Book: "Cleaning Coins & Artifacts" ?

Pete E
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Just wondering if anybody has read the book "Cleaning Coins & Artifacts" by David Villianueva and if so what did they think of it?

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Peter
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Easylife
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I don't think it's worth buying. I have a copy somewhere that came in a job lot of books.
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Saffron
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I have a copy and thought it was very comprehensive -

The chapter headings give you an idea of the coverage of this title:
- Introduction
- In The Field
- Map Reading
- Safe Storage
- Identification & Assessment
- Introduction To Cleaning Finds
- Mechanical Cleaning
- Electrolysis
- Chemical Cleaning and Conservation
- Repair, Restoration and Replication
- Photographing Your Finds
- Storage And Display
- The Treasure Act
- Bibliography and Suppliers


I have not read it all, after all its a reference book where you dive into the bits that are relevant to what you want rather than a novel, but I have found it very useful.

I dare say if you search around on the internet that most of the information could be found there for free, but saying that we all know how much bad advice there is on the internet!.

For something as simple as using the tumbler it gave a tip about the risk of the O ring failing and water coming out so to have it where it would not matter (I had previously had mine on the living room carpet so I could check the results every 30 minutes :shock: ), and about the cupro-nickel coins needing about 4 hours (the others I had done had taken much less time so after about 3hrs I was thinking it was not working).

I got my copy from greenlight publishing when they had a sale with big reductions (currently advertising it at £12). IMHO its worth it - we spend a lot of hours in the field trying to find items so surely it should be worth the time and effort to clean them and preserve them (especially as we now have "free time" due to the dark evenings where we are unable to go out detecting).

Evan
Pete E
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It's seems the Club I am in has a copy so I will borrow it in the next few weeks and see what I think...

Again, many thanks to everyone who replied...

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Peter
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TheFenTiger
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Just be careful if it tells you to soak everything in olive oil :thumbdown:
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Pete E
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TheFenTiger wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 2:16 pm Just be careful if it tells you to soak everything in olive oil :thumbdown:
I know people who still swear by that or lemon juice...To be honest, I don't really know what is considered "safe" for what type of metal, hence why I am looking for a good book on the subject...
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Charles Abbeyville
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TheFenTiger wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 2:16 pm Just be careful if it tells you to soak everything in olive oil :thumbdown:
Really? What's wrong with olive oil, I thought it was ok.
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Charles Abbeyville wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 2:53 pm Really? What's wrong with olive oil, I thought it was ok.
It is frowned upon by PAS now as they say it soaks in to the artefacts and the fats within it start to degrade. It is then impossible to remove it. I have never worked out why it is supposed to be good for coins and artefacts.
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TheFenTiger
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Pete E wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 2:19 pm I know people who still swear by that or lemon juice...To be honest, I don't really know what is considered "safe" for what type of metal, hence why I am looking for a good book on the subject...
Very wise. Lemon juice or citric acid on silver is supposed to be OK from an academic paper I read once but I don't tend to do too much with my finds. I did get microcrystalline wax once as that was said to be the stuff museums were using but even that is a no-no now.

If you want an overview, the download on the PAS site is very good.

https://finds.org.uk/documents/file/PAS ... 18-all.pdf
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Pete E
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TheFenTiger wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:26 pm
It is frowned upon by PAS now as they say it soaks in to the artefacts and the fats within it start to degrade. It is then impossible to remove it. I have never worked out why it is supposed to be good for coins and artefacts.
I think Olive oil is slightly acidic so had a mild cleaning action, plus I believe it's oily nature helped it to be absorbed and then soften certain types of crust on old coins...
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Pete E wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:38 pm I think Olive oil is slightly acidic so had a mild cleaning action, plus I believe it's oily nature helped it to be absorbed and then soften certain types of crust on old coins...
I think that might be the problem. You can't stop the acid reaction when it soaks in the item.
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alloverover
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Pete E wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:38 pm I think Olive oil is slightly acidic so had a mild cleaning action, plus I believe it's oily nature helped it to be absorbed and then soften certain types of crust on old coins...
It also evens out the patina if you have something thats a bit blotchy :thumbsup:
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alloverover wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 8:14 pm It also evens out the patina if you have something thats a bit blotchy :thumbsup:
I boiled some crusty Romans in olive oil and they went evenly dark which enhanced the detail a lot. :thumbsup:
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Easylife
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Unless a find was quite exceptional then I wouldn't worry too much about anything you use to clean or enhance it with being not the most ideal. If you put say vaseline of furniture wax on a copper coin it is hardly going to dissolve before your eyes, but can quite enhance the remaining detail.
I used to put all my finds in a bowl of water to clean the soil off but that is the worst thing you can do to copper alloy finds as they often lose detail when you break that sealed protective coating and they start oxidizing.
Now I mostly just dry brush those finds and that is all. Silver will stand about anything though usually just a rinse off is needed, but for crusty silvers electrolysis is good. For certain intricate finds an ultrasonic cleaner is most effective to remove the soil from all of the crevices but you need to be aware of it's destructive capabilities too. Well that's how I clean stuff if at all, it's a pretty simple way really! :thumbsup:
Do I need that book? I think not! :D
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alloverover
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Easylife wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 8:30 pm I boiled some crusty Romans in olive oil and they went evenly dark which enhanced the detail a lot. :thumbsup:
If im honest, all my romans used to get the olive oil treatment, lots had it almost 25 years ago which is not long in their total history but ive never seen any signs of detriment in anything soaked in OO that long ago.
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