hairlines and a "cleaned" appearance, and a toothpick can easily gouge a coin's surface.   I would suggest that you avoid using both of these items in the future.   Coin conservation should only be done by someone with experience and coins with numismatic value should never be cleaned, especially by someone that knows nothing about it.

However, if you feel the need to experiment use a cull or otherwise face value coin and 100% pure acetone.   Soak the coin in acetone for a few minutes up to a few hours if really dirty or stained, the acetone will evaporate quickly so use a closed glass container in a well ventilated area.   If you need to remove some very heavy caked on gunk that the acetone will not, use a rose thorn, a rose thorn is soft and has less chance of gouging the surface.

As to your question about the coin in the op, I see what appear to be flow lines from when the coin was struck not lines from a tool used post mint.   I would also caution the use of a microscope like this, high magnification like this will have you chasing your tail over nothing more than not.   I always say the everything looks like something at the micron level.

Edited by Coinbuf
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On 7/11/2022 at 1:26 PM, EagleRJO said:

There does appear to be signs of mechanical cleaning (vertical scrape marks in the first pic), particularly around the edges of the head, rim and numbers/letters where crud would accumulate over time if not protected.  Some geniuses use a small dremel wire wheel and buffer [sn]

I believe something like this. That is precise looking-through-the-microscope-grinding? That looks like it would take time. At least he did not clean an S.


 

F31C3D25-69D7-41D9-B380-C2B4B47E5ED0.jpeg

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Abrasion would not be so localized.

Just to clarify my own comment, I was referring to abrasion on the coin, not the die.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for posting your practices and advice.

True that about high power scopes–you see everything for which you search, and everything else the next day. I have mastered that defect with loupes, as well.

Thanks, SVs, for your observations. I did not understand what you said the first time that I read them. 
It’s like using a dictionary to learn a word, but the definition has another word that you don’t know. 
I have noob grading vouchers and this cent was a candidate for submission. 

Edited by Ray Tatum
Correction
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The "chisel shape" lettering is caused by incomplete metal flow when the coin was struck - it is not wear.

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On 7/12/2022 at 9:29 AM, Ray Tatum said:

... I have noob grading vouchers and this cent was a candidate for submission. 

Hmmm, I could use some noob grading vouchers. How do I get those?  ;-)

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Disturbed field luster indicates handling - AU at best and worth all of a few dollars. Just an opinion.

Edited by RWB
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The "chisel shape" lettering is caused by incomplete metal flow when the coin was struck - it is not wear.

Nowhere did I describe this as "wear." In this instance the flat tops to the letters seem to be the result of abrasion, or scraping of the metal through contact. Something roughly similar can occur from inadequate striking, but the facing surface would not have the sheared appearance seen on this cent.

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I must have misunderstood.

"...flattening of the letter tops..." could easily be interpreted as referring to the obvious flat portion of the top (rim-ward) parts of letters.

Edited by RWB
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On 7/13/2022 at 4:35 PM, DWLange said:

Nowhere did I describe this as "wear." In this instance the flat tops to the letters seem to be the result of abrasion, or scraping of the metal through contact. Something roughly similar can occur from inadequate striking, but the facing surface would not have the sheared appearance seen on this cent.

 A coin roller could even make marks like that I would think. 

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I think it looks like somebody got the dremel wire wheel out and tried to get the gunk out of ridges where it would build up ... but I think someone pointed out correctly that they missed the "1" on the obv and the letter "s" on the rev ... lol.

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Could the slightly off-center (if that is what you call off-center) strike on the obverse result in that deformation of the letters?

Is the “extra ring” on the left of the obverse what you call a “fin”?

Parse on, fellers. Amazing is the power of observation of a forum!

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