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Cleaning coins


Leighton
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Hi,

 

First post, I am a newbie to both this forum and to coin collecting also. I have read a lot about to clean or not to clean your coins, I have decided that I prefer to clean the coins for my coin collection. I decided to start my collection with the Lincoln cent, I will also try for the first time to download a picture of some of the coins I have cleaned, I tried alot of different cleaning techniques and used alot of different cleaners and what I have decided to use is Coin Care and alot of Q Tips.

 

Any comments or ideas of a better way to clean...

 

regards,

Leighton

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Cleaning your coins is like using sandpaper to rub your face and dipping your coins is like pouring hydrochloric acid to get rid of your sweat. No exaggeration about that.

 

I don't know where exactly you read cleaning is "good" for your coins but cleaning is generally a NO-NO. The only thing you can prevent safely is early stages of PVC damage but otherwise, cleaning is more likely to be expensive as well as ruining the value of your coins.

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Cleaning your coins is like using sandpaper to rub your face and dipping your coins is like pouring hydrochloric acid to get rid of your sweat.

 

Hmm... my dermatologist told me those methods weren't good for me too but what does he know?! :ninja:

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The closest thing I do to cleaning is using my cotton gloves to wipe off a fresh fingerprint put on a glowing new SQ by the greasy little brats at the skating rink. (Okay, you caught me, I once rinsed the dirt off a 10 Franc piece I found near a dumpster...)

 

For school many years ago, we did the "fold Lincoln cents in paper towels dipped in water, lemon juice, vinegar, etc." experiment and wow, do those coins look unnatural. In my opinion, the natural progression from glowing to dull is much nicer to look at.

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Any comments or ideas of a better way to clean.regards,Leighton

 

Hi newbie...

Coming from a sort of newbie...

 

Check the pictures I posted with the heading 1957 Lincoln Cent, Lovely toned copper in this forum.

 

This is one of the coins I found in a big batch of 1000 Lincoln cents awhile back. It was set aside because the grunge and sludge was so bad that I figured it was a real cull, and should be recycled back into society.

Instead, I took a handful of the culls and put them in a double boiler and got the water into a really good rolling boil, then added some baking soda and kept on boiling and adding baking soda until I saw a lot of dirt and green gunk in the water. Then I cooled the coins by rinsing in cool water and layed them out on a clean dish towel on the counter. I patted them dry with another clean dish towel and took them to my desk so I could look them over. The coins did have a little bit of film on them, and I realized I should have had some distilled water for the final rinse which would likely have helped to prevent the film.

All I did after that was rub this coin between my fingers until it was shiny and you can see how it came out.

I did not use any caustic chemicals, nor did I use a brush of any kind on the coin.

I think it came out very nice, and has an absolutely natural looking cartwheel glow and a surprisingly colorful tone.

And to think I might have tossed it into society again...

 

CK

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There are some chemicals one may use for copper coins, even ones that are not necessarily harmful for the user (unless you drink them I guess). I can recall one chemical called EDTA. This cleans but does not attack the metal. Still it will remove any oxidation, meaning the patina as well. It is being used in archaeological digs where coins need to be identified and sometimes the patina makes this hard. Archaeologists that are not in the field of numismatics do tend to be a bit... rough on their coins though. At least the ones I got to know. :ninja: (I can remember getting out bags with coins at one dig and all that was left inside was green powder. My heart stood still for some seconds).

 

I would go with corkykile's method if you insist on cleaning. Sounds gentle enough. For coins without a patina EDTA might be an option.

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I found it! Here's the thread I mentioned before:

 

So that is where I saw the cleaning method!

Thank you for finding it again. ;)

 

And to think, Charles himself recommended it.

I recently received his 2nd edition of Looking Through Lincoln Cents and it is an eye-opener.

What a teaching tool. Adding this to Cherrypickers' Guide and I have almost all I need to identify some anomalies I have found... well, almost... there are still some of those little disks that spin and soar in the sky that I haven't quite figured out what they are.. :ninja:

 

CK

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