Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Organic Repatination of "Coins I have Zapped"

One of our more illustrious and loved members has shared his method for creating an ancient coin patina. Allen has provided permission for me to publish and I thank him for doing so. I state that I have never used the technique. However, I never question the veracity of Allen's word nor do I question the depth of Allen's intelligence and creativity. Thank you so much my friend. The following is Allen's post to Paul and to our Ancient Peddler group.

Paul et al:
As Jerry has already indicated in another e-mail to the group, I experimented a few years back with creating an organic mixture to speed-up the patination process after zapping. This was after I had read an article in a local paper on techniques used in past centuries for darkening bronze and brass fixtures.

As Jerry stated, I use animal droppings. To be more specific, I use ripe cow pies. My formula is to mix these droppings with water (well water in my case but I assume distilled water would work as well) at a 2:1 ratio (patty to water).

I place the mixture in a flat wooden box (similar in size and shape to a 24 can beer carton) which I marked off into 1" squares (ala the Sq. Ft. gardener's technique). Into this moist slurry-like mixture, I place the overly cleaned AEs and record their precise square assignment as to date and location for future retrieval. Then I cover the box with a torn piece of old burlap sack and store outdoors exposed to the weather. Occasionally. I moisten the burlap but otherwise I leave nature to take its course.

Approximately 6 months later (sometimes sooner if we were experiencing a particularly hot summer), I retrieve one or two coins for examination using a plastic (disposable) spoon.

Approximately 70% percent of the time, the coin has a nice mellow, light green coloration. Longer internments result in darker greens. For the remaining 30% of the coins, no change is noted. I do not know why but to paraphrase, "many are called but fewer are chosen"

I bake the retrieved coins in the oven (no, momma is not aware of this step) at the oven's lowest setting for approximately 15 minutes on each side. This is to harden the patination. After they cool down to room temp, a little Ren Wax is applied and that seems to insure a nice finish.

It works. I am sure someone with a more chemical/scientific background could give specific reasons but to this old coin collector, success is enough of a reason to continue with the process.

Best of luck,
Allen (lexemt4)
p.s. (for Jerry, I always include a p.s. - please feel free to copy this and send it on to Coin Zappers if you wish)

Thanks again my good friend. Allen's post serves to illustrate what ancient coin enthusiasts are willing to do for our hobby! God Bless.. Jerry..

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