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What is this strange dried liquid on these Kennedy half dollars?

I was wondering what you guys think of this dried liquid on these Kennedy half dollars and whether or not it can come off.

Inherited these Kennedy half dollars, and they’ve been sitting in these circular small containers since the 1960s when they were first put in there.

When I took some out to look at them, I noticed a lot of them have this strange (and ugly) dried liquid substance on them. (It also smells like rotten milk).

The coins are very shinny, some of them have a lot of marks on them, some of them don’t, but this dried liquid stuff is ugly.

Any thoughts?

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Comments

  • There’s definitely some kind of liquid looking thing on some of them…they really do smell bad too

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,602 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Me thinks they are candidates for a dip in pure acetone. Probably won't effect the latent prints but will dissolve surface contaminants, if that's what it is. Good luck. Peace Roy

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  • GreenstangGreenstang Posts: 725 ✭✭✭✭

    As mentioned, soak them in pure acetone. I usually soak mine for about 24 hours.
    If this does not remove the substance, then I would just leave them as anything else
    Could damage the coins.

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,209 ✭✭✭✭✭

    These are essentially bullion coins. If acetone doesn't work, I would just dip them in e-Z-est or Tarnx.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • SapyxSapyx Posts: 1,968 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Definitely looks like PVC goo, And I can't say whether or not that container is made of PVC.

    I assume the coins feel "sticky" to the touch? Sticky = PVC goo.

    PVC goo is made of phthalate plasticizer and sulfuric acid. The goo slowly leaches out from plasticized PVC over time. Pure phthalates "smell like shower curtains", PVC goo tends to smell slightly more metallic, due to dissolved copper salts.

    The sulfuric acid in PVC goo is what causes damage to coins, The goo itself is soluble in acetone, but any damage already done to the coin over the past 60+ years or so has already been done.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

    Apparently I have been awarded one DPOTD. B)
  • Married2CoinsMarried2Coins Posts: 146 ✭✭✭

    @Sapyx said:
    Definitely looks like PVC goo, And I can't say whether or not that container is made of PVC.

    I assume the coins feel "sticky" to the touch? Sticky = PVC goo.

    PVC goo is made of phthalate plasticizer and sulfuric acid. The goo slowly leaches out from plasticized PVC over time. Pure phthalates "smell like shower curtains", PVC goo tends to smell slightly more metallic, due to dissolved copper salts.

    The sulfuric acid in PVC goo is what causes damage to coins, The goo itself is soluble in acetone, but any damage already done to the coin over the past 60+ years or so has already been done.

    Two questions please. Wwhat is a DPOTD? What is phthalate? Never mind, I forgot I am on the Internet and can look the last one up myself.

  • Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge!

    I will try the 24 hour acetone, to see if that helps…

    What are your recommendations on using the acetone, sealed glass container for 24 hours?

  • ElKevvoElKevvo Posts: 4,046 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not trying to hijack the post but this might help the OP and myself :)

    Based on other's experience, how do you do an acetone dip? Shallow glass container or ?? How do you put the coin into the container and get it out safely? Do you soak more than 1 coin at a time? Any rubbing of the coin?

    I have never done this but need to on a couple of coins I have so rather than trial and error some experienced insight would be helpful.

    K

    ANA LM
  • Wow I just wrote a long post and somehow it got deleted lol — so frustrating!

    The short version 🤪

    • read about Acetone before using it — it’s flammable, use in well ventilated areas (I plan to go outside)
    • Soak in glass containers only, I’m gonna get special gloves from hardware store
    • If coins are really dirty (like mine are), change the acetone periodically during the soak, otherwise the coins are just sitting in dirty acetone
    • Rinse immediate with distilled water, don’t let acetone dry on coins.

    Practice on non valuable coins…which are pretty much all of mine lol…I pretty much have nothing to lose and everything to gain, but if your coins have any real value, then definitely send the coin to a professional restoration expert ❤️

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,859 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In a flooded basement?

