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#1

Pete_The_Prospector
Member
Joined: 13 December 2012
Posts: 408
Member
01 January 2013 11:35 am

Electrolysis is the chemical decomposition of suitable materials by direct electric current. This method of cleaning can be very effective on coins that do not respond to other cleaning methods. An example would be silver coins oxidized from long-term submersion in water. Copper and nickel coins can be cleaned using electrolysis also, but their patinas will be removed. You can make a simple electrolysis cleaner with a few household items and inexpensive parts:

1) an AC/DC converter or an adapter from any old household device such as a transistor radio or a telephone base capable of 400-700mA (milliamp ere) output
2) two "alligator" clips of the solder less type with the screw clamp for the wire (they can be purchased from your local electronics or hardware store)
3) a medium size glass or porcelain container
4) a stainless steel spoon or fork to be used as an electrode
5) common table salt solution as an electrolyte.     
                                             
Attach one clip to each of the two wires from the converter. If you know which wire is the positive lead, mark it as such. If the alligator clips came with colored rubber boots, slide the red one over the positive (+) wire/clip assembly. Partly submerge the spoon upright in the glass container and clamp it to one side of the container using the positive (+) (anode) alligator clip. Place the edge of the coin to be cleaned in the jaws of the negative (-) (cathode) alligator clip. NOTE: Be aware that the alligator clip may put marks into the coin's surface. A good metal to metal contact is required for the process to work properly. Submerge the coin in the saltwater solution (electrolyte) to the tip of the alligator clip. DO NOT TOUCH THE SPOON WITH THE COIN! Plug the converter into a AC wall outlet, the solution around the coin will start to bubble. Dirt and oxidation will immediately leave the coin and darken the electrolyte solution. If this reaction does not take place, it is probably because you were unsure of the output wire polarity or your converter is simply not functioning. Swap clips on the spoon and coin and try again. NEVER TOUCH THE CLIPS TOGETHER, ALWAYS UNPLUG THE CONVERTER FROM THE WALL OUTLET FIRST!

NOTE: Do not use a high electric current, which will peel metal off the coin.
NOTE: Do not use the same bath for silver, copper and nickel coins.

If you do not want to destroy the coin, you need to watch the effects of electrolysis on the coin's surface, and regulate the time the coin is in the electrolyte solution. If left in too long, the surface of the coin will start to get pitted, and the coin will start to deteriorate.


Garrett Ace250, Garrett AT Pro International, Minelab GPX5000, Garrett Pro Pointer, Lesche Raptor, Little Eagle.

#2

dave14110
Member
Joined: 28 November 2012
Posts: 416
Member
01 January 2013 12:31 pm

Pete I have made & tried this on modern coins & copper coins (Pennies}& was not happy with results. Yes it did clean but found it also caused damage to coins & I don't recomend this treatment. However I have not tried on Silver coins such as florin, shilling, sixpence, threepence.


Detectors Minelab Xterra 70, Minelab Gp Extreme, GPX 5000, Whites surf pro, Fisher 1280x, CTX 3030. + more.

#3

Pete_The_Prospector
Member
Joined: 13 December 2012
Posts: 408
Member
01 January 2013 12:38 pm

And That is why is says at the end,, "If left in too long, the surface of the coin will start to get pitted, and the coin will start to deteriorate". Also it is a advisable to wash the coins in Bi-Carb afterwoods, I tried this method on Cooper coins using only one teaspoon of Bi-Carb diluted in a litre of water, worked a treat as well as on the silvers, but on the silver coins I used a salt solution and rubbed the coins down with Bi-Carb after electrolysis.


Garrett Ace250, Garrett AT Pro International, Minelab GPX5000, Garrett Pro Pointer, Lesche Raptor, Little Eagle.

#4

dave14110
Member
Joined: 28 November 2012
Posts: 416
Member
01 January 2013 12:49 pm

Each to there own Pete I didn't like the electrolesis methed found it to difficult to distinguise between cleaning & corroding. Yes you can see it is cleaning but my thoughts were it was corroding them from beginning also.
My opinion is tumbler for cleaning modern coins & at present warm soapy water for copper or anything else.


Detectors Minelab Xterra 70, Minelab Gp Extreme, GPX 5000, Whites surf pro, Fisher 1280x, CTX 3030. + more.


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