BizAtomic E3 Ecommerce Phil's Coins & Stamps - Wichita's Best Coin Dealer :: How to Clean and Preserve Coins

How to Clean and Preserve Coins
 

Cleaning and Preserving Coins

The term cleaning coins refers to the alteration of a coins surface or the changing of the coins appearance in a negative way.  Preserving coins is the practice of removing dirt or grim and doing it in a way that won’t alter the coins surface or change the color of the coin in a negative way. First, we will describe some of the common ways people clean coins, these methods are discouraged and are not recommended as they will do more harm then good. Then we will discuss ways to help preserve your coin collection. 

Cleaning Coins 

1)      Eraser – Some people have used an eraser to help smooth over the surface of the coin and to remove or reduce noticeable damage.  When this is done, it is very easy for a coin collector/dealer to notice that the coin has been altered and will greatly reduce the value of your coin.  You will tend to see where the eraser strokes started and stopped and where they started in a new location.

2)      Baking Soda – This is a more popular way to shine up silver coins. If done with a light touch, this type of cleaning is more difficult to see with the naked eye but if the person cleans the coin vigorously then it will give the coin a “Polished” appearance and is easy to spot. Using baking soda will create small scratches in the surface of the coin and are noticeable under magnification.

3)      Polishing Wheel – This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to ruin the value of a coin.  This method shifts the surface material and gives the coin a mirror like finish, but it also makes this type of cleaning very easy to spot.

4)      Chemical Cleaning – This is typically done on copper items, in the hopes of returning the coin from a brown color to a bright red coin again. There are a number of household products that have been tried and used to “brighten” copper coin.  These types of chemicals will brighten the color of the coin, but will usually give it a dull and unnatural color that is easy to see.  Not all chemicals to clean coins are bad; you need to look for a product that is designed specifically for cleaning coins and not some other type of surfaces. 

Preserving Coins 

1)      Do Nothing – This is one of the best ways to preserve your coins. By not altering the coin you don’t run the risk of damaging and reducing the value of your coins.

2)      Oil Based Cleaners (Coin Care, Blue Ribbon) – these coin preserving solutions are an oil based cleaner that, with the use of a cotton swab, will help remove dirt and grim and also remove other chemicals that could be harmful to the surface of your coin (PVC Damage)

3)      Mild Acids (EZest Coin Cleaner) – This product is excellent at removing toning from silver coins.  But like any products if you overuse this product on your coins it can cause damage to the surface of your coins and reduce your coins eye appeal. 

How to use these products 

            Coin Care/Blue Ribbon

1)      We recommend that you use this product on copper coins, but it is safe to use on any coin.

2)      Open the container and wet a cotton swab in the solution. 

3)      Gently work the cotton swab on the surface of the coin. If the cotton swab starts to get dirty, wet the other end and continue to work it over the coin until you are no longer getting any dirt or grim off of the coin.

4)      Use a dry cotton swab and gently remove the excess solution off of the coin.

5)      If you plan on sending this coin to a professional grading service, they will not grade this coin with the solution on the coin so you will need to continue with the following steps to remove any remnants of the solution.

6)      Take a cotton swab and dip it in Acetone, this chemical will evaporate quickly, so don’t leave this container open and make sure you are working in a ventilated area.

7)      Rub the cotton swab over the coin to remove any excess Coin Care/Blue Ribbon; you will not need to dry this coin since the Acetone will evaporate rather quickly. 

Ez-est Coin Cleaner 

1)      We recommend that you use this on only silver products.

2)      This is a dip, so you may want to wear rubber gloves or use Coin-Tongs to hold the coin while dipping.

3)      Dip the coin in the solution for 2 to 3 seconds then remove and rinse in Hot Water.

4)      To dry, use a soft towel and apply pressure to remove excess water along with a lamp to assist in the drying– Do Not rub the coin as this can cause hairline scratches in the coins surface. 

MS-70 Coin Brightener 

1)      We recommend this product for gold, but can be used on about any type of coin.  ** Warning ** Before using on an expensive coin please test on another coin to see what the results are before Applying to coin.

2)      Open the container and wet a cotton swab in the solution. 

3)      Gently work the cotton swab on the surface of the coin. If the cotton swab starts to get dirty, wet the other end and continue to work it over the coin until you are no longer getting any dirt or grim off of the coin.

4)      Rinse the coin in Hot water.

5)      To dry, use a soft towel and apply pressure to remove excess water along with a lamp to assist in the drying– Do Not rub the coin as this can cause hairline scratches in the coins surface. 

Disclaimer – Any time you clean or try to preserve a coin you run the risk of getting an unfavorable result.  Even though we have given you this information about how to preserve your coins, we will not be held responsible for any damage or losses that may occur using these techniques.  Sometimes when you try to preserve a coin, you may remove toning or dirt that has been hiding old cleaning someone before you did improperly, so please examine the coin carefully for any signs of possible damage before you proceed with trying to preserve your coins.  If you have any questions about preserving your coins, please find a local coin dealer to have them look at the coin before proceeding. 

 

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