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  1. I recently used the "after" picture in another thread, but while I was looking for the after picture I also found the "before" picture. The product I use is Ali Brite. I have no idea if it is available in the States but it is described as a "etching type acid". Be careful with the stuff, above all, don`t get it in your eyes, and if it comes in a plastic bottle, use a plastic container to soak your speci`s in. And you have got to be patient, I left these pieces in acid for several months. Anyway, this is the before and after. Dave http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/Product/Septone-Ali-Brite-Aluminium-Cleaner-1-Litre/1747
  2. One of the most controversial topics in metal detecting and coin collecting is that of cleaning coins. A lot of this comes from failure to define terms, such as purpose of cleaning and what ‘cleaning’ really means. I’m starting this thread as much to educate myself as anything. As such it is a bit of ‘brainstorming’. I’m not an expert although as is often the case, many of the people who claim to be such aren’t either. “Reader beware” has never been more true than in the 21st Century internet / social media world and this post is no exception. Numismatics is the fancy word for coin collecting, and the topic of coin cleaning must include facts and opinions coming from that segment of activity and knowledge. Here is a list of some of the concepts/issues/concerns expressed there: 1) A coin’s patina is important. ‘Patina’ is the natural toning that comes with age. This idea is shared with antique collecting, as is the concern over refurbishing/restoring/refinishing of antiques in general. It is almost universally accepted in numismatics that coins that haven’t been cleaned are vastly superior to coins that exhibit signs of having been cleaned. Whether or not you consider this reasonable, it’s locked in and not going to change. 2) Most of modern numismatics, and particularly the area with the largest investment, is in uncirculated coins. A lot of the information among numistmatists on coin cleaning relates to uncirculated coins. 3) Although “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is a general cliche’, coins do change hands and many/most methods of cleaning cannot be reversed. Much of coin collecting (hell, much of the world in general) is about value and (permanent) cleaning has ruined a lot of coins’ values over history – thus the reason for major concern amongst numistmatists on this subject. What does ‘ruin’ mean? Reducing its value by 75-90% isn't uncommon. 4) Most collected coins did not spend years in the ground. The issues we detectorists experience are rarely even considered by coin collectors. 5) Often the word ‘cleaning’ among numistmatists is confused with ‘conservation’. The latter is loosely defined as removing foreign matter that in the long term will damage a coin. ‘Cleaning’ is simply trying to improve the appearance of a coin. Conservation is accepted, if done properly, of course. Even the two major grading services offer conservation options. 6) Statements such as the most common -- “never clean coins” -- or even the less dogmatic “cleaning should be left to professionals” may be well intentioned, but are neither informative nor practical. Who are these ‘professionals’? I suspect if you went to a coin show/convention and did a survey you would get very few answers to this question, but rather be referred back to #1 (“never clean coins!”). Although so far it may seem that numismatists are Chicken Littles, there is a lot of validity to their concerns. It’s just that you need to go past the cliche’s to understand that. Let’s start with an analogy many of us are familiar with – cleaning eyeglasses. What’s the best way to do that? (“Never clean eyeglasses” isn’t an option!) Fortunately micro-fiber cloth is a fairly modern convenience, and that (with a mild cleaning solution) is the proper method. But how many of us have used paper towels, cotton cloths (such as handkerchiefs or shirt-tails), etc. to accomplish the task? I have, and the results are eye-opening (no pun intended). Permanent scratches result, at least for modern plastic lenses (and that includes polycarbonate lenses). Abrasives are a common cleaning medium. Sandpaper is a good example. Would you clean your eyeglasses with sandpaper? Well, fibers in paper and cloth are also abrasives. That also applies to cleaning of coins. The naked eye may not notice fine scratches but coin grading involves magnification and then the scratches look like river valleys. (OK, I exaggerate.) What seem like minor differences in coin grades can translate to huge differences in value. Scratches are one of the things that determine coin grades. A very common occurrence in metal detecting, if YouTube videos are any indication, is the immediate rubbing of a coin when retrieved from the ground. The sand grains, etc., in the attached soil are abrasives! If you want to identify a recovered coin in the field, then take along a small spray bottle and blast the coin with water. (BTW, I’m aware that some perceived experts have claimed that water damages a freshly retrieved coin. While always holding out the possibility that my logic is wrong, ask yourself this question: how many years has this coin been in the ground, free from contact with water?!!!! Even the driest desert gets rainfall occasionally.) The reality is that many coins coming from the ground, especially those which contain mostly copper, are not attractive and sometimes not even identifiable without aggressive cleaning. If you’ve read this far, hoping to get some good answers, you are going to be disappointed. I don’t have them, yet. There have been a few threads on detectorprospector.com with discussion of cleaning methods. I’m not going to repeat those, nor even link to them since they are scattered. What I am going to do this year (new year’s resolution) is to both read more deeply and experiment with cleaning methods. I already own one book on the subject and just ordered two more from Amazon. My workshop is being upgraded to, among other things, make it more conducive to simple chemical experimentation. I’ll report back with my findings. In the meantime, here's an interesting discussion among coin collectors on the subject. Also, a well chronicled experience with one of the coin certification services regarding coin cleaning/conservation.