    All glory is fleeting.
  • silviosisilviosi Posts: 444 ✭✭✭
    edited January 27, 2024 8:05AM

    The Nickel clad first develop this yellowish color and with the time will become darker and darker. This it is an nickel self defence oxide. Me I use MEK or boil the coin in 25% boric acid solute. The Second it is more for labs because must be in glas cointainer and also use demineralizated, distilated water. Then rinced in very worm of this kind of water and the truck is done.
    The industrial TarnX work very well also if you can buy this one. The commercial it is non purified and contain different minerals which can affect in long term.

    I use MEK instead of acetone, because the acetone improper used will change the color of the cooper on the side of the coin.

    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT.FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL.THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE. MARK TWAIN

  • jonathanbjonathanb Posts: 3,390 ✭✭✭✭✭

    MEK is also less of a health risk than acetone. It's still not good for you, just less bad. Also somewhat less flammable.

    Most hardware stores that sell acetone have MEK sitting right next to it. The price is usually similar, too.

  • rte592rte592 Posts: 1,387 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jonathanb said:
    MEK is also less of a health risk than acetone. It's still not good for you, just less bad. Also somewhat less flammable.

    Most hardware stores that sell acetone have MEK sitting right next to it. The price is usually similar, too.

    Your not supposed to be swimming in either :o
    Gloves and tongs would help, then a rinse in hot water tamp dry.

  • rte592rte592 Posts: 1,387 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looks a little like fingerprints and a damp environment.
    A sonic cleaner with some cleaner solution might be the ticket for non caustic solution.
    Probably not going to hurt the bullion value with any cleaner.

  • silviosisilviosi Posts: 444 ✭✭✭
    edited January 27, 2024 8:39AM

    Sonic cleaner need special adapter in order not to let marks. Then 1964 it is Silver, if any other are Silver clad need special sonic bath and the Nickel clad other kind of the sonic solute. Then you must have an ultrasound which have adaptable temperature for solute and also adaptable frequences. Funny, let go buy an 2 000+$ ultrasound for a few coins, order the silk support, and at least 200$ of solute, learn to use, and erase in the sametime the EMF of the coins and then if you go to sell, you will be acuse of selling counterfeit legal tender coins. LOL, Fanny.

    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT.FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL.THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE. MARK TWAIN

  • Klif50Klif50 Posts: 658 ✭✭✭✭

    The 1964 are 90% silver and as such are worth about $8 each for their bullion value. 1965 - 1970 at 40% silver and are worth the bullion value, maybe $4 each. Before you spend a lot of money buying acetone please understand that it's not going to make these coins into fine collectibles. They are spotted bullion and are worth their bullion value. Sell them and buy some nice coins if you want to collect. They will not bring any more money as bullion even if you clean them up.

  • BAJJERFANBAJJERFAN Posts: 30,968 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TeddyTalks said:
    There’s definitely some kind of liquid looking thing on some of them…they really do smell bad too

    Were they owned by a smoker at some point? Try acetone first.

  • BAJJERFANBAJJERFAN Posts: 30,968 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @silviosi said:
    The Nickel clad first develop this yellowish color and with the time will become darker and darker. This it is an nickel self defence oxide. Me I use MEK or boil the coin in 25% boric acid solute. The Second it is more for labs because must be in glas cointainer and also use demineralizated, distilated water. Then rinced in very worm of this kind of water and the truck is done.
    The industrial TarnX work very well also if you can buy this one. The commercial it is non purified and contain different minerals which can affect in long term.

    I use MEK instead of acetone, because the acetone improper used will change the color of the cooper on the side of the coin.

    They are both methyl ketones so I suspect a color change is due to impurities.

  • silviosisilviosi Posts: 444 ✭✭✭

    @ BAJJERFAN said
    They are both methyl ketones so I suspect a color change is due to impurities.

    Not same MEK it is Methyl Ethyl Ketone and acetone it is Methyl Ketone. Different chemical formula MEK C4H8O and Acetone C3H6O. MEK it is stronger then the acetone. Other alternative in same cases it is Xylene

    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT.FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL.THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE. MARK TWAIN

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,540 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Its bullion. Soap and water.

