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Topic: How do I Tarnish and Soften coins???
Message: Posted by: Salby (Aug 18, 2007 02:11PM)
I recently went to my local Coin Collector Shop today and picked up 4 MORGAN Silver Dollars. He had me pick from his 1921 collection (cheaper in value) and I couldn't find a close match in color of the few he had. Some were slightly tinged silver. Others were brownish. But no 4 had the same tinted color. He placed 4 coins in a silver cleaning mixture and now they are the same brightened silver color and I bought them. But now I feel all 4 coins are TOO silver.

Any idea how I can tarnish them a bit??

Also, how can I make them "softer" and quieter when slid onto each other?
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Aug 18, 2007 02:28PM)
As for the tarnish part, just keep em all together and handle em and they will get old uniformly in no time. I've also heard that sticking them in your sock and wearing them for a day may speed it up some but it really only takes a few days of excessive handling to give them some patina.
Daryl suggests using a whet stone (for sharpening knives and tools) and working them in a figure 8 motion rather than a circular motion for uniform wear. Use light oil or water for lubrication and rinse your stone to get the silver particles out of the stone! Then again David Roth can wear away surface as well as edges with a simple eraser! :) Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Lawrens Godon (Aug 18, 2007 02:43PM)

you may want to check this thread:

I must say that I got very good results with the technique described...and you don't have to fear about: if you don't like the result, there you go again at your will!

...and, no, there isn't any black residue on the fingers...

Hope this help,
Message: Posted by: WalkingLiberty (Aug 19, 2007 09:18AM)
Message: Posted by: ShawnB (Aug 19, 2007 06:00PM)

I have been down this road.. If you want soft coins just buy soft coins
you can sand down your coins but they will never look natural... Just
go to the coin shop, hunt around and find 4 or 5 soft coins that match, it
is really the best way to do it. Any other way is a waste of time and money
because you will jusr ruin your coins.


Message: Posted by: magicblademan (Aug 19, 2007 06:08PM)
Totally agree, it's not worth the hassle. Look on eBay or like shawn says, go and buy them from a coin shop.
Message: Posted by: Daegs (Aug 19, 2007 08:19PM)
Nah this can be done but really only for perfectionist and will take more money.

You'll need a diamond sharpening stone(key piece), a dremel, some diff grade sanding sponge blocks and then some chemicals but it is definitely doable, I have some post on this made awhile back.
Message: Posted by: C-Taylor (Aug 19, 2007 08:50PM)
Just keep them in your pockets at all times after a few months they will wear down..
Message: Posted by: Zhang (Aug 19, 2007 09:01PM)
Any idea how I can tarnish them a bit??

deep them in bleach for a few second and they'll get dark, the longer you leave them the darker they get, then buy the thinnest sand paper at the warehouse and sand them, placing the sand paper on a flat surface and the coin on it use you'll finger on the top of the coin and go round round round till your decired look.

I do have other tips,but I'm gonna hold them for my future DVDs.

Message: Posted by: Pathian (Aug 19, 2007 10:38PM)
If you want to darken and tone the coins the same way that less scrupulous coin dealers would do it (ie, the most convincing way), you want a substance called Liver of Sulphur, it comes in a solid and liquid form. It's essentially just a concentration of sulfates. You'll want to test out the concentration first, however, because it will blacken metal in seconds if it's too strong. You just want to apply it to the points that you want to darken
Message: Posted by: Zhang (Aug 19, 2007 10:50PM)
Man trust me, bleach is the way to go and it is safe, also cheap and easy to get.

