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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Trick coin trickery » » Patina (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

niva
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Malta (Europe)
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Hi guys!

What's the easiest (and fastest) way to create some patina on coins, please. I have read about using Bleach and also Liver of Sulphur.

Thanks for your feedback.
Yours,

Ivan
Scott Horn
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Dallas, TX
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If the coins are pure Silver the Liver of Sulfur works great. Be aware... each coin will tarnish differently due to its finish and surface impurities. I know some abhor taking sandpaper to silver coins... but I'm not one of them. Here's what I did.

I used scrubbing pads (like you use on pots and pans, or steel wool) to lightly clear the surface, followed by a washing with soap, then a dunk in Liver of Sulfur.

Next came the "work." The coins will not come out looking the same, and the whole coin will be tarnished. I sanded each coin with the sandpaper wrapped around a hard flat surface (i.e. paint stirrer) so I could sand the raised surfaces and not the recessed. This also allowed me to "soften" the coins. Lastly, and this took some patience... I used VERY small amounts of polish and the tip of my finger to polish the raised surfaces. (I used a "mag wheel" cream polish from Walmart Auto section) The trick is to rub fairly hard on the raised surfaces and avoid the recessed areas. A little polish, rinse off the coin, a little polish, rinse off the coin... and so on

Click here to view attached image.
niva
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Malta (Europe)
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I am sure I would ruin the whole thing lol!
Yours,

Ivan
Al Desmond
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Secret Mountain Lair in Conifer, Co
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Except for the fact that silver coins don't usually "tarnish" like the the ones in your picture.

I have 3000 year old Greek and 2000 year old Roman silver coins with no patina or tarnish.

Silver dollars (like Morgans) tone, not really tarnish.

use this Google images search to see what I mean.

https://www.google.com/search?q=toned+si......&bih=736

I'm really not sure where coin workers got the impressions that old silver coins should look blackened.

I understand "soft" (although I feel that "soft" was a marketing scheme, to allow dealers to sell worn coins, which are not worth more than their silver melt value).

There has been some techniques to tone a coin, but that in itself is considered fraud, since generally, toned silver dollars actually sell for MORE than the book value.

Take this for what it is worth. I'm sorry, but I would never perform with coins that have been blackened. That's not the natural aging progression of silver coins.
tonsofquestions
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Sure they can. Consider this lot of coins: http://www.ebay.com/itm/69-Pc-Lt-Silver-......fi9Zsvmz or the ones Jeff Copeland sells: https://shop.copelandcoins.com/collections/silver, which I'm 99% sure are untreated.

Not all coins tarnish. It depends on a lot of factors like how much they're handled, what kinds of oils are in the environment (or on people's hands/skin) temperatures, etc. The colored toning is rarer - if memory serves the color has to do with how thick the buildup of oils are - so black is the thickest, and smaller/varying amounts can cause rainbows - but it has to be just the right amount.

It depends on who you ask (and the type of toning) as to whether it's more or less expensive: http://www.coinnews.net/2007/09/03/what-......ue-3565/

It's very similar to how other silver objects tarnish (candlesticks, plates, cutlery, etc) - it definitely happens (they start to get blackish), and that's why people sell/use silver polish.

"Soft" came about from coin collectors. Most numismastists prefer (a) uncirculated and/or proof coins or (b) circulated but with good detail. The dealers call the worn coins "soft" to help categorize them for buyers - it means they're less valuable.

To me, soft coins are just cheaper/easier to get, since fewer people want them, and I suspect early, enterprising coin workers felt the same way. It's a somewhat-coincidence that they're also quiter (they're worn down, so fewer poky bits to rub), which makes them more desirable to us now.

Where it starts to get tricky is when you want multiple coins that match. It's pretty easy (though often pricier) to get uncirculated coins to match (they're clean and sharp, so they all look the same), but soft ones vary a lot, so it can be time consuming to make a matching set (more money for the seller).

It's not a big leap to go from there to "what if we artifically soften them?". You get the quietness from the coins, and we can make them match - but that means they're more expensive because (a) they originally came from uncirculated coins, and (b) time/work to wear them down.

There's no "scheme" - go into any coin dealer, and the soft coins are cheaper. It's only for magicians that soft ones become more - and that's because they're more desirable and require work.

Patina is related - if you're going for the circulated/slightly soft coins, some will likely have some tarnish. You could then (a) clean all of them up to be shiny, or (b) find some you like the look of, and get ones that look similar. A few spots of tarnish looks bad to most people, and is particularly hard to match, but an even tarnish is much easier to find duplicates for.

