Conservation Showcase: Proof 1936 10 Cent
Posted on 6/14/2010
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Applying a layer of lacquer to the surface of a coin was at one time seen as an acceptable practice to preserve a coin. Today, a coin that has had lacquer added to its surface is seen as one that has a problem and would not be eligible for grading with NGC. Lacquering coins can be a problem from the questionable provenance of the lacquer it self, to the possible corrosion creating substances that can be locked in against the surface of a coin, to the change in color aging lacquer can create, to breaks in the lacquer layer itself allowing the environmental chemicals to alter a coin’s surface in unusual ways.
This 1936 Proof Dime was submitted to NCS to have the layer of lacquer once applied to its surface removed. The lacquer had aged giving the coin a yellowish hue. A break in the lacquer layer on the reverse rim also allowed the outside environment to turn the coin in one tiny area a deep black color. Both the lacquer and the black color were removed from the surface of this coin by the NCS conservators allowing this coin that would have been a no grade and no encapsulation to grade with NGC