  3. Anyone know the best bang for the buck for weigh scales, from experience? I’ve been looking at re-loader scales.
  4. I could use some advice here, these are somehow associated with what looks like a spot metal plating device but I don't really know anything about this stuff or the chemicals, the stuff sealed in the silver bag sounds ominous and is anybody here familiar with any of this stuff. the little brown plastic bottle where the label has disintegrated has about 3/8 of an inch of dark clear amber heavy liquid, i believe for plating gold???? Im not messing with any of it until im sure what it all is any ideas?
  5. With gold prices on the rise, over $1500US an ounce right now, up from $1200 at the beginning of the year, I am tempted to sell an ounce of the broken 10 and 14K bits I’ve accumulated. Just curious as to what the rest of y’all do with your gold jewelry. Save it or sell it??
  6. On Thursday I went to search for more coins in a local park and in just 15 minutes I came across this Indian Head penny. I would like to know the best way to clean this coin so I may have it placed in a frame and hang it on a wall. This is the oldest coin that I have found to date, and it even beat out a 1924 dime that I found within 15 feet of where I found this penny. It had a lot of mud on it when I dug it up so I ran some water on it and found the date. This penny was wedged between 2 roots standing on edge and about 8 inches down. I had a ID number of 19 in one direction and a 20 in another direction so I decided to dig it up. I used the settings that another member showed me a week earlier when we met in Casey, IL. and I am sorry for not knowing the settings off the top of my head to put them in here. Please if someone knows a way to clean this up I would greatly appreciate your knowledge. I guess I am starting to get the hang of this Equinox 800 and I can only hope that this is just the beginning of a long and wonderful relationship of metal detecting. Valen
  7. Sometimes I do a quick search on old coins I find on ebay for quickie reference on what people are selling them for and think I found a counterfeit ring going on. See back of this quarter for example: You will notice where there is detail it is raised more which leads me to believe that it was created from a 3d scan. I say that because typically 3d scanner will not have enough resolution no matter how good and will average the heights when details are too close and small causing a puffiness in that area. A coin back then was done from a large master and milled on a pantograph milling machine. Now coins dies are made from edm (electrical discharge machining) where a graphite master is burned into the die then it's polished. Anyways the prices on them are ridiculously low and there seems to be a lot of subtle oddities that make me suspicious. The example I showed a real 1943 silver in half descent condition would be around $20-$30 and not $0.99. Who do I contact on that? Does ebay care? Anyways buyer beware on that.
  8. Knowing that my coin would never be graded as a very expensive coin although very desirable, I decided to make it look better for my personal viewing. I looked at a lot of U tube videos and read several things about cleaning silver without damaging the object. Just wanting to know the outcome before trying the method on my coin,. I tried it on other objects. I settled on using cotton balls, Q tips and non abrasive Carnuba oil auto polish. This didn't seem to leave any scratches, only cleaned and polished it. As you can see, all of the scratches and marks from being in the ground for about 140 plus years are still there.
  9. Hi Steve. That raisers another question. Just when is a "good" time to sell gold? Gold, unlike money in an interest bearing account or other investment just sits gathering dust. Nothing of a profit or loss made until sold. If it is gold found, detected or dredged, then all it owes really is the cost of time energy, effort & equipment used in its finding. The gold can sit for years just gathering dust. Nothing realised until turned in to cash & not much else can be done with it, cant eat it or drink it, except drooling over it So when is the "right" time to sell? That would come down to each individuals wants & needs relating to a cash injection at a time or certain times in there lives. If gold isnt your living, as it isnt mine, then I am just sitting on it for that rainy day or for that cash injection sometime in the future. Maybe in retirement....who knows. Others may be different. If you want a new car, or boat, new detector. Maybe cash the gold in & put that cash into another investment, property etc...something that is going to give you a more regular return than the gold just gathering dust waiting for that "right" time. Gold up....gold down....gold up....gold down. Haven't sold...haven't sold. Gold still just sitting there gathering dust....but sure is pretty to look at & the memories of each piece found..... I am sure that when you sold in 2003 you were happy, & I am sure you did something sensible with the money. We arent future tellers & know one really knows accurately what the gold price is going to do. How many times have we seen or heard that the price of gold is going to go through the roof. Usually the opposite happens. To me a good time to sell is when you need the money.....for what ever. You can always go out & find some more gold. That is the fun part of it. I am going out now for a quick swing in the cool of late afternoon here down under. Good luck out there JW
  10. Hello to All Members, We have been finding many pre-decimal New Zealand Coins. After washing off the dirt they are covered in a layer of patina, that dull brown stuff which we have been reading should not be removed for poor technique will devalue the coins worth. Toothbrushes, bristle brushes, chemical compounds and polishing cloths are a No-No, but they look so nice and shiny to a novice like me. Also just to let you guys know that electrolysis is not the way to go that ate a few of my good coins. We have been reading that valuable coins are "Best left to a Professional", so it can be done the proper way! What do they use? How do they do it without depreciating the value of the coin? Is there a knowledgeable Coin Expert who is willing to divulge their secrets, not for me but for the sake of the coin? Failing that, how should the coin be presented to a potential buyer or collector with this patina on it? Because it doesn't look very nice like this, underneath is a beautiful coin and I would like to get fair trade value for them. Will they appreciate our respect for the coin in this condition by leaving it this way? Some are very nice and valuable judging from coin evaluation sites and others not so much. How can I decide which coins to show? Even some pennies are very sought after and small silver ones which are a rarity. What do I do, What do I do? Hum.
