Tuesday 23 June 2015

UK Metal Detecting: Olive Oil Again

Without a proper PAS to guide them, we'll be seeing from now on more and more of this sort of thing from UK metal detectors: 'Does Olive oil work? THE TEST' (by Addicted to bleeps » Sun Jun 21, 2015)
So, I was intrigued by the idea of using Olive oil to 'clean' coins. I got myself a small tub, and literally just poured Olive oil into it. I then plonked the coins in, and waited for 6 months. The results are pretty good, I'd say. I think it could be even better if you left them in there for a year or two? (sic)
Daniel o' Beirnes (Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:40 am) adds the remark:
the coins do look good but after 4-5 years it eats in to the coins you should never use olive oil on good coins [...]  i was told by the museum you should never use olive oil .so i will not take the chance .
The aptly named 'Scratcher' (Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:15 pm) volunteers:
I bought a table top grinder but fitted polishing cloth wheels works a lot faster but with better results. Newer coinage goes in the tumbler!
'Looking' after the heritidge good'. 'Koala' has the observation (Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:16 pm):
Olive oil is very hit and miss. Think it depends on the oil. One brand/batch of oil is not the same acidity as another.
And Mr Becchina's how good is it at stripping coins? Is it as good at getting those organic acids deep down into the object's unstable corrosion layers as the one Estuary English uses to 'look after England's heritidge'. Ms Raikes: Your Learning Department, how much learning can you give the metal detectorists who are now 'partners' (volnteers/ audience) of your department and hell-bent on mistreating much of what they get their hands on?  How much un-learning can the BM tolerate?

Previous PACHI  posts on olive oil and suchlike dubious homegrown 'conservation' methods:
30th September 2012: 'Metal Detecting Under the Microscope: "Preserving" finds in Olive Oil - Don't'

6th February 2013 'Portable Antiquity "Conservation" and Curation: UK Tekkie Style', 

29th January 2013 'Of Oil and Antiquities: Gianfranco Becchina'.

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