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Author Topic: Key Collecting  (Read 2749 times)
KE4DM
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Posts: 12




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« on: August 25, 2001, 07:14:22 PM »

I have just started collecting old straight keys.  Many of these keys are made of brass which is badly tarnished and they are often very dirty.  I know that with some collectible items, polishing metal parts will reduce the value since it removes the "patina" of age.  What is the general guideline with keys?  Should I leave them as I find them, just clean them up a little or polish them back to original condition?
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 21836




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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2001, 02:39:28 PM »

You can certainly clean brass with non-abrasive cleaners which leave no marks or residue -- it's impossible to tell if they've ever been used, and I cannot see how using them can possibly make any brass product worth less money.

A good example is "Brasso" brass polish, available in supermarkets and departments stores all over and on the market since before I was born...

73 & happy key collecting!

Steve WB2WIK/6
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AG3Y
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Posts: 13




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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2001, 02:10:50 PM »

Depends on what you want as a final product.  I personally love to look at an old key that has been at least cleaned up and presentable, but find that if it looks absolutely new when "restored" that it might as well be, if you see what I mean.  I saw an antique show where the person lost literally thousands of dollars in value on an old brass lamp because she had "cleaned" all the tarnish off the surface.  However, I personally think that a great deal of the enjoyment in old keys is in the actual "pounding" of them!  And for that reason, I stick with my opinion that cleaned up (but not overly so) is much better than completely untouched!  Hope this helps and doesn't confuse!  

Jim S.  AG3Y
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