  11. This seems mighty weird, a guy on our local auction site is selling hundreds of roman coins from between 100 and 400 AD for $1 each, about 70 US cents I guess. Claims they were found with metal detectors. https://www.trademe.co.nz/antiques-collectables/coins/ancient/listing-1853382900.htm?rsqid=9420490cdc564a5cb2786431be84466f Are these things likely to be fakes or are low grade roman coins really worth that little?
  12. Hi all. I made it out Sunday for a nice hunt. Great weather temp wise, maybe a little windy. I want back to the wash I found the nuggets in a couple of weeks back, and was able to squeak out 1 more. I tried to expand the area but not luck. I picked up and headed to an area that has been mined a lot, full of trash, but I figure must be full of gold. Wow I really am amazed what the GPZ is capable of. 2 of the nuggets I found really amazed me, size and depth. 1 of those I was detecting a drywash header pile and got a small repeatable signal. I kept raking back the rocks, still getting the signal till I got to virgin ground under the pile, 6 more inches down I pulled out a sub gram nugget. Amazing. All 4 for the day added up to 3.8 grams. Now to the question, I've been soaking that big quartz specimen I found in Wink for about a month now, it is exposing more gold, very slowly. How long do I soak? Do I need to refresh the wink? The longer I soak it the more quartz will dissolve? Thanks Chris
  13. Hi Ya'll Well im now building up a huge collection of various finds. Ive got so many British 1800 and 1900 pennies, half pennies and farthings that i dont know what to do with them all. But also some really nice silver sixpences, half crowns, florins and other nice silver coins. Other items are rings x2, musket balls, badges and roman/medievil weights. Question is, how do you lovely buggers store your finds? Be it coin cabinets, display cases or just sprawled over your desk. Do you lot keep only the best coins for display, or show everything you find? See im not sure whether to display only the cream of the crop, or enjoy everything, both the good, the bad and the down right ugly. Would love to see your collection displays, coin trays, etc and your thoughts on finds which meet either the ... "keep/throw/stash or display criteria". Hopefully you'll give me and others some ideas ...and of course inspiration ? Cheers peeps. Andy.
  14. One of the things that intrigues me about natural raw gold is the many offbeat ways nature creates Au. This rare (to me) almost sheet type gold is a 1st. It looks as if the liquid metal cooled right between two quarts seams and then just popped out. You can still see small rough white quarts crystals still attached to both sided of this beauty. YES it is! You may think it is ugly and that is fine, but since I own it, I say it is a beauty. Just bigger than my thumb nail and weighs in at 2 grams (30 grains) and was found with the 24K while using the 6" concentric coil at about 8" depth. This one is an Idaho piece and a little unique compared to the others found in years past at that site. I'm wondering if I should tumble it a little to get a bit smoother shine or use a wire brush to add a little sparkle or leave it as is? What would you do with something like this?
  15. Prospecting many years ago I discovered a large chunk of quartz with intact host rock on one side. The slate is flat and so, I want to clean the piece and display it. It's about the size of a shoebox. It's in my storage unit, otherwise I'd take and post a photo. From what I remember it's got pyrite in the cavaties and might be rather nice looking if clean. I use to be a medical laboratory technologist and very cautious about using chemicals without a safety ventilation hood, so are there non-chemical options? Would a baking soda or vinegar paste get it clean? Do I need to post the photo in order to ID how best to clean it? I have motivation now to tackle the major project of gutting the unit to get to the 40+ year collection of rocks, most of which are quartz pieces from gold bearing regions ... due to realizing just now that none of these have had a detector run over it.
