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Early copper coins and albums

Last Christmas I got a Dansco 7070 type set and I've since been filling it up as I find appealing affordable (sub 100$ mostly) examples of each type. A lot of what is left is early copper coinage. I'm passing over a bunch of coins that otherwise look good to me due to green spots and I'm beginning to wonder if some tiny green around the devices is acceptable on old circ copper.

The cent below is one that I've had for decades. It was my grandmother's and as far back as I can remember it's had a few green spots I believe to be verdigris and somewhat stable. The coins I've been passing on are actually in much better shape. Is there any harm in putting this old copper cent or others with mild verdigris in the album? I'm very very wary of messing with copper this old as far as cleaning goes. Truthfully I wouldn't know where to start as all my limited experience is with PVC removal. If someone could weigh in as to the green I would be so thankful.


Comments

  • renomedphysrenomedphys Posts: 3,497 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don’t think there is a problem with contamination as long as the coins aren’t touching, which they won’t be.

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,137 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You might try an acetone soak first, then perhaps a lengthy olive oil soak if the acetone doesn’t touch it. This may possibly even remove some of the obverse “crud”.
    If the green gets soft, then you can use a toothpick to remove it.
    If none of this prevails and you still want it removed, try tracking down some Verdigone.

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  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,808 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Walkerguy21D said:
    You might try an acetone soak first, then perhaps a lengthy olive oil soak if the acetone doesn’t touch it. This may possibly even remove some of the obverse “crud”.
    If the green gets soft, then you can use a toothpick to remove it.
    If none of this prevails and you still want it removed, try tracking down some Verdigone.

    This^^^
    Start with the least harsh treatment... acetone, and then move on from there. Just remember, you might succeed in getting rid of the green, but you might not like what's underneath.

    Best of luck! ...and please let us know how it works...

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  • lkeigwinlkeigwin Posts: 16,887 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Verdigris on 200 year old copper is usually very stubborn and unlikely to go away regardless of treatment. Acetone or oil soaks won't hurt but probably won't do anything either.

    I agree with the above advice to try Verdigone if it can be located. It's been off the market for seven or more years. Its successor, Verdicare, a more environmentally friendly (if less effective) solution, is probably tough to find too. If you come across some it is very simple to apply.

    Otherwise I would leave it alone. It is probably stable and unlikely to jump to other copper in the album.

    What is acceptable for a Dansco album is entire a personal matter. Verdigris, like corrosion, comes with the old copper territory unless your pockets are deep.
    Lance.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with the above advice.... If you are going to be dealing with old copper, get some Verdicare, it will come in handy. Cheers, RickO

  • jedmjedm Posts: 2,936 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's a neat example you have posted. If it were mine I wouldn't try to clean it, but I'd probably just take it out and hold it on occasion and imagine where it's been, then put it back in the album or envelope. Enjoy!

  • RLSnapperRLSnapper Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    On any old coppers pre 1815 a few spots of green don't bother me too much. You can get a higher grade "Details" coin and enjoy the design of the coin. Your 1798 Large Cent is a perfect example of this. Nice coin.

  • bagofnickelsbagofnickels Posts: 349 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks everyone who offered help. Will verdigone, acetone or olive oil alter the color of the coin while removing the verdigris?

    @jedm that's exactly what I do with this coin. I love the look of dark old copper and the big die crack on the reverse. Its a coin with lots of character so I'm hesitant to mess with it too much. Adding to that strong sentimental value I may err on the side of caution and just let her be.

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