Last year I came home with a small green Roman coin from an otherwise not so interesting hunt. While cleaning with water, on first glance, there was a lot of detail on the guy’s head. It disappeared again when it was dry so i thought – after some fiddling- that it was best to leave it as is. So it stood there for one year until I decided I rather spoil it than to leave the chance to make it better.
Yes acid came into play; I have a plastic box with a lid which houses a smaller plastic box with some acid solution where i put bad coins in. It makes them visible sometimes. The acid is very thin so it took me a dozen of careful drops with an earcleaner to see any difference. and BEHOLD: this is not something you should just attempt on any potential good coin. I have years of practice, aND on top of it: i ruined my first big roman coin that I found i my own yard. Had some weak acid, the hard layer came off a bit, i changed the acid to new acid, and then the coin was eaten too much in a short amount of time; So you learn from these things, but better learn from someone else’s mistakes. I learned to be very careful and not to leave acid for very long. It is diluted with lots of water. Better too slow than too fast.
I also use lemon and this kitchen natriumcarbonate stuff which does miracles for cleaning silver coins. I never knew but it’s super fast and easy.
So the coin turns out to have a very decent silver layer left on it. THe back was even more silvery than I thought. THe inside is copper though so haev to be very careful not to eat away the copper and to make holes.
I posted it on the Flemish detection facebook and it turns out it’s a silver/copper version of a gold coin. 2nd century, so it’s 1850 yrs old and still so sharp 😀
so I have to admit, sometimes I’m amazed at what I managed to pull out of the dirt here in what I call ‘the walked flat area of Tongres’.