  16. I’m sure all have seen lots of Detectors going up for sale. I know myself have put up items that I think I can live without. I’ve done it sometimes because I needed the money to buy another detector. Like some I sold it thinking I don’t need it because that new one is replacing the old one. Did I ever regret selling something,why that’s a big time yes. I’m thinking later stup it was paid for and you really didn’t have to sell it. I’m bad about saying something before putting brain in gear before putting mouth in motion. I have the same problem on selling a item before thinking it out first. I have a friend when I call his house I tell his wife let me speak to him I need counseling. I’d say this big problem for all of us is caused by so many new detectors hitting the market within such a short time. What can I say so many to buy with so little money. If any of you be rich I just put myself up for adoption. Like said in the past I have no pride. Chuck PS The councilor tells me to buy as many detectors I want. He’s the same way when it comes to guns. My kind of guy!
  17. I cashed in my clad at coinstar this afternoon. I have had my 800 for 6 weeks and my 600 for about 3 weeks. I cashed in at coinstar for a total of $172.66.. I had quit counting what I had after I knew I had almost $100 but never dreamed I had as much as I had. I have to admit I hit a cpl awesome parks and even though they had been hunted recently I cleaned up. I actually believe there is more at the one park but in an area I gridded I only found about $3 in two hours. In an area the other guy missed I found $9 in clad in a 30' x 30' area bordered by a sidewalk. I also hunted 3 other areas that I had hit really hard with both my Etrac and V3i. One soccer field that I took over $100 out of the past cpl of years I must have really cleaned it out because I found 3 cents. Another area I had hit hard with the Etrac before i got the Equinox. That area I found 40 cents. The last area which was a park that is hunted all the time I found 70 cents in 3 hours. I hunted an old soccer field yesterday and everything was deep.I had been there with my Etrac and only found a cpl of dimes and a nickel. Everything I found was 8" or more with the exception of a cpl surface pennies. I pulled out $3.48 in about 2 hours.. I have a cpl more places on my radar as well. I like hunting parks that others have hunted because it makes me feel the Equinox is superior to other detectors but in reality I think it the person that was detecting didn't know his detector very well. I also have 2 silver rings and a silver pendent.
  18. The other day I made a spreadsheet to calculate MELT value of all my finds, I pull most of the info from coininfo.com and then spot prices of precious metals from Money Metals Exchange. I pull over 35% nickels, 90% dimes, 90% quarters, 90% halves and because I found one, 80% Candian quarter prices, plus 9, 10, 14, and 18k gold. Under the PM spots there's a sterling silver per gram conversion and then there are some bullion prices (These I think are dealer bid prices, so lower than normal) and along with those, a sterling/ounce price. It is made with google sheets but I'm sure you can export it to excel format (or even LibreOffice Calc). The prices are not live, but they do update each time you open the file. Here is a link to check it out and copy it for yourself. Below everything you'll see 2 cells with the formula for "American Silver Eagle". I left that there to test pulling in other info from the website. If anyone wants an explanation on how to add different things just let me know. Later today I will try to explain here
  19. Something just popped into my mind and I thought I'd ask everyone...has anyone ever taken a found ring to a jeweler and had them re-finish it and shine it up so that they could then sell it for significantly more than they would've gotten for it at melt? I was wondering if doing this would be (more) profitable...found ring is worth $x in melt value + $y to make it sparkle. Could the value of a nice shiny new ring be greater than $x+$y. I know things are only worth what someone would pay for it but maybe just maybe...
  20. Hi All I’m in an area that’s got some pretty sandy ground and some of the coins especially the copper coins are pretty much unrecognisable and even the slivers are very badly stained with a blackish look to them. So I’m just wondering what seems to work the best to bring them back to life so they resemble what they should look like?, I don’t expect them to look fantastic due to how bad there condition is in now but it’d be great to at least be able to recognise what they are. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers
  21. Credit for this info goes to johndoe here. This is the app I use.. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coinflation-gold-silver/id535653219?mt=8 Here is there website.... http://www.coinflation.com The phone app has melt values for junk gold and silver.
  22. Steve i don't know if this is the proper place for this ,but here goes . A friend wanted me to knapp an arrowhead for his grand daughter and mount one of the gold nuggets i found this winter into it so i got a piece of mexican velvet obsidian and one of my nuggets and made it up,just thought it was an interesting use for some of my gold.
  23. Thanks to those who keyed me in to using CLR for removong rust from rocks/specimens. This rock wasn't found with my detector. Got it quite a few years ago from the Mactung tungstein exploration camp on the Yukon/North West Territories border near the portal. It's heft made me interested and thankfully the chief geo at site let me keep it. Years it sat in my collection, but once I got my GM1000 I tested the more interesting rocks in my collection. This rock detected constantly in the non ferrous and strong. It sure cleaned up well, and the blue dotted pic is the Scheelite fluoresceing under short wave UV light (Calcium Tungstate, CaWO4) Cheers! Bryce
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