see for your self,just try it.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Aug 19, 2007 11:32PM)
Wu is right bleach works great. I ususally bleach then shine some off to give that darkend boarder look
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Aug 20, 2007 12:10AM)
I just did my Morgans in bleach this afternoon followed by putting some silver polish on a cloth over a hard surface (tile) and worked in a figure 8 motion to shine the high points. My Morgans are pretty soft but now with the highlights they look sharp but don't talk at all! I'm thinking I should do my Walkers next!
Message: Posted by: WalkingLiberty (Aug 20, 2007 10:04AM)
I wasn't kidding with the toothpaste. Its all I have been using for 7 years. Makes the coins a lot nicer and soften them as well.
Message: Posted by: magicblademan (Aug 20, 2007 10:07AM)
Mmmm sounds interesting,i know I said it's not worth the hassle,but I might give it ago as I like that darkened effect lol ,if it has worked ok for you Mickey I just might give it ago myself.....Anyone done this with an EX [ does it work the same guessing it should but would like to know.
Message: Posted by: magicblademan (Aug 20, 2007 10:09AM)
P.s forgot to say if you use an eraser that shines the coin up (well gets rid of any dirt you don't want).
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Aug 20, 2007 06:44PM)
Worked great for me magicblademan and there shouldn't be any reason it won't work on the ] either! I know toothpaste works well but now ya gotta wonder if it takes away all that grime from silver, what's it doing to the enamel of your teeth?!?!?
Message: Posted by: Salby (Aug 20, 2007 08:46PM)
What type of Toothpaste???

- Gel (usually clear blue)
- Paste (usually white)
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Aug 20, 2007 08:59PM)
Paste is best but even the gel has abrasives and it leaves your coins minty fresh!
Message: Posted by: Zhang (Aug 20, 2007 11:05PM)
What about the toothpaste I use from the healthful store, it is completely natural, I don't know, I may not work,LOL. oh well

Hey Mickey, do you have any pain yet? I hope not.

Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Aug 20, 2007 11:32PM)
WU man, I spent from this past Friday afternoon through about 10PM Sunday night watching my new Roth vids and practicing so I'm not sure "pain" is the right term.... It's more of a dull ache from my wrists to my fingertips but ya know what they say, "No pain, no gain"! Tis all good brother!
Message: Posted by: Gary Yin (Aug 24, 2007 01:15AM)
I just made my own soft coins. I used sandpaper for metals, grade 800,1000,1200,1500. I used 800 first, then 1000,1200,1500. Higher grade = softer sandpaper. 1500 grade to smooth of the surface.

Then you will find that the coin area that has been sandpapered will look brighter. So, rub all coins with toothpaste. It gets the job done. If coins still make noise, use 1500 grade sandpaper again.
Message: Posted by: Dredz (Aug 24, 2007 06:37AM)
Once you have your coins soft be sure not to drop them on a hard surface. If you do there is a good possibility that you will need to re-sand them.

Bleach tarnishes Silver. Sand paper takes of the high edges and also removes the tarnish from the high points. Look at any one of my coin vids on my site and you will see what my coins look like.

Joe Jesse
Message: Posted by: magicblademan (Aug 24, 2007 07:52AM)
Hi Mikey had ago with one of my coins that I don't use and it has come out well.

I am surprised what a little preparation can do lol.
Message: Posted by: Gary Yin (Aug 24, 2007 08:04AM)
Yes, it must not drop on hard surface. When it falls, the edges becomes uneven and that what causes the sound.

I noticed them after it makes sound when I shake a stack. Usually soft coins make less sound when you shake them in a stack. If it makes sound = resand with highest grade sandpaper.

The edge becomes sharp too after you sandpaper them. So be careful of it. But after time it will not be sharp. or is there a way to get rid of the sharp edges?

My coins are does not contain silver, so I don't bleach them.

edit: Soft coins are more sticky, and theres a United we Stand feature in them when in a stack.
Message: Posted by: Slartibartfast (Aug 24, 2007 10:06AM)
On 2007-08-19 19:00, ShawnB wrote:

I have been down this road.. If you want soft coins just buy soft coins
you can sand down your coins but they will never look natural... Just
go to the coin shop, hunt around and find 4 or 5 soft coins that match, it
is really the best way to do it. Any other way is a waste of time and money
because you will jusr ruin your coins.

I would also like add that, as a coin collector, the thought of someone taking sandpaper to old coins makes me shudder. (This is just my humble opinion, I'm not trying to put anyone down - I just see old coins as little pieces of history. Who used this coin? What did they buy with it? Where has it traveled and why?)

