Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Greek Coin: Should I Have Zapped?

I chose to Zap the coin you see above. The coin was a "tweener" and I could have filed it away and forgotten about it. However I chose to Zap the coin and I am very pleased with the results. In hand the coin has a nice rich texture and it also has what will become a nice rich patina.

I will allow the coin to patinate for a month or so before using my stop bath and I can already tell I will have a very nice coin. One upside is that I paid very little for the coin because of condition and I am well pleased.

As an art professor I did a bit of restoration work on a few paintings and I see my work with my Zapped coins from pretty much the same perspective. I am correcting and pleasing my eye. As I age (71 February 6Th) I am still blessed with a keen eye and my sense of design is what it was 50 years ago.

As a painter and teacher I was never in bondage to tradition and I feel the same about my coins. If you like my coin then we are on the same page. If not, I accept your position. I would never be upset or angry because another does not agree with me.

If you have an interest in Zapping, I will be happy to share the knowledge I have developed over the past several years. If you like my post please take a look at my blog. The URL is as follows: I experiment a great deal with coin photography and you may find something that will help you there also.. God Bless.. Jerry..

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Brief And Concise History Of Rome

Capitolium.Org is the publisher of the following article and I give them full credit. I find the article to be an excellent quick reference source. God Bless.. Jerry..

Rome and its numerous centuries of history officially began in 753 B.C. on the slopes of the Palatino hills, when the Etruscans and Greek colonies occupied areas nearby. Tradition gave Romulus the paternity of the village, tracing in the boundary with a plow.

From 509 B.C. until 27 B.C., the republican supreme authority governed and was elected each year by the citizens, establishing the base of civil law.

Rome, once a village, became the capital of an empire in a few centuries and, with the Punic Wars, the undisputed ruler of the Mediterranean Sea.

The territorial and population expansion called for a redefinition of the "republic", or the state. After the assassination of Caesar (44 B.C.) affluent men disputed over the next successor of the new regime-the princedom: Marco Antonio, Cleopatra's ally, or Caesar's adopted son Octavian, both of who shared the rule after Caesar's death. The "princeps" (from primum caput" or "first citizen") founded an empire in a unified and peaceful order that lasted until the III century A.D. ("pax romana"). It was during these centuries that the Roman empire reached its splendor.

With the III century A.D. Rome gradually lost its central role as a kingdom of vastness and universality, until Diocletian separated the empire into two parts, profoundly restructuring economy, finance, politics, and bureaucracy. This guaranteed Rome a new century of prosperity while Christianity became officially authorized in 313 A.D. by Constantine the Great with the issued edict in Milan, contributing to the support of the regime.

In that period, Rome had about 4 million citizens (free men, slaves excluded) and an empire of over 50 million.

In the IV century the nucleus of the empire began to move toward the orient, after successive invasions by Barbarians, Visigoths, and Vandals, that also came to plunder the city of Rome.

In the VI century, the Roman empire began to disappear, leaving its mark in history as having created and unified the so-called "civil world".

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Free Ancient Coin Containers: Roman Or Greek

just picked up a KFC meal today and I was very pleased to find a great looking plastic container in the box. Please take a look at the attached pic. I think of myself as a practical person. Some would use the expression "cheap" I plan to drop by and see if the manger will let me have a few containers to go Otherwise I will work each table and ask for the customer's empty plastic containers. I am too old to do any dumpster diving.

I filled the unit with water and it holds 1/2 cup. I suspect it will hold about 200 AE 3s/4s. I worked the container over and find it to be really sturdy and the lid snaps on and off beautifully. I admire good design and this little puppy is some designer's David. It is wonderfully constructed and appears to be better than the Dollar Store containers I purchase.

The data on the bottom of the container is informative and the legend is as follows: "Microwave & Top Rack Dishwasher Safe." My opinion is that KFC has done a remarkably good job in presenting to the public a great green product. I suspect these will be around for years to come.

I plan to talk with KFC on Monday and see if the plastic has any kind of acid, which I doubt since it is used as a food container and since one is encouraged to reuse as a food container. My opinion again but I think KFC has unwittingly made a tremendous contribution to the ancient coin world. What did we used to say as kids? If you don't want yours, I will take it? I will send my addy upon request.. I value your opinions so let me know what you think.. God Bless.. Jerry..

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..

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Save Money On PayPal Mailing

This article is for those who use Pay Pal as their primary source of mailing coins and artifacts. For the past couple of years I have been printing my labels and adhering the mailing label to my flat with tape. My old method makes for a very unattractive presentation. Also,the purchased labels are expensive.

The following is my solution to what has been a problem for me. I continue to use the "normal" 20 pound paper I buy at discount prices. I think I pay about $3 for 500 sheets of 8.5 X 11 inch copy paper. I can print two labels per page so this translates to 1000 labels.

Next, I solved the taping problem by switching to a spray adhesive I bought at WalMart for less than $5.00. I bought the cheapest can of spray with the expectation that I would need to return the product and switch to a more expensive spray adhesive. As it turns out, I think this is the best adhesive I have ever used.

The product is an 11 ounce spray can with amazing adhesive qualities. I can only assume great strides have been made with the new adhesives. I bought "Aleene's Tacky Spray." The term Tacky is somewhat misleading. The product has remarkable bonding qualities and I could not be more pleased. I did some testing and I am unable to remove the sprayed and adhered paper without tearing the paper. The adhesive will not separate. Really great stuff!

I have used spray adhesive for many years and I am going to guess that one will get at least 400-500 adhesion's per can. It could run into the hundreds. We shall see. If you choose to use the product, please be careful about inhalation. I step out on my back porch and spray.

I suggest using my method for spraying the label. First, locate a piece of cardboard somewhat larger that the label, place the label on the cardboard and spray. The cardboard can be used repeatedly since the over spray hardens after sitting for a couple of hours. Follow the directions on your product for setup time. Aleene's suggests one minute. Some sprays encourage longer setup time. I am incredibly pleased with my new method and you guys can do the math on what I am spending per label assuming I do get 400-500 or so labels.

I hope you will give my technique a try. I don't think one could be more pleased. One thing. One could switch to a 24 pound paper but I find the 20 pound paper to be more than adequate. One other thing, I would love for one of you math whizzes to do the cost per math and share with us. If you try my method, please let me know what you think. I could not be more pleased.. thanks and God Bless.. Jerry..

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Easy Simple And Gentle Coin Cleaning

Out good friend and CoinZapper Moderator Shawn (The Lone Knight) has provided us with the following quickie coin cleaning exercise. Shawn has used the method and I look forward to giving it a try. Shawn, thank you very much for sharing.

First, mix 5 grams of sodium carbonate in 100ml of distilled water. This translates as follows: 5 grams is approximately 1 heaping teaspoonful and 100ml is about 1/2 cup of water. I suggest you use distilled/deionized water. Proceed by wrapping your crusty coin in a double layer or "pocket" of aluminum foil. One should form a cup shaped wrap to hold the solution. Add an adequate amount of solution to the cup shape and then place inside a very small plastic container of appropriate size. At this point, add the remainder of the solution.

The aluminum foil will deteriorate because the foil is acting as a sacrificial anode. The process can be continued for an indefinite period of time until the coin is clean since the the process is so mild, gentle and non-aggressive.

I have had success with this method on many coins but other coins needed to be Zapped even after the process. However, the coins may not have needed the additional Zap if I had been a bit more patient and continued the process for longer than three days.

I suggest this coin cleaning method for those who are not quite ready to Zap and are looking for an alternative method to cleaning coins. Shawn I am sure our membership(s) thank you for your contribution as I do.. God Bless.. Jerry..