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Removing spots from a half cent and protection

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
edited January 5, 2023 6:01AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I have an 1804 half cent with spots on it. I am concerned they may get worse. It's for my collection and I want to care for it.
Does anyone have a suggestion on what if even there is a product I can use to properly conserve this coin. I do not want to clean or dip it per say. I have watched several videos on cleaning copper. Most of them I would not even consider. Stupid things like vinegar, ketchup or even toothpaste.
However, I have seen people use conserve, CCC and Blue Ribbon.
I even watched one video where a guy put olive oil on his coin and heat it at 100 degrees and basically heat the verdigris off the coin. It actually appeared to work.
I am in no hurry to do anything.
I am looking for advice.
This is not the best picture but it shows the issue clearly. The scratches are on the plastic 2X2 and not the coin. The coin is beautiful.
Thank you.

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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,942 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The photo makes it look like the coin surface has already been worked on in some way by a previous owner. Perhaps he tried to fix the "spots" problem and failed. The spots seem to have a tiny central point. What that central point consists of is what you need to find out before doing any work on the surface. If it is going to cost any significant money to resolve the problem you would probably be best off selling the coin and looking for a replacement. There are plenty of 1804 half cents available.

    All glory is fleeting.
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    My only comment is I would not use olive oil. I tried it once on a slick 1911 cent and it left a residue that would not come off. I can't say about heating it to 100 degrees though. That may have been an essential step that my source left out.

    Young Numismatist

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    lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,829 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 5, 2023 10:08AM

    As @291fifth says... my initial impression was that this coin had already been cleaned or otherwise "worked". Restoration might work, but since this coin has already been processed in some way it's a hard call... from the PCGS website:

    www.pcgs.com/restoration

    "...older spots often cannot be removed without stripping the coins original surface and will not be attempted..."

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    if you see little lumps in the center of spots, it is usually the contaminant causing the spot and can 99% of the time be knocked off with a toothpick. one step in the right direction.

    if you read enough threads on the subject here, in the archives, your solution(s) will present themselves. practice on lesser coins first and it make take weeks or months to get a protocol down.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @hummingbird_coins said:
    My only comment is I would not use olive oil. I tried it once on a slick 1911 cent and it left a residue that would not come off. I can't say about heating it to 100 degrees though. That may have been an essential step that my source left out.

    You can't easily rinse olive oil with water. But you can rinse it with an organic solvent that will remove any residue.

    PURE oil has been used to conserve coins for centuries and is one of the safest ways to "wash" copper.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would not touch those spots. They will not come off without leaving a trace.

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    BroadstruckBroadstruck Posts: 30,497 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sorry to say but even with a B&W pic the surface conditions look quite problematic to the point that they should be stable.

    To Err Is Human.... To Collect Err's Is Just Too Much Darn Tootin Fun!

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