I am sure that if you make friends with the local coin shop, they will keep an eye out for just the type of coins you want. Generally the worn out coins are not worth anything more than the silver content and they will be glad to find an outlet for them that will do more than melt them down. Plus an added benefit of giving some orphan coins a home.

Message: Posted by: Gary Yin (Aug 24, 2007 11:53AM)
The coins here in my country can't get soft anywhere they can, because of the thick rim at the edge which makes a lot of noise. It needs to be sand down and leveled. It's different than the US coins.

The ones I made my soft coins are 2002,2003,2005,2005.
Message: Posted by: Slartibartfast (Aug 24, 2007 12:17PM)
I just checked to see if I have any Malaysian coins. My goodness, those ARE thick rims. Funny how I never noticed that before. I could see why you would want to smooth those out a bit.
Message: Posted by: Gary Yin (Aug 24, 2007 12:32PM)
Hahaha, I wonder how many years of circulation will it take to wore down those rims(hills at the end). As the oldest Malaysian Coin I ever see is only 1970.
1957 Independence. Those rims are noisy.

But I will soon change to Kennedy Halves and Eisenhower Dollars.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Aug 24, 2007 09:57PM)
I got ahold of some Barbers the other day that had been part of someones mint sets and they were not only chrome like shiny but the milling was so crisp I thought I was gonna cut my hands! I'm just leaving them with my pocket change for a month or 2 to give them a natural wear.
Message: Posted by: NicholasD (Aug 30, 2007 07:09PM)
I agree that purchasing soft coins from a coin dealer is the way to go. Also, using household bleach to tarnish silver coins works great. Just leave them in for about a minute, or until they're as dark as you want, then polish off the high spots with a little bit of metal polish on a rag or paper towel. If you mess up, you can remove all of the tarnish and start again.
Message: Posted by: viris (Aug 31, 2007 03:51AM)
I was wondering if the bleach and toothpaste will work on clad coins (non silver) to make my new halves soft?
Message: Posted by: NicholasD (Aug 31, 2007 05:31PM)
I've been using toothpaste to shine coins since the seventies. It works on just about any coin. Bleach works to tarnish silver coins due to it's reaction with the alloys in the coin. I don't believe it will be effective on non-silver coins.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Aug 31, 2007 06:20PM)
The simple answer about making your clad (non silver)coins "soft" with bleach and tooth paste is NO! A) Bleach does not effect the clads the same as it does silver. B) "Soft" refers to a very worn, smooth coin that has very little (if any) milling in the edges and the the rim around the coin and the heads and tails are usually worn smooth showing much less detail. The main reason for using soft coins (as I understand it) is because they don't "talk" (make noise when slid across each other) as much as a newer or better condition coin. Hope that helps!
Message: Posted by: viris (Sep 4, 2007 03:07AM)
I don't really have to worry about the coins talking with the routine I use the coins for. It was all about "the look" more than anything else. I'll just stick with my nice shiny ones. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Gary Yin (Sep 4, 2007 03:35AM)
You will when you do stack manipulations.
Message: Posted by: leefoley3 (Oct 16, 2007 08:01PM)
I just purchased some 2007 coins directly from the Mint. This has, by far, been the craziest year of my life, and I wanted something to commemorate it, if you can
believe that. May sound crazy, I know, but...

I did get 4 uncirculated American Eagle silver dollars and was planning on making
them soft. It does feel weird taking such nice looking coins and making plans on
making them look less beautiful, but I gotta do what I gotta do!

Hey, at least I'm not ruining the proofs I bought!!!
Message: Posted by: NicholasD (Oct 16, 2007 08:29PM)
Don't ruin your Silver Eagles by trying to make soft coins out of them, it can't be done. It takes a hundred years of coins rubbing against each other to get that look. Just visit coin dealers until you find what you want. The dealers buy estates periodically, so if you don't find what you want, go back every couple of weeks. I've accumulated a number of groups of four coin sets that way.
Message: Posted by: leefoley3 (Oct 25, 2007 09:39PM)
Well, Nick D.
I hate to prove you wrong but, it can be done and has been done!
I couldn't be happier with the results. I've been working on 3 Fly
and the coins are great.