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,209 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    Its bullion. Soap and water.

    Agree. Warm water and a dishwashing detergent such as Dawn. This coin is essentially junk silver and no coin dealer will want to buy it as a rare numismatic treasure.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,047 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow, most info I have ever read regarding acetone and do not remember anything about MEK.
    Great info. Thank you all.
    Jim


    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.....Mark Twain
  • Married2CoinsMarried2Coins Posts: 146 ✭✭✭

    @Sapyx

    THANK YOU!!!! Wonderfule info. I didn't have the chance to look the word up but had the note by the computer. The Darkside is the Jim Young group right? If so, they look out for fakes and post them. What did you win the award for? Are you a chemist?

  • TeddyTalksTeddyTalks Posts: 67 ✭✭
    edited January 27, 2024 4:24PM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts —

    Once the coins are in the acetone bath, any recommendations on how to get the coin out of the acetone without using my fingers? Is there a type of glove that would be safe?

    Even though these coins are probably only worth their bullion value, but I’m gonna go through the process as an experiment…I’m kind of fascinated now —

    (And since I have about 200 of these Kennedy half dollars, I have plenty I can experiment on 🤪✅)

    I’m pretty sure I’m gonna first soak them in a bath of distilled water and dawn dish soap for a day or two, then move to the Acetone bath, then a rinse with distilled water…

    I’ll start posting photos of the journey…the coin I started this thread I already have soaking in distilled and dawn, but he’s with two of his twins (and I can’t remember who is who), so I’ll post another one from the beginning —

  • AlanSkiAlanSki Posts: 1,657 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Do some DNA swabbing.

  • silviosisilviosi Posts: 444 ✭✭✭

    Pay attention with the acetone. It is an narcotic at 250 ppm who act on central nervous system and is not eliminated by the human system. At 1000 ppm it is poison. At NIOSH you can find more details. Good Luck.

    External has interaction only with the epiderma.

    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT.FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL.THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE. MARK TWAIN

  • What an interesting read. You deserve an award. Hopefully what you wrote can be found somewhere else where others can read that info.

    Apparently, one of our foreign members believes your contribution to this thread and your award deserved a LOL.

  • originalisbestoriginalisbest Posts: 5,901 ✭✭✭✭

    Married2Coins, the LOL guy you mention above is best glossed over. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Sapyx. :smile:

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,340 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @silviosi said:

    @ BAJJERFAN said
    They are both methyl ketones so I suspect a color change is due to impurities.

    Not same MEK it is Methyl Ethyl Ketone and acetone it is Methyl Ketone. Different chemical formula MEK C4H8O and Acetone C3H6O. MEK it is stronger then the acetone. Other alternative in same cases it is Xylene

    Yes, but they ARE both methyl ketones as indicated and are in the same chemical family. Methyl ethyl ketone is not going to be more reactive than acetone.

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,340 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @silviosi said:
    Pay attention with the acetone. It is an narcotic at 250 ppm who act on central nervous system and is not eliminated by the human system. At 1000 ppm it is poison. At NIOSH you can find more details. Good Luck.

    External has interaction only with the epiderma.

    "Narcotic"? I think that is a poor translation.

    I don't know what you mean by "is not eliminated by the human system". Acetone does not bioaccumulate.

  • silviosisilviosi Posts: 444 ✭✭✭

    jmlanzaf said:
    "Narcotic"? I think that is a poor translation.

    https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp21.pdf

    For those interested in.

    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT.FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL.THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE. MARK TWAIN

  • PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,607 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 28, 2024 5:57PM

    100% pure acetone bath for a few hours on each side with new acetone each time and then rinse under fresh acetone. Use a glass bottle with metal lid or a glass lid. Then was it with fresh acetone the bottle I mean just wipe it.

    Acetone is much cheaper in pharmacies than on say Amazon. But always 100% pure. And make sure the lid does not have plastic on the inside. Also make sure you can't smell the acetone once sealed. It is flammable so be careful.

