Gunk and junk on a DDO 1942 LWC, FS-103
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Ok.... no pics at the moment (sorry).  I need an expert to chime in on my question which I think I already know the answer to.  I found what I am fairly certain to be the coin in the title of this post while going through a friends spare change in his truck console (yes, he's aware I was rummaging around....ha). The Cent has just enough green crud on IGWT, you know what I mean... all that stuff that tends to gravitate and stick right to the sides of the letters that an acetone bath doesn't remove, and I need to physically remove it somehow in order to see the very faint doubling of this specific variety which is already difficult to see at best without the crud.  The doubling of the eyelid is spot on and I can clearly see it which is an exact match.  I am pretty sure I can see some faint doubling in the letters on the obverse typical for this variety.  So...... my question: This coin is nowhere near MS condition. I would put it somewhere in the VF to EF range which obviously lowers the value of this coin exponentially.  Being that it's already in rough shape (get ready to throw up now, I'll wait for your response), has anyone experimented cleaning with a soft bristle toothbrush or possibly a q-tip in trying to gently clean off this type of debris buildup?  NO WAY would I ever attempt to clean a valuable coin but being that this Cent has seen some miles I'm thinking it's not really going to matter in devaluing the coin simply based on its current condition. Bottom line is this- I can't make out all the doubling as it stands so to make sure this coin is the real deal I'm going to have to get this stuff off somehow to confirm.  Your opinions are valued.  P.S.- It took me a minute to even get up the nerve to ask on the forum about 'cleaning' a coin in this manner, taboo.......:facepalm:

Edited by GBrad
I mistakenly assigned the wrong FS# to my coin in the title
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I’m no copper pro, but I don’t think your question is off base. Sometimes a circulated coin you have to chose the lesser of two evils. Let the verdigris win or bite the bullet and clean it. Perhaps try starting off with a long soak in olive oil. Olive oil is slightly acidic and is supposed to do a good job of loosening crud on cents. I’ve seen people mention leaving them to soak for months though. Someone with more experience can chime in. After a long soak then see if you can gently dislodge it with a rose thorn or other green wooden sharply pointed thingy you can find. A toothpick as a next choice. But see if the oil will do most of the work for you and hopefully it will be salvageable. 

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Ultrasonic cleaner with soap and water and fine soft bristle brush might loosed up some of that gunk but I don’t know about verdigris. I’ve sometimes gotten black gunk off of copper coins with denature alcohol rolling a cotton swap over the coin and not rubbing it just rolling … again I don’t waste my time dipping or cleaning circulated coins only mint coins and no denature alcohol won’t hurt copper or a coin it evaporates just as quickly as acetone however acetone is better for removing PVC damage tho. You might be able to remove verdigris with acetone and cotton swap rolling it over the affected area 

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On 8/4/2021 at 11:50 AM, Woods020 said:

After a long soak then see if you can gently dislodge it with a rose thorn or other green wooden sharply pointed thingy you can find. A toothpick as a next choice. But see if the oil will do most of the work for you and hopefully it will be salvageable. 

That sounds like a very feasible idea and not invasive at all.  Never thought about this method.  Thanks.  

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On 8/4/2021 at 12:42 PM, GBrad said:

That sounds like a very feasible idea and not invasive at all.  Never thought about this method.  Thanks.  

Thorns or green wooden pieces are used a lot in museum artifact restoration, which is where I got the idea. I’ve seen a few others on here mention that as well. Supposed to be gentle on the object while still ridged enough to move the gunk. Let us know how it turns out. Olive oil is common for copper I know. It’s just a slow process. 

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On 8/4/2021 at 11:58 AM, Jason Abshier said:

Ultrasonic cleaner with soap and water and fine soft bristle brush might loosed up some of that gunk but I don’t know about verdigris.

Thanks Jason for the reply.  The ultrasonic cleaner you mentioned rang a bell from a long time ago post I made regarding a very odd finish on the surface of a pre 82' Linc.  I believe I remember DWLange replied to my post and said the surface of my copper Linc Cent could have possibly been exposed to an ultrasonic cleaner which totally messed up the coin. Heat will do it as well.  I too would think an ultrasonic cleaner would work but if there is a possibility of damaging the coin I may be a bit hesitant to try that method.  I'll try to find that post and put it up here.  Thanks.  

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Here's a couple of pics of the Cent. You can clearly see the doubled eyelid for this variety.  The spread is consistent with this named DDO even though there are several DDO's for this year.  My iPhone XR died on me awhile back which took excellent pics especially with a 10x loupe held up against the camera lens for close-ups.  All I have now is a crappy iPhone 6 and good closeups are very difficult with this phone even with a loupe.  Once I can clean up IGWT I will know better if in fact it is FS-01-1942-102 

 

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A pretty worn out and circulated Cent, and looks to be a LDS, but I believe it's now confirmed. I just wanted to go ahead to see if this was the real thing and went ahead and took some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a toothpick and lightly removed the buildup in the key areas to identify whether or not it was what I thought it was (good suggestion as it didn't damage anything at all).  Here's some pics you can see the subtle doubling on IN, the G and definitely the first T in TRUST.  I know VKurtB's brain is itching right now if he read this post as he commented a long time ago he couldn't believe the stuff I look at (or for)..... or something like that....lol. But to find a penny that "if" it was in MS condition it could be worth $500 + is pretty exciting to me at least. Hey.... I am a variety collector and enjoy it. I like any and all beautiful coins as well.  I love the hunt and you never know what you may find just laying around.  Not that I am going to sell it but heck, it's still a $40 or $50 penny!

