DON'T DISREGARD THOSE CORRODED COPPERS!
Recently I began going over the finds I made these past four years, separating silver coins, coppers, and various other coins, when one pile in particular began to catch my attention - that of the coppers.
Throughout the years I have for the most part disregarded the corroded coppers I have dug up, mainly because they have been visually unappealing. But seeing so many of them gathered in a pile got me thinking that perhaps a bit of careful cleaning may just bring life to several of them and perhaps even allow me to identify a few varieties.
Though I haven't detected much this year (2012), with most of my detecting taking place up to about the end of May, by that time I had dug up 49 coppers. Unfortunately, most have suffered from enviromental damage.
I did pick up six more large cents on June 3rd while detecting with midas, one of our forum members.
Six Large Cents
These brought my total for the year to 55. They also brought my total for the past four years to 223. No doubt about it, attempting to clean and bring out details out of the many corroded coppers gathered in that pile will be keeping me busy for some time. But it will surely be fun too.
After cleaning a few of the older corroded coppers I turned to online sources to hopefully identify varieties. One in particular - Large Cents - provided me with a wealth of helpful information. I made use of the many clear and sharp photos displayed at the site. The owner of the website, Tom Deck, also proved to be generous with his time and provided me with additional assistance.
So what has so far been salvaged from the corroded pile of coppers? Below are several examples.
1802 Draped Bust Large Cent
1803 Draped Bust Large Cent - S-251
1803 Draped Bust Large Cent - S-258
1844 Braided Hair Large Cent
1846 Braided Hair Large Cent
These corroded coppers won't be winning any beauty contests, but what detectorist would not have fun digging them up and adding them to his or her collection? To be sure, some of the corroded coppers may be beyond salvaging, but several I thought were a lost cause turned out to yield enough details to make the effort worthwhile.
So if you have been like me, not giving the corroded coppers the consideration they actually deserve, try showering them with attention. You just may be pleasantly surprised at the beauty you will uncover.