World Coins

Buy the book before cleaning ancient coins

A new book presents information about how to clean ancient bronze coins.

Image courtesy of the author and publisher.

A new book offers a new twist on that numismatic chestnut, “buy the book before you buy the coin.”

In this case, the new phrase can be read as “Buy the book before you clean your ancient coins.”

The book is A Method for Cleaning Ancient Bronze Coins, written by Saúl Roll and edited by Maria Jacqueline Hauser. It’s a lighthearted but learned look at an issue that is common in collecting ancient coins.

While most collectors are taught never to clean their coins, and rightfully so for most issues, collectors of ancient coins know that most ancient coins have been cleaned at some point, and the continued discovery of new hoards brings fresh but “dirty” coins to the market.

Collectors commonly clean the coins, but work hard to ensure that they do so without damaging the surfaces of the coin, or at least halt further damage in coins where damage cannot be removed.

This 74-page book provides guidance for how to do just that.

The book is meant to accompany the “Ancient Coin Cleaning Kit” sold through Roll’s web store,

The subtitle of the book “With a long introduction and much annoying detail” hints at the author’s tone.

About the book

Roll said his book presents “my personal opinions, based on my personal experience, and they are not meant to convince the reader of anything.”

However, in explaining the book at the sales page on Amazon, he noted, “You are welcome to try these techniques on your own coins at your own risk, as I cannot be responsible for accidents, damaged coins, personal injury, or any other catastrophes that may result from following these steps.”

He added, “So please be careful, as I am not liable for your mistakes, accidents, acts of Apollo, etc. Also, cleaning coins kills your back and your neck, so keep a good posture and take breaks often.”

The book is only available through Amazon, Hauser said, because it was the fastest and easiest way to be published.

The book retails for $18 in paperback, and the digital version is free for Kindle users.

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