Author Topic: Alan's PVC battle  (Read 2515 times)

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Offline Alan Glasser

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Alan's PVC battle
« on: March 12, 2013, 11:32:22 PM »
Hello everyone. A while back I posted about discovering some crown sized silver coins with that "distinctive" sickly green color to them. Back then, I dipped them in Acetone, thoroughly rinsed and re-holdered the coins and put them in my "Miscellaneous silver coin box".  I have been inventorying that box of coins these past couple of days. Well...at the right angle under a good light they retained some of that greenish appearance so today (3 Maria Theresa Thaler restrikes) I dipped them in the acetone again and rinsed.  They didn't improve at all so that's when I made a discovery. In the meantime, I found several Israel large silver pieces with a similar malady in the Miscellaneous box and these had not been dipped before (at least not by me).

So, when the MTT came out no better from the Acetone, I felt the surface with a finger (they will never be brilliant proofs again so I thought it didn't much matter...these have been reduced to Bullion Value pieces...which they essentially were anyway). All the coins were actually a bit "sticky" The Acetone did not help to break up the oils from the PVC holders (I assume). So, I took some soft soap from the pump bottles and rubbed it all over the surfaces of the test coin. After gentle rubbing with thumb and forefinger, I rinsed it under slightly warm water and that made a significant difference. I did the same thing with the other MTT's and the Israel coins and they are all "improved". So I assume I have stopped the deterioration of these pieces, but upon reholdering them, I marked them as BV for Bullion Value. These were all relatively common coins so there is no harm done to any scarce numismatic material so "grading" seemed pointless. I wouldn't sell them as UNCS...or much of anything other than BV...so back in the box they go...probably destined to belong to my grandson someday.

I wonder how many nice collectable coins have been permanantly damaged by PVC? We'll never know...but what a shame.   Alan


akona20

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Re: Alan's PVC battle
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 12:44:51 AM »
Tens of thousands of coins have been damaged by PVC and continue to be damaged. I keep advising people to place their coins in mueum standard paper coin envelopes but they prefer to look at the coins and show them off. Loss of quality has often been the result.

Offline Alan Glasser

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Re: Alan's PVC battle
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 01:57:45 AM »
Hello, Akona20. Nice hearing from you and I appreciate your comments. While I appreciate the value of preservation of coins in safe paper envelopes, I must confess that am one of the guilty people who enjoy looking at my coins and sharing them for others to see. (I hope that is not considered "showing off"...a term that has negative connotations here in the States.) Virtually all of my "collection" coins are in protective housing...either the simple 2x2 cardboard holders, the "Eagle" rigid plastic holders that are supposed to be air tight, or"slabs". I am currently working on a fairly large group of "odds and ends" that I have had for many years that have not been protected and better coins are now going into the 2x2 cardboard holders with the clear windows.

As a young collector, I loved "touching" my coins...and bunches of what now are somewhat scarce coins are fingerprinted and unevenly toned and marked up because of the "error of my ways". So, I see your point about preservation.

Beautiful, rare and historic coins should be preserved in the best and safest way possible for future generations but I do believe that in order for them to be enjoyed by those future generations, they have to be seen. I remember as a kid, visiting Washington DC and spending hours in front of the Smithsonian coin collection. Even as a kid, that was a THRILL! The coins were visible but yet superbly displayed and protected. I guess the museum was the best of both worlds.

I don't have much of anything that is museum quality...but if I did...I'd want to see them, share them and be a responsible conservator for the future. I'm doing my best with my collections anyway.

Always nice hearing from you and yes...PVC has destroyed an awful lot of coins...but like beautiful Renaissance paintings, they need to be seen to be appreciated. My neck is still sore from "looking up" in Vatican City!!

Alan.

Alan

akona20

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Re: Alan's PVC battle
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 02:02:13 AM »
Hi Alan,

Let me advise that there is nothing better than donning a pair of fine cotton gloves (and giving a pair to someone who also wants to look) and carefully removing the coin and then examining it. This works for around 99% of a general collection. High end coins can be treated in a more advanced manner if necessary.

That is the thrill in my method as well as safety.

Offline bagerap

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Re: Alan's PVC battle
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 02:49:48 PM »
I am possibly one of the few still to use paper envelopes. I do however write on them in pencil. This has an interesting side effect. As my collection these days is heavily slanted towards exonumia, a description is often needed if there is no relevant catalogue number available. Given the size of the envelope and my large handwriting, it has encouraged brevity and succinctness.
(So maybe I should rewrite this post, tighten it up a bit  ;D)

Offline Quant.Geek

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Re: Alan's PVC battle
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2013, 03:53:05 PM »
I learned early on during my collecting days about PVC.  Some of my dad's coins were ruined due to the effects of PVC.  Luckily, the coins that were damaged were relatively inexpensive and hence were easily replaceable.  Nowadays, I just use mylar flips, but have been going back and forth on whether I should just use paper envelopes.  With digital photography, I think there really isn't a need to physically handle coins these days.


Ram
A gallery of my coins can been seen at FORVM Ancient Coins

Offline Alan Glasser

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Re: Alan's PVC battle
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 04:28:18 PM »
Lacking your advanced photographic skills, I have to rely on good quality holders to view my collections. As virtually all are in the bank, paper envelopes would be problematic for a day of simply viewing and enjoying the coins. Also for insurance purposes, scans are "safer" for handling the coins when they are in the holders of some sort. My scans are not the best...and my photos are often hopeless. So many buttons on the damn camera...so little time... :P

Alan

Offline Quant.Geek

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Re: Alan's PVC battle
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2013, 04:42:31 PM »
I use a cell phone camera to take my photos with a gooseneck lamp ;D.  So nothing special in regards to photographic ability.  The biggest asset is a good photo manipulation tool.  MS Paint is a bit brain-dead and creates exceedingly large photos.  Once I switched to snagit (http://www.techsmith.com/snagit.html), I could post large photos within the 65K limit, but I suppose there are a lot of good free image manipulation tools that would do the job. 


Ram
A gallery of my coins can been seen at FORVM Ancient Coins

Offline bruce61813

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Re: Alan's PVC battle
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2013, 09:44:33 PM »
Try REN wax and a soft cotton cloth on the coins. It may remove the residue left on the coins. If you want to display the coins in a holder, use the mylar or polyester type. They are stiffer/harder than pvc, but they don't exude any chemicals.

Bruce

Offline Alan Glasser

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Re: Alan's PVC battle
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2013, 09:56:56 PM »
Hi, Bruce.

Is RenWax called "Renaissance Wax and Polish"? Never heard of the stuff but I might just give it a shot on my "sticky" PVC Israel silver coins.

Alan

akona20

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Re: Alan's PVC battle
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2013, 10:01:45 PM »
Yes that is the product.

Offline Alan Glasser

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Re: Alan's PVC battle
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2013, 10:04:09 PM »
Hello, Akona 20. Nice hearing from you.

Thank you for the iformation about RenWax. I will check the hardware stores. I have never heard of it but can get it online. I think it is worth a try!!

Alan