I. R. Bama's Blog

20 Jun 2020

Dipping: The Third Rail of Numismatics

Coins | I. R. Bama

Do you want to dip? Just a pinch between the cheek and gums? No not that kind of dipping, this of course is about numismatics. Dipping is probably the third rail of coin collecting. We know its done and we see examples of dipped coins, though the prevailing opinion appears to be this is a huge DON'T.Nevertheless, I've seen items used to dip discussed and listed for sale, even in the Introduction to Numismatics diploma course there is a mention of the product Brightlustre sold at coins shops. In the course the student is warned of the effects of dipping a coin multiple times and devaluing the grade and, subsequently dropping the value of the coin in question.I bought an 1853 Type I gold dollar recently from my favorite coin dealer and was somewhat horrified when the owner asked me if I wanted him to dip it. I have to say I was slightly horrified at the idea because of what I have previously read!So in full disclosure of where I stand, the question is going to be asked, "So Mike, have you ever dipped a coin?" Well, I have. I've used acetone and isopropyl alcohol to clean some really dirty coins and I'm really not sure that I will use acetone again. It seemed to turn some pennies white. I left it in way too long due to the heavy deposits of dirt on the coin. I wasn't trying this on any valuable coin, it was more to see if this was going to be helpful. The alcohol didn't seem to help much one way or another.The other thing is to dry them I gently dabbed them with a cotton ball with out rubbing. That probably wasn't any good either.In any event, I'm probably giving up any attempts to remove heavy dirt deposits for the time being until I can learn more from the collective wisdom available to me on this great forum.

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