My oldest Colonial Copper (semi rare). Help / Advice needed!

xcopperstax

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Sep 3, 2018
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I had some time in the morning to hunt a little. Go down the street and try to find some silver or go to a spot I've hit hard over the past year? I flipped a coin and fate guided me to my hard-hit colonial woods spot. It would be great to get back to my favorite spot to relax and commune with nature and hopefully find something. My first hole I dug a bullet shell casing. Ok there's still stuff here! Next hole was a solid 82 coin signal. To me that means silver or a big copper. I dug into the rich dark earth with high anticipation. After I got the plug out I still didn't see anything. That's always a great sign. I dug some more earth out and saw a largish copper disk. Within seconds I knew it was some kind of coin that was most likely a farthing as it was smaller than the half pennies. I saw some type of Britania type figure on the back and a right facing bust with Georgivs. Yes I was excited as it had some good detail left. It started to show signs of flaking so I packed it in some moist dirt and brought it home. I went on to find a pocket knife 2 Wheaties and toasted Jefferson. Not great finds but indications that coins are still to be found there.

It was a Woods Hibernia Farthing (1722-24)!!! It turns out this coin represents a lot of firsts for me: 1st Kg 1, 1st Hibernia, 1st farthing, and oldest coin for me.

The story goes that Williams Woods bought some kind of patent (or coining right) from King George's mistress to produce the coins. According to legend they were shunned by the Irish who wouldn't use them. Woods had planned to make money on the coins but it cost him more to buy the patent and coin them than they were actually worth so he was now underwater. It seems that these days evidence (found coins) suggests the Irish did use them and they fell out of use after about 15 years. Some of those coins did make it over to here and mixed in with all the other currency.
According to the PCGS site it is doubtful that many / any made it over to the colonies. That seems incorrect to me as I've seen on TNet that other people have found these coins before in the states. I'll say that this is a semi rare coin to find.

Anyway I usually try to post a better photo but I still need to clean this coin up and will update. This is where the TNet community comes in: The coin has started to flake on the edges to reveal some blue greenness beneath the dirt / patina. I'd like to stabilize the coin and get it cleaned up as I am hoping to retain a lot of detail that it appears to have. I only have one chance to clean this right so any help is appreciated!

Coinsniffa: did any of your recent coppers have this problem? I'm leaning towards your method that you described.

Thanks for reading!
 

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pa-dirt_nc-sand

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Congrats on the super old Copper, neat coin. Definitely update this post with your cleaning process. I’ve had a lot of Coppers and IHPs with the flaking exposing green. Some I’ve just cleaned up a bit more and coated in Vaseline to stop the flaking, some I’ve taken the deep dive and used the Andres pencils hoping that under the crust was a lot of solid details, some I left as is and coated with Renn Wax to stop flaking and preserve the dirt contrast. For me it is always a game time decision. Good luck!
 

Tuberale

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Super nice find. Not sure what I'd do with it. Hope you can share what you decide to do with it, though.
 

smokeythecat

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Do not use a liquid on it. Use toothpicks or the Andre's pencils to carefully work the loose dirt off. Aquachigger has a great video on youtube on the process. Since I started cleaning coins manually I will never go back to liquids, even water, ever again. I ruined quite a few coins like this with water in the past.
 

thursdaythunder

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That's Amazing .. Congratulations! Tough call on what to do with a great find like that. Good Luck :icon_thumleft:
 

Relicific

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That’s an oldie for sure.
Waiting for an updated photo.
 

lenmac65

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Congratulations on a great coin with a very interesting history. I found my first and only one of those coins last December, which was also in nice shape like yours (a rarity for coppers in Massachusetts, at least for me). I cleaned it with a toothpick only, as I was afraid of ruining it. I should have put Ren Wax on it, but was not sure if it had to be clean of all dirt and dust. I may still do that to preserve it, if not too late. I am real interested to see how yours comes out and whether you apply anything to it. Again, congratulations on a great save.
 

cannonball

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Congratulations on your Hebernia. I'm sure you will get lots of different input on that one!!!Try not to make it worse?
 
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Cool copper, thank you for sharing! :occasion14:
 

Silvermonkey

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Great find! Great post! I'm with smokeythecat on this one...avoid using any liquids, especially oils. In my experience, cleaning with liquids doesn't really help in revealing more detail, and will often darken the coin to the point that existing details actually become harder to see. I'm getting heartburn right now thinking about all of the coppers that I've killed trying to clean them up. Good luck, and remember... in a lot of cases "Less is more".
 

the_mad_cladder

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Killer find and great info.
 

Wildcat1750

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Nice find...can't wait to see how the clean up goes if you choose to do one!
 

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