Cleaning an ‘As’ of Emperor Nero, minted 60s Ad.

Cleaning a relatively common “As” of Emperor Nero from 60s Ad.

In lower grade, covered in deposits.

From eBay Ad.

Photo from eBay ad which made me think it was a good candidate for cleaning and quick improvement. Unfortunately the patina under the dirt was not what I was hoping for. This blog is more of a story of knowing “when to stop” rather than a brilliant before and after.

Worse, while not obvious from the ad, this coin had already been harshly cleaned.

Arrival from Ebay

Bad News: Already harshly cleaned.

It appears that the someone already took a power tool to this coin in a vain attempt to clean it. Some sort of sandpaper or polishing power tool. Obviously It did not clear the legends, but it did a number of raised elements. It has also weakened the integrity of the patina by effectively wearing it down.

It appears to be very common from Eastern European metal detectorists who make it “look better” for resale quickly after pulling them out of the ground. I have seen this type of damage before. Not all metal detectorists do this, but some do.

Despite this I will do my best to safely remove the remaining deposits and I will be applying RenWax to protect this cut up surfaces. RenWax will also improve the appearance of these scratches by filling them in.

notice the swirling lines- that’s not normal. It’s caused by abrasive tool, perhaps a wire wheel?

Removing some deposits

After a few hours of cleaning, this is what the coin looks like

Weakness of this Patina under the deposits.

Unfortunately however there are some areas of extreme weakness where the patina randomly went from being strong, to the consistency of brittle candy. the moment I touched it, it shattered like ice and disintegrated. You can see this above. the E in CAESAR. The fields are very bad in terms of patina.

Knowing when to stop

Sometimes even when there is plenty of dirt left, you have to stop because of the state of the coin. This one was falling apart to the slightest touch, more so than I have seen having cleaned over a hundred at this point.

This is the point when I chose to stop. Unfortunately there were many areas where the patina was extremely weak. Any further removal of deposits could result in more damage that did not need to occur.

This final result also includes the application of RenWax which did little to hide the overcleaning that already occurred. I feel like there was an improvement here, I am not overly happy with the before and after result.

Final Result

Thanks for reading. If you have thoughts please leave a comment below.

One response to “Cleaning an ‘As’ of Emperor Nero, minted 60s Ad.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *