How best to remove 80 yr old fingerprints?

Got a roll of 1937D Lincoln Wheat back Penny's. 5 coins have black fingerprints on the golden red surfaces. I was told vasoline rub the surface and then rinse in acetone. These coins are pristine in strike and the color is golden red.

Answers

  • HemisphericalHemispherical Posts: 6,955 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 25, 2019 6:39PM

    @Artitically_toned said:
    Got a roll of 1937D Lincoln Wheat back Penny's. 5 coins have black fingerprints on the golden red surfaces. I was told vasoline rub the surface and then rinse in acetone. These coins are pristine in strike and the color is golden red.

    Welcome to the forum!

    If the prints have been there for any length of time (80 years is a long time) then the oils from the fingerprint probably have already etched itself into the metal. Applying anything to “fill-in” the “etch” would be a bit deceptive if trying to sell the coin as unadulterated, IMO.

    From the host of this forum:

    “Altered Surfaces
    Adding anything to the surface of the coin to either "improve" its appearance or to cover marks. Surface alteration methods include adding dental wax, putty, lacquer, nose grease, etc. "Thumbing" is the application of a putty-like material to fill in marks, scratches, and other defects or to haze over portions of the coin. Coatings (such as lacquer), while intended to protect coins, result in a No Grade because it is impossible to determine the quality of the underlying surfaces.”

  • ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 1,390 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Welcome to the forum. :)

    Copper doesn't clean well. Anything you do will only make matters worse. To remove a long term print you would end up removing surface metal.

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 2,602 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am pretty sure the copper surface color shall change when you apply rubbing friction. You cannot undo rub marks, latent print etching is forever. Peace Roy

  • YQQYQQ Posts: 2,265 ✭✭✭✭

    you guys are all very correct and more.
    I just hope some specific french dealer would heed your advise.
    am not sure, but I think they try everything to make coppers look red again and then claim that this is the original color.( on a 150 year old copper)

    Today is the first day of the rest of my life
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