What you see in this picture is the untreated remnant of the Catillon II hoard. Out of almost seventy thousand coins we have a couple of hundred left in two tiny cardboard boxes. They will be cleaned and dried by the weekend and that will pretty much be that.


In fact of course life is never that simple and we actually have a heap of cataloguing and over twenty thousand coin images yet to take but it certainly is a big milestone.  After a slow start we improved and improved our cleaning technique till we could comfortably do about a hundred and twenty coins a day, seven days a week.  A lot of the tribute for this is deserved by our volunteer team who have done so much of the work so a big thank you to them.

In all our dealings with the public over the last three years we have had the same questions and comments a thousand times as you can imagine.  Each visitor to the lab thinks they are the first person to crack the "Jersey long term investment" or "hedge fund" joke and everyone suggests the same alternative treatment.  It seems the nation has a race memory of cleaning coins in Coca Cola as children and it has been seriously suggested to us as a way to deal with the hoard again and again.  We have borne this with a noblesse oblige that befits a team of our calibre but we've never actually had an answer based on experience about why we don't use Coke until today.  

Out of seventy thousand coins we felt we should use one coin for the Coca Cola experiment so at 08.53am today coin CAT II/H/66666 also became the star of conservation treatment Cons 1/23.3.2017.  It was photographed, recorded, given a light manual clean and then immersed in Coca Cola.  We had thought of using Coke Light, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke etc. as controls but decided to start small.  I usually do a risk assessment for a new process but I couldn't come up with much more than Only use as a part of a ballanced diet so I let that go.  As I write this at 9.36am not much has happened yet but bulletins will be posted if things start to change.  We scoff of course but who knows, there could be a paper in this yet.