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The money man

is there any way of getting this surface corrosion off?

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hi i have a number of old pennies that would have been very nice coins if it wasnt for this surface rust? is there any way of removing it without wrecking the coin any more than it already is ?1934 penny 001.jpg

 

The problem with removing corrosion is that there is often pitting underneath, and cleaning will probably remove desirable patina and reduce the collector's value of a coin. Of course, there are some methods of cleaning which are safer than others in this respect. But looking at your picture, I'm not sure that you really need to clean that one.

 

You might try soaking it in extra-virgin olive oil for a few weeks and see if that makes any difference. But try this on a common-date coin first to see what effect it has on the metal and patina.

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Using a cotton swab soaked in acetone can work very well to remove the corrosion. I have done this before on common coins, and the acetone does not usually destroy the coin's original color. Just my two cents. :)

 

CC

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How does acetone (even a light swab) affect luster?

When I used it to remove corrosion on a G4 1913 Lincoln cent, it did not wash out the coin's color or ruin its circulation toning. It goes on and very quickly evaporates, after it removes the corrosion. Tomorrow I'll clean an old penny with acetone and report what happens.

 

CC

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Acetone will dissolve organic compounds and shouldn't impact the coin. True corrosion tends to be some sort of chloride reactions with the metal for which acetone will do nothing. Mild acids like olive oil can remove minor corrosion with the minimal impact if one is patient.

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