Author Topic: Working Surface  (Read 1594 times)

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Offline Splock

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Working Surface
« on: June 09, 2010, 05:03:31 AM »
I was just wondering what our more experienced members used as their work surface when handling their collection (with the proper gloves/tongs of course). e.g. When a new item for your collection arrives and you want to get it out of that 2x2, have a closer look or transfer it to a capsule or album what do you have on your desk to put the coin on? I was think that something like a jeweller's mat would be suitable, but where on earth would you get one from?
For I dipt into the future,
far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world,
and all the wonder that would be

Offline Prosit

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Re: Working Surface
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2010, 12:38:36 PM »
I have a piece of felt I got at Wal mart that I use for a mat.  When I use a mat that is and that isn't often.
In my opinion, I seldom have a piece worth the use of a mat.

Dale

Offline Salvete

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Re: Working Surface
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2010, 05:34:36 PM »
I have a bit of foam-back plastic sold by stationers as a writing surface suitable for protecting desk tops from indentations from biros.  Like Dale, I hardly ever have coins that I would worry about handling - mine were handled, spat upon, kept in damp and / or dusty conditions for years, changed hands often and can take a bit more wear yet.  I do not have and do not want proofs or Unc gold pieces, or any non-currency coins, so about the care of those I have no valid opinion (except that I generally ignore them).  I try to avoid dropping them onto hard surfaces or spilling chemicals or tea on them.  Other than that, they are bits of metal designed to withstand the rigours of bazaars, custom houses, treasuries, plunderers and storing underground - what new torture could I devise that might harm them?

Salvete
Ultimately, our coins are only comprehensible against the background of their historical context.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Working Surface
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2010, 02:51:32 AM »
As above. My coins are workhorses. If I do need a working surface (mostly for cleaning) I use some clothes my kids wore some 30 years ago. They are soft, yet impossible to destruct, as shown by their age. Old pajamas would also work, I think.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Splock

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Re: Working Surface
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2010, 03:07:02 AM »
Grateful for the feedback, thanks.

they are bits of metal designed to withstand the rigours of bazaars, custom houses, treasuries, plunderers and storing underground - what new torture could I devise that might harm them?

 :D You know sometimes I tend to forget that a lot of coins that I get have been through that and more, but as soon as they come in to my possession I want to protect them as much as possible from the harsh reality of the outside world.
For I dipt into the future,
far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world,
and all the wonder that would be

Offline Salvete

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Re: Working Surface
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2010, 09:52:29 AM »
Like Mr Splock, I used to pamper my coins, forgetting their hard-working past.  But now I do not worry over-much, as damaging them would not be easy with normal care and handling.  Pieces with flat undamaged fields should not be handled in such a way as to add scratches, but beyond that, almost anything goes.  In fact, regular handling of coppers tends to improve their appearance in many instances, by the application of a little sweat containing small amounts of fat/grease - which makes me wonder if rubbing with oil or butter might do some good to some coins?  We all get dirt on our fingers by handling dirty coins, and that dirt is from the coin surface - if it is now on us, it is no longer on the coin, which must be good news?  I venture to suggest that rubbing between finger and thumb tips has never damaged any ex-circulation coin (the only kind I buy), but cleaning products often have done so.

Salvete 
Ultimately, our coins are only comprehensible against the background of their historical context.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Working Surface
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2010, 11:41:34 AM »
Normally, copper and bronze can gain from extended baths in pure olive oil, if necessary followed by a working over with a toothpick. A method to remove stubborn dirt I have heard about but not tried is using the short cut brush of a toothbrush.

I understand your wish to protect your treasures, Splock. Consider that there are several kinds of damage, such as:

- ugly damage, as in bumps and ugly scratches, usually caused by dropping the coin on something hard or using hard tools. This damage is to be avoided. Here's where a working surface may come in really handy.
- bad colour or patina, usually caused by harsh cleaning. Can be repaired but it's just no fun
- wear of use, usually caused by handling. Nothing special and may indeed improve the appearance. Just know what you are doing and when to stop.

As so often, it all comes down to experience. If you have some cheap, dirty coins to practice with you'll gain valuable experience and maybe make discoveries. I once discovered proof Russian rubles below thick layers of smudge and plasticizer.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.