"How long should I zap a crusty coin?" This is by far the most often asked question I receive. The length one zaps a coin depends entirely on how crusty the coin is. The photo above visually demonstrates the results one gets from differing zapping times.
The coin on the left was zapped for perhaps an hour or two and the coin on the left was zapped for less than an hour. Crusties are unpredictable and that is one reason I keep a close eye on each coin and prod the crust with my bamboo stick periodically.
I have had what appeared to be "concrete" encrusted coins open up and the deep crust fall away in minutes after starting the zap. Conversely, I have had what appeared to be a lightly encrusted coin take hours.
It is very apparent the coin on the left has a brighter patina than the coin on the right. The left coin was zapped much longer and I had to work and prod the surface area much more. The coin on the right came straight from the solution and has retained a natural patina. I am able to preserve the patina on about 95% of the coins I zap.
I like for new zappers to begin with practice culls. Most often, the new zapper will be somewhat intimidated by a potentially nice coin in which he/she has invested three dollars or so. Our expectations are much higher for a three dollar coin than for a 25 to 50 cent practice cull. Begin with the cull, follow our/my directions and zap until clean! Please allow me to reiterate. Zap until clean! Do not be concerned with the patina until you learn to clean coins properly then we will get to issue of saving the patina. Most of the coins I see by new zappers are profoundly under-zapped.
One other thing, if you are not a member of our zapping group, I strongly encourage you to join and ask all the questions you like. Please visit our site and take a look at the group of coins on the Home Page I have zapped. I think the picture speaks volumes and I will be happy to share other photos of my zapping results. You have a standing invitation to join CoinZappers. Simply say I invited you. The URL is as follows: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/coinzappers Thanks you for reading, please bookmark my site and allow us to help you.. God Bless.. Jerry..