    Collecting interests: Mexico & Peru early milled 1 reales + 1796-1891 US dimes

    Sports: NHL & NFL

    Thank you Lord for another beautiful day!!!

  • GoldbullyGoldbully Posts: 16,807 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @silviosi said:
    Pay attention with the acetone. It is an narcotic at 250 ppm who act on central nervous system and is not eliminated by the human system.


    Acetone is NOT a narcotic.


  • IkesTIkesT Posts: 2,374 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Goldbully said:

    @silviosi said:
    Pay attention with the acetone. It is an narcotic at 250 ppm who act on central nervous system and is not eliminated by the human system.


    Acetone is NOT a narcotic.


    You are thinking of the word "narcotic" in English.

    The word "narcotic" in Silvi-speak could mean anything... ;)

  • mr1931Smr1931S Posts: 5,932 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would give the Kennedys a Goo Gone® bath. That should at least take care of the stinky smell, leaving the coins with a delightfully refreshing orange scent.

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.-Albert Einstein

  • yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,545 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 28, 2024 7:50PM

    From the PDF, p. 16:

    Haggard et al. 1944 3 Human NS M 1–8 hours 21,049, 42,097, 63,146, 84,194 CS Neuro 21,049 Signs of narcosis in 3–6 hours, loss of righting reflex in 8 hours Matsushita et al. 1969a

    So prolonged exposure can bring signs of narcosis (sleepiness) in humans.

    I agree, translating this to "narcotic" in English is not really accurate.
    As that word commonly means a drug that not only makes you sleepy but has other effects, many of them bad, like impaired decisions and addiction.

  • silviosisilviosi Posts: 444 ✭✭✭

    It is not a wrong translation. Explanation:

    Narcotic (any of a class of substances that blunt the senses) which will induce narcosis (the efect of any narcotic substances)

    I know majority of as assimilate the world narcotic with opium, morphine, belladonna, marijuana and etc. Medicaly we use this word as preliminary oppinion when the inhaled substance was not yet indentified.

    Sorry to use an term which could create confusion.

    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT.FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL.THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE. MARK TWAIN

  • TeddyTalksTeddyTalks Posts: 67 ✭✭
    edited January 29, 2024 7:36PM

    Wow Acetone has a really strong smell to it.

    Thankfully, I poured it outside on my balcony, so it didn’t stink up the inside…

    Gonna flip them and put them in a new glass container in a few hours

  • This is my first batch of coins after the 8 hour Acetone bath/distilled water with Dawn rinse/dip in Ezest/then another Dawn rinse with plain distilled water soak —

    And wow wow am I happy!

    Some of the coins still have spots on them, but overall they look much better and some of the coins have no marks on them at all —

    If I was a grader (and im not 🤪) I’d guess these coins are easily 64+, and some of them might be better—

    Thanks for your feedback, this discussion was really helpful ❤️


  • I should note, a couple of them I ruined a long the way lol…I learned that rubbing them with your fingers can leave marks on a coin —- even gently! So with these coins, absolutely no rubbing, when I put Dawn soap on them, I just squirted them with soap then let the pressure of the tap wash it off —


  • TeddyTalksTeddyTalks Posts: 67 ✭✭
    edited January 30, 2024 9:30PM

    Also interesting to note, when I picked up the glass containers after the Acetone had evaporated (I decided the easiest thing for me was to just leave the glass containers outside for a day until the Acetone was gone),

    I noticed there was a thin layer of goo at the bottom of glass container —

    The glass container I put the coins in first, the goo layer was much thicker than the second glass container I used (but it still had some in it),

    So clearly the Acetone was taking off something on the surface of these coins…

  • TeddyTalksTeddyTalks Posts: 67 ✭✭
    edited January 30, 2024 9:54PM

    I’m going to post the nicest ones after I’m finished…some of the coins don’t even look damaged, but to be safe I’m gonna do this to all of them, since they were all stored in the same style plastic containers.

    I have a feeling there’s gonna be one or two gems in this lot…it’s just gonna take a lot of work to find them lol

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