Cleaning coins with acetone?
I've read so many post over the years that warn about any sort of cleaning
being ultimately harmful to the value and appearance of a large cent, but
there are always EACers who sell acetone and swabs for cleaning cents.
I've cleaned a few low value, rough cents with no apparent damage. So, I
guess my question is, is it a non-harmful, good practice?
I've taken a coin with a hard black lacquer on it, soaked it in acetone for a day or two, and the lacquer came off.
Been using acetone for years without problem. With an eye toward conservation, I routinely use it on counterstamps; this, as foreign matter tends to nestle into the recessed area. I use it sparingly on other coppers, and never on an uncirculated piece.
Acetone is an organic solvent. As such, it does not react with copper or copper oxides and sulfides. Therefore, lightly swabbing a dirty coin with acetone will remove dirt but not damage the coin. Two important thing to remember, though: 1) acetone will remove the oils that protect the surface of the coin from corrosion, so you MUST brush it with oil after washing with acetone, and 2) acetone is highly toxic to YOU and can produce nausea, dizziness and a feeling of drunkenness, so only use it in well-ventillated areas.
"nausea, dizziness and a feeling of drunkenness"
Oh! A typical Saturday night!
Last edited by cudabob496; 08-29-2012 at 02:50 AM.
I thought that's why you guys used it!!
And here I thought I was copping a buzz.....legally!!!