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Old Apr 16, 2009, 08:30 AM   #1
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How to strip "patina" off silvered bronze?

I just received this coin yesterday, and found a rather welcome surprise...

I was thinking the coin showed good cleaning potential, and that turns out to be rather an understatement - the coin appears to be fully silvered on both sides under the surface "patina" or whatever one might call it on a coin like this.

You can see the silvered coin surface most obviously on Maximinus's chin where the thin "patina" layer has chipped off, but under a loupe it also shows through at dozens of other small spots on both sides of the coin. The silvering appears quite solid, and Heraclea typically seems to have used unusually heavy silvering.

The question is.... how can I strip the "patina" layer off to reveal the entire silvered surface? I'd really prefer a chemical method if one exists as I'm not confident in mechanically cleaning a coin like this without scratching the silvering off. I'm willing to take the risk that there may be some unwelcome hidden surprise, and that portions of the coin could end up as stripped bronze - as long as the cleaning method doesn't strip whatever silvering is there. I should add that the coin is unlisted and would be fairly valuable if it can indeed be cleaned to a fully silvered state.

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Old Apr 16, 2009, 04:44 PM   #2
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Mechanical is about the only way, even then it's iffy.
You may discover whole sections of silver missing.
The patina formed thru cracks and openings in the silver plate,
which means there is corosion below it.
Anything that disolves the outer layer will loosen the silver too.
I have cleaned these mechanically, investing a great deal
of time & effort, but they seldom turn out as nice looking
as the coin shown.
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