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@GBradI thought the coin was really dirty or something that would be the only time I would use ultrasonic cleaner.  Your coin in the picture isn’t too bad , I’ve heard of stories ultrasonic cleaner vibrates too hard leaves hairlines and washed out look on a coin due to the soap that was used . I know a few people who metal detect for coins the use ultrasonic cleaner on old buried coins problem is the the coin rattles around inside while it’s vibrating.

The one thing I haven’t gotten around to trying is a heavy dose of olive oil in a small pot of hot boiling water remove small pot from stove then put the coin in let it soak for 10-15 minutes see if it loosen up some of the dirt if not might take it longer … I don’t think the heat of the boiling water is not a high enough heat to bend copper or silver coin they require much higher heat than boil water so I don’t think there no harm but the heat of water and olive oil might help speed up the process to soften up the gunk to make it easier to remove the reason I was thinking of boiling water instead of just using hot tap water, is to boil out the impurities in tap water also the hotter the water the faster it should evaporate off the coin maybe this weekend I’ll experiment with a handful of dirty gunky coins see how it turns out 

Edited by Jason Abshier
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On 8/4/2021 at 6:05 PM, Jason Abshier said:

@GBradI thought the coin was really dirty or something that would be the only time I would use ultrasonic cleaner.  Your coin in the picture isn’t too bad , I’ve heard of stories ultrasonic cleaner vibrates too hard leaves hairlines and washed out look on a coin due to the soap that was used . I know a few people who metal detect for coins the use ultrasonic cleaner on old buried coins problem is the the coin rattles around inside while it’s vibrating.

The one thing I haven’t gotten around to trying is a heavy dose of olive oil in a small pot of hot boiling water remove small pot from stove then put the coin in let it soak for 10-15 minutes see if it loosen up some of the dirt if not might take it longer … I don’t think the heat of the boiling water is not a high enough heat to bend copper or silver coin they require much higher heat than boil water so I don’t think there no harm but the heat of water and olive oil might help speed up the process to soften up the gunk to make it easier to remove the reason I was thinking of boiling water instead of just using hot tap water, is to boil out the impurities in tap water also the hotter the water the faster it should evaporate off the coin maybe this weekend I’ll experiment with a handful of dirty gunky coins see how it turns out 

Thanks Jason for your comment. I really appreciate it man. My coin turned out pretty decent as I was able to remove the build-up to inspect it more closely to determine it was in fact the DD I thought it was.  The olive oil, before I removed it from the Cent (I didn’t wipe it off…..) made it look much better than before I did anything to it. I may very well soak/coat all my Linc’s in olive oil, haha :insane:  The hot water idea I believe has it’s merits for situations like this. By no means am I an expert, but I would like to think I have some common sense (a lot of people say otherwise), and I don’t see any reason why the method you proposed wouldn’t be a safe way to remove crud when you need to further examine and confirm the validity of a copper. But then again….. if it was a MS coin it would most likely not have the amount of junk on it that mine did and I would leave it alone completely. Let us all know how your experiment turns out. I may very well try it out myself.  Thanks!

[You know there are some folks shaking their heads right now…] 😆

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On 8/4/2021 at 9:52 PM, GBrad said:

You know there are some folks shaking their heads right now…

@GBradover 30 years I’ve collected there was only about 5 or 7 times that I’ve dipped an slightly ugly tone coin they were mostly unc. Silver coins 2 of them I shipped off to have graded they came fine the others I’ve kept in my raw collection . I don’t consider “dipping” cleaning . 
 

I have 3 solutions made out of E-Zest coin dip . I have very very light dip 1 part E-Z-est with 2 parts of distilled water , I have next little stronger but still “mild” solution 1 part E-z-est with 1 part distilled water , the last solution which I rarely never used is straight E-Z-est I keep them all In separately glass jars . (Never leave the silver coin in solution for no more than 10-15 seconds)
 

however never ever dip Copper or use ketchup on copper or other methods it’s turns out pink never looks right 

and all my raw coins I buy ? Each one as soon as I get it home is bathed in denatured alcohol to remove oils and finger prints , stubborn finger prints may or may not come off with acetone . That again is not considered a form of cleaning ! Only time it’s called cleaning is when some one illiterate uses harsh method of brushing (scrubbing) abrasive ways leaves hairlines on the coin that’s consider cleaning to me 

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

From the few photos posted it appears to be FS-103, rather than 102.

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On 8/5/2021 at 8:32 AM, DWLange said:

From the few photos posted it appears to be FS-103, rather than 102.

You are correct.  I copy and pasted the FS # in the title of this post and just now realized that I copied the wrong #.....doh!  It is FS-103, that's what I believed it to be all along.  Thank you very much for catching my mistake and I'll try to figure out how to change the title.  

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On 8/5/2021 at 10:56 AM, ronnie stein said:

Forgot, just kidding by the way. Luckiest man I know, what will you find next, suspenseful. 

Too funny.  As luck would have it, there was also a 1941 LWC doubled die in the pile of change!  Unfortunately, someone had taken a pair of what looked like bolt cutters and made a horrid cut into the dang Cent!  Go figure.......... At least it wasn't a 43' copper or I would have definitely puked......

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