As with the softness, some people will choose the third option: get someone to artificially age them evenly so that they all match. But, as you say, it ultimately comes down to preference. But when a few big magicians show a preference one way, it affects others' opinions, just like fashion does.
Scott Horn
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Regarding patina....... At the end of the day, unless you are performing for true coin collectors or numismatists, I think its all about "looks," and is a personal choice. I've seen full time pro's who like highly polished coins and others who like them looking like they came out of anyone's pocket. I remember when Daryl was first presenting his 3 Fly Three he used Silver Dollars so worn down, even up close they looked like slugs and could barely be made out to be actual coins.

Personally, I think there is a certain beauty to patina'd coins. I was trying to get an "authentic" look and failed. However, the contrast I wound up with shows up well at a distance, and the look provides the eyes something to focus on... and I got all my coins, including hidden extras, and a shell, to match.
niva
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Malta (Europe)
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I just like the patina around the details of the coin... that's it. But I am getting a couple of shiny coins and wanted to give them an older look to look like the other coins I have.
Yours,

Ivan
Danwseers
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Quote:
On Sep 14, 2017, niva wrote:
I just like the patina around the details of the coin... that's it. But I am getting a couple of shiny coins and wanted to give them an older look to look like the other coins I have.


5 parts Vaseline to one part sulfur. Heat will accelerate the process. You can get sulfur powder on eBay.

You can dumb down the "blackness" or super dark patina by rubbing it around in som dry dirt. Consider that the old coins which are worn are oxidized and dirty. Hope the helps.
Hare
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It is actually remarkably easy in these internet-blessed days to match up soft Morgan dollars. You just follow eBay and look carefully, and find the degree of wear you want. Worn ones are even the cheapest examples to purchase, as long as they aren't rare dates.

As far as patina goes, if you actually carry your coins on you together in your pocket like a dedicated magician, they become shiny and "match" in patina even more, unless for some reason you want start off with really filthy coins. a little baking soda and pencil eraser and water clean them up easily.

I think these naturally polished carried, but somewhat worn Morgans are the easiest to handle, and by far the prettiest coins to use.

Plus, real Morgan dollars will always actually cost you LESS than the cheapest copies, because no matter what happens, they are always actually silver and have real value if you choose to part with them. My thoughts on the matter of patina!
"Better described in The Amateur Magician's Handbook"
Danwseers
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Quote:
On Oct 3, 2017, Hare wrote:
It is actually remarkably easy in these internet-blessed days to match up soft Morgan dollars. You just follow eBay and look carefully, and find the degree of wear you want. Worn ones are even the cheapest examples to purchase, as long as they aren't rare dates.

As far as patina goes, if you actually carry your coins on you together in your pocket like a dedicated magician, they become shiny and "match" in patina even more, unless for some reason you want start off with really filthy coins. a little baking soda and pencil eraser and water clean them up easily.

I think these naturally polished carried, but somewhat worn Morgans are the easiest to handle, and by far the prettiest coins to use.

Plus, real Morgan dollars will always actually cost you LESS than the cheapest copies, because no matter what happens, they are always actually silver and have real value if you choose to part with them. My thoughts on the matter of patina!


+1 - I would add that if you are able to find an excellent match to your shell (meaning diameters pair well), then when looking for additional matching coins start with the same date and mint location. I have found that the diameters will be very close to the same provided their wear patterns are consistent.
BrotherJeffrey
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When you go fishing, most lurers work on fish. That is why they were made. But fish don't buy the lurers. They are sold to anglers at the store. A way to say, I think it is all about what you, the user like. Your joy over your props will be appreciated by your audience. If you want to darken your coins or just add a little tone, the previous methods all work. They may not look completely natural if too bright or too dark, but they can still look beautiful. Just don't scratch them all up with a bad sandpaper. I don't think scratches really looks attractive nor does it look like natural pocket carry wear.
Revolutionary Tools and Teaching for Coin Magicians

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Stephon Johnson
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Arkansas (WooPigSooie!)
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I bought a used Mark Mason “Shell Shock” set. The set had varying Patina and the shell had ZERO patina. I used Liver of Sulfur GEL and used with a Hot water bath, L Of S hot bath with water, warm Baking Soda Bath. All coins and shell were completely cleaned with soapy water before.
After, I first just rubbed some of the soda in bath, then used 0000 steel wool to GENTLY bring out the detail and flat areas you desire! I was and still am pleased with my Morgans years later!
Blessing,
Steph
WHAT IF you woke up tomorrow with only the things that you thanked God for today?
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