Rye Patch Ron’s Method — How to see unreadable dates on coins

Posted: September 21, 2016 in Articles/Reviews

   To begin with I take no responsibility for anything that may damage or happen to your coins. Use this process at your own risk!!

I have found several coins over the years that have no readable dates or mint mark. I have tried several methods with varying degrees success and failure. The other day I tried something new that worked beyond my wildest expectations. Before I reveal what and how I want to tell you that this process will not always work but it’s the best method I have found at this time. Here is a picture of a bust dime that had no date visible by any method.fb_img_1471795342754  After using this new process I now have a very readable date of 1828!!photo_20160914_135108

Now for what you need or may want to use.

1. Use items that you don’t care if they are ruined or stained forever.

2. Get a couple of plastic or glass containers that can hold at least 1 cup of liquid.

3. Unless your other half is OK with you making a mess in here sink (that took me an hour of cleaning and bleaching to get kind of clean) cover the area you will be using with plastic or something to protect it. I had no idea how bad it would stain  everything.

4. A measuring cup, toothbrush and a table spoon if you want but the amounts are not rocket science so close has shown to be good enough.

5. Your coin or coins of course. I have done both silver and nickels at the same time. I have not tried this on copper. But just a couple don’t use over 2 or 3 at a time.

6. White vinegar. I bought the gallon size.

7. Hydrogen Peroxide. A big bottle it is not expensive.

That is all you are going to need except for paper towels or a soft rag.

Now for the process.

Pour the vinegar in your container.  I used about a half to a full cup but again it is not that important. Then put it in the freezer until it becomes slushy but not completely frozen. The time will depend on how much liquid you used and the temperature of your freezer. Mine takes around 45 minutes. When the vinegar is slushy pour off the liquid and keep just the slushy part in your container. Then add your peroxide to the slush and your coins with the date side up!  I started out with about 3 table spoons of peroxide and after 10 to 12 hours added just a bit more, but not over half of the amount of vinegar slush that you started using.

Don’t mess with the coins just leave them alone in the solution.

If you can see your date on the coins of course you can pull them out at anytime. Caution do NOT rub them if the date is showing, sometimes  it will stay there but other times is will rub right off. Leave them soaking for a day then very carefully remove them from the solution one at a time.

After you take one out look and see if your date is visible. If not gently rinse the coin ( no rubbing yet) with water and leave a little on it to help in magnification and hope you now can see your date. If not then take the toothbrush and gently rub the date area to see if will show through.  If not then go ahead and rub off the dark coating check again. If that all fails and it could then clean it off and start the process over again for the start. If it fails the second time then you probably will not have success. I gave up after the third time on my Bust quarter. img_20160914_141448611_hdrIt was worn so much that it would just not produce a date but it did at least show the form of Bust so I knew it was made in-between 1831-1838.img_20160916_024335418 I was OK with that because before it was just a worn quarter. 

Here is a Buffalo nickel that I did also.



Good luck

Rye Patch Ron



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