View Full Version : False color on coins
11-08-2012, 01:11 AM
I have a few coins that were damaged and have a false color. My question is should I strip the coins and have them recolored or something else? Or, leave them alone. I have added a photograph for your consideration.500501
11-08-2012, 12:38 PM
I don't have you done this before? It's a nice looking coin other then the color. If you have not, try it on cent that looks the same only in low grade. Me, if I had less then retail in this coin I would try it any way. All half cent I come into are all for sale. I only collect large cents. Good luck.
11-08-2012, 01:55 PM
I knew I would probably never see a 1793 Lib Cap cent so bought a copy for my coin chest. In order to make it look better among the rest of the collection I decided to tone it. I put some sulfur ointment in a non-stick pan with a small amount of water and cooked it until the liquid was reduced and gray-looking. I gently patted it with a paper towel. A lot of black came off leaving the coin a lovely chocolate brown. The pics are not color accurate504 but give an idea of the result. I am very pleased with the outcome505
11-08-2012, 03:13 PM
Nice job, Coppy.
11-08-2012, 05:14 PM
I tried this again on some Lincoln Cents and must have overdone it, because the sulfur melted and left a really ugly pink and black surface. Just goes to show you, know what you are doing before working on expensive coins.
11-08-2012, 06:39 PM
Cappy, Do you strip the coin before you cook it or do you just toss it in the pot?
11-08-2012, 07:46 PM
Yes, you have to strip it, otherwise the brown coating will probably not be even. I think that cooking method would work fine provided you have the temperature/time correct, however I think it's much to risky for expensive coins. I decided to try a much more conservative approach. I dissolved some sulfur ointment in hot water and am soaking a coin in the solution. I set it on the heater for some warmth and will give it an occasional shake. I'll check it every day & let you guys know what happens.
11-08-2012, 09:28 PM
what exactly sulpher ointment do you use.....I don't think I have any of that stuff floating around the house.
11-08-2012, 10:29 PM
This stuff is sold under the brand name "De La Cruz Sulfur Ointment 10% Acne Medication" 2.6 ounce jar www.dlclabs.com 1-800-858-3889. I said before that you had to strip the coin before toning, but I should have said that that was what I did. I imagine it depends upon what result you want and how bad the coin is. Hopefully some EAC expert will chime in here, which I am not. I have to say, if I had an expensive coin that needed toning I would feel better farming it out to an experienced professional. I don't think this is a pastime for amateurs. I took a look inside the jar of sulfur solution. After only 4 hours it is already toning nicely.
11-09-2012, 04:12 AM
I think I would prefer to let someone who has done it before fix my coins. I have three that look like the one I photographed. Does anyone know of someone who does this for a fee and gets proper results?
11-09-2012, 10:27 AM
Just remember that tampering with a coin's surface can reduce the price/value of a coin regardless of what material you use to tone the coin. Experienced individuals will know right away that the coin's surfaces have been played with so just keep this point in mind.........
Take it easy.....Leo
11-09-2012, 04:08 PM
Leo, I know you are right. The issue I have is that the coins I have were colored and hopefully not damaged by a house fire. I think the color comes from the house fire. So, they have already been "recolored" by the fire. The coins are high grade except for the coloring from the fire. Here is my thinking. OTHER THAN COPPER CENTS, most collector coins sold have been cleaned, dipped or worked on in some way. I cannot undo the fire color/damage, but I would like to make the coins appear more normal. Any thoughts?
11-09-2012, 06:20 PM
Steven, I took a look at your coin pics. That's a nice clean example. OK, it went through a fire and has a different color as a result. That fire is part of the coin's history. I am very particular about the condition of coins that I collect, far more than most people. I would buy that coin if it was within my series, but if you re-tone it... I would not touch it for any price. Hope this helps:)
11-10-2012, 02:19 AM
Thank you for your advise. That is what I wanted to hear. The coins that I have were damaged in a fire, but I think they look very interesting and as you said, "the fire was part of their history". Thank you again for the advise..And, I have two of Doug Bird's store card coins with the 1793 design on the front and his information on the back. I have it in my book in place of the 1793 that I will probably never own. Steven
11-14-2012, 12:33 PM
I noticed that using the barely warm method of toning in a solution of sulfur and water works fine. It takes a very long time to build up density, but it works. Probably best when correcting very expensive coins. I also started using another method which increases the heat but in a controlled fashion, the double boiler. A small pot with the coin in a sulfur-water solution floating inside of a larger pot of boiling water. The coin gets flipped regularly with a wooden implement. It works much quicker but doesn't risk melting the sulfur. Remember to get well familiar using cheap Lincoln cents before risking any coins you that care about.
11-19-2012, 07:32 PM
Proper results requires about 80 years. You could try rubbing baking soda slurry on the surfaces until you strip the coin worse than it was. Rinse off the soda, then rinse the coin with the hottest water you can get from your faucet, quickly drying, then rubbing in the sulfur ointment for a half minute or so. Let it sit on a paper towel for several minutes. Gently blot the ointment off with the paper towel. Use a glass to find oily places on the coin and gently reverse-wipe the wet looking crevices with a q-tip. Decide if it needs more recoloring. If so, do it in worst areas with a q-tip. Let it sit longer, blot up the ointment, find and remove remains with a glass and a q-tip. Let it sit overnight then brush with your oily brush. The biggest test is whether the oil/brush removes too much dark color vs making the coin look 98% better.
11-20-2012, 11:54 AM
I have to agree Hugh, this method seems to work the best of any I've tried. If you can get that coin truly clean before you start to color, it's quick and gives good results. Thanks for the tip.:)
11-30-2012, 09:06 PM
When using sulphur just be 'Very Careful' because what percentage of sulphur is in the ointment? Remember the longer a sulphur ointment(are we talking sulphur with Vaseline?)sits on a coin's surface the more likely it will tone and the possibility of it becoming very dark is a distinct possibility. As everyone has stated practice on other large cents that do not mean much to you so you can gauge how long you need to leave the 'stuff' on the coin before wiping it off.....and remember an experienced dealer or collector will still know that the surface has been tampered' with!!!
Take it easy.....Leo
12-06-2012, 12:46 PM
All true. Mine says 10% sulfur ointment.
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