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Cleaning coins


Ezhno
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I think most of us here would say no. There are times when coins need to be "conserved," but that is a task best left to those who know what they are doing. I can relate the experience of a friend who sometimes cleans dirty pieces with MS-70, basically a coin "soap." Most of the time it works fine, but sometimes he damages or destroys an attractive piece when he thought the action would be perfectly safe. In general, its a really bad idea.

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that is a task best left to those who know what they are doing.

 

Or you could learn how to do it, thus you will know what you are doing. I would say when it comes to cleaning...in most cases the less you do the better but there are those times when you have an outstanding coin but its filthy...I have had some come to me in GREAT shape save for crusted layers of years of filth (one had been sitting in an ash tray for about 20 years)....a little TLC and you would never know it but that was after A LOT of due diligence. While some minor things you can do on all coins (a nice soak in distilled water)...when it comes to anything stronger, it matters the metal.

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  • 1 month later...

Possibly the best thing is if you don't know how, leave them alone. Cleaning coins is something for a professional that would not really clean one but sort of take off excess dirt without damaging the coins. Much of the STUFF on coins if from a chemical reaction with the metal and removing that STUFF, also takes away some of the metal. If you ever watch the TV show called the Antique Road Show you would hear professionals all the time saying "If you hadn't cleaned this, it would have been worth many, many times more in value"

Think of it as would you wash one of the Mummies from the old Egypian Piramids? Would you Sand blast the Mona Liza Painting?

Old things should be as much as the way they were.

Many people suggest if you really, really have to attempt to clean a coin, use Acetone, they distilled water and blow dry with a hair dryer.

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  • 1 month later...

I read in a magazine that cleaning old coins with lemon juice and a soft cloth would be helpful to remove the dirt. Don't know if this would keep the collection safe, but thought of sharing it here to get different views from the experts.

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In a similar topic, what do you guys think about those specialized silver coin cleaners?

 

Once I tried a specialized silver claner and the coins were ok, but not super clean. I tried also a basic silver cleaner of my uncle on a cheap silver coin and it did clean, but it became a little yellow.

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Don't clean at all, especially if it is a valuable coin. When I was little I would clean cents with soap and water, and even ketchup, but it didn't do anything.

 

Yeah, I've cleaned with ketchup, hot sauce, lemon juice, toothpaste... *sigh*

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IMG_0139.JPG

six of the adhesive stack of Ikes,got em for $3.00 bucks. so no matter what I do to them I'm still a head in the spendable dept.

IMG_0137.JPG

Soaking in the acetone bath, I use a cat food tin with the safety type lid remover lid. An hour nothing, 12 hrs some, 24 most of the heavy crud,36 hours and a vigorous scrub with a paper towel.

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This is what I got crud removed, staining in the basic shape of the adhesive left behind. One had initials scratched under Ikes chin.

I use a cheap pair of plastic type tweezers, as long as you don't leave them soaking in the acetone. I wipe them off after removing the coin. They should last a long time.

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As to using Lemon Juice, Tomato Juice, Jewlery cleaners, toothpaste, etc. Also, some use toothbrushes, toothpicks, other pointed objects. Just don't. The main reason to not attempt the usage of any type of STUFF is what your doing. In most instances the thing on coins that makes them look dirty is in fact the remants of a chemical reaction with things like Oxygen, Flourine, Chlorine, etc. Once the metal of a coin has combined with another substance, it is now part of the coin. Removing that now substance on a coin, removes part of the coin. In many instances it leaves pot marks, depressions, less metal from the original coin. All such reactions decreases the value of the coin.

For instance that Brownish color on older Copper coins is basically the combination of Oxygen and/or Carbon Dioxide in the air with the Copper. Removing that to make the coin shine also removes some of the metal.

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Along the lines of what you should do and not do in cleaning coins. While placing an order for some storage boxes, so to make maxium use of space.

I came across this booklet in their web catalog. Granted the first thing is it is describing their products,for cleaning of coins. They had some interesting info, along with what probably some that continues to give the lemon juice/powder and the "magic agent" (Baking Soda) life in the collectors circles. Probably for new people that buy this 6 pages booklet .50¢

It also describes using their version of the ultra sonic ceaning machine.

 

It was more informative for what not to do to the coins. I am in no way endorsing the methods or products in this booklet

coin book 001.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

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