I didn't have a lot of choice. There are NO coin shops where I live
so it would've meant a good deal of traveling, etc. to find a nice
set that would suit me.

Now I've got coins that look like they've been around for a very long
time but aren't worn down as thin as much older coins would be, giving
me better grip while palming, etc. and it's cool to have the 2007 and
the "W" mint mark on them!!

Thank you to everyone that contributed to the success of my coin transformation.
I got all the help I could have wanted by this one thread.

Thanks again and good luck to all!!

Message: Posted by: rutabaga (Oct 25, 2007 10:14PM)

Any chance you could post a picture of those coins?
Message: Posted by: NicholasD (Oct 25, 2007 10:44PM)
Yes, I'd really like to see them also. You learn something new everyday!
Message: Posted by: Salby (Oct 26, 2007 11:08AM)

Can you soften and tanish SHELLS????

Message: Posted by: GeorgeSantos (Oct 27, 2007 05:53AM)
On 2007-10-26 12:08, Salby wrote:

Can you soften and tanish SHELLS????


I think you wouldn't want to do that unless you have the right machinery.
Message: Posted by: leefoley3 (Oct 29, 2007 09:05PM)
Hey guys.

Thanks for showing an interest in what my coins look like.
I realize these next two statements are going to be extremely hard to
believe but it the honest truth. One: I do not own a digital
camera ( that's why I have Yoda as my avatar. There's some
similarities but I'm not that green!! ). Here's the really
big one: Two: I don't own a cell phone!!!! Never have. I can imagine what
you're thinking and saying...but I do work with people that
do and will try to get a picture to show you. Right off hand
the only way I know how to share them would be to email them
to you guys that are interested.
I'll do my best to get some pics tomorrow if I can.
I'd love for y'all to see 'em!


P.S.: Salby, I agree with Mr. Santos regarding the shell.
First off, it would have to be real silver for the bleach
to work. The sanding would be scary but if you had one
that was a bit older and you could spare it, I suppose
you could try it. The more I think about it, I think it
may be possible but you'd have to be very careful not
to damage the edges. I'd be willing to give it a shot.
PM me for info.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Oct 29, 2007 09:37PM)
Using the Magic Café search engine, I found the following topics.

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=99728&forum=3]How To Tarnish Silver Coins[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=100397&forum=3]Tarnish Copper Coins[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=57986&forum=3]Tarnish copper coins[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=131330&forum=3]Aging coins??[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=48084&forum=3]Aging Coins[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=207852&forum=202]Soft coins, anyone?[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=176589&forum=3]Soft coins[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=123609&forum=3]Ways to make Morgan Dollars "soft"[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=101015&forum=3]Making soft coins[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=33565&forum=3]Making Soft Coins?[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=7698&forum=26]Fixing a coin to a spindle[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=211433&forum=3]Worn coins[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=177253&forum=202]Soft Silver Eagles[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=150420&forum=3]Creating Soft Morgans (Problem)[/url]
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Oct 29, 2007 09:51PM)
WOW Bill, what a great resource!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Oct 29, 2007 10:02PM)
Thanks, and you're welcome Mickey.

I found some more!

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=146687&forum=3]Tarnishing coins[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=142744&forum=3]Treating Morgans[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=141818&forum=3]OMG Smooth Morgans![/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=116476&forum=3]Technique for wearing down a coin ?[/url]

There might be something here.
[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=97553&forum=3]Polishing Silver Coins[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=73923&forum=3]Soft coins or slicks?[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=55888&forum=3]Weathering Silver Coins[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=45769&forum=3]Do you clean old silver coins?[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=24845&forum=3]Softer Coins?[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=18965&forum=3]Making Soft Coins[/url]

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