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Stan McDonald - author 's Blog

21 Dec 2021

Top Ten Ways to Destroy a Coin

| Stan McDonald - author

Number 1 - Cleaning

Cleaning a coin will reduce its eye appeal and reduce its value. There is no known method of cleaning coins not detectable by the grading services. Chemicals such a vinegar, bleach, and jewelry cleaner will remove the original luster or destroy the surface.

My first near-complete collection of Lincoln cent in 1962 was destroyed with vinegar cleaning, but what did I know. I started over with even better success and completed the collection by 1966, except for the keys and semi-key coins.

Notice the off-coloring on the coin in the photo. To date, there is no method of cleaning a copper coin that can not be detected. There is a sliver tarnish remover that is sold by credible dealers that will remove the darkness from silver coins without detection, but overuse will destroy the natural finish.

Many coins sold on eBay have been cleaned, especially coins listed as BU, that are EF cleaned. A good method of validating a BU coin is to tilt it into the light and check for wear on the high points.

By: Stan McDonald - Author and Numismatist


Comments

I. R. Bama

Level 5

PURE acetone is safe from what I read

Mal_ANA_YN

Level 5

should someone provide a resource guide to new collectors?

slybluenote

Level 5

This is one of the first lessons I learned when I first started collecting. Thanks for sharing!

Mike

Level 7

I was told by Sam the educational director. Many of the kids know him!

Anakin104

Level 4

I cleaned a black 1963 penny to see how it turned out. I replaced it once I found a better condition Penny from 63. Be careful when cleaning . If what Mike said is true, then at least there is one non- harmful way to clean your coins

Kepi

Level 6

Interesting! Enjoyed this blog! ; )

"SUN"

Level 6

Well done

I always look if a coin I'm getting is cleaned.

Longstrider

Level 6

Well said.

AC coin$

Level 6

I agree with Mike . Thanks for information .

Golfer

Level 5

When I was young just for fun I would shake copper cents in salt water just to change the color. Just used pocket change. I learned early not to clean coins. Be careful buying. But a certified coin if possible. Finding out your coin is cleaned years later can be avoided.

Mike

Level 7

The A N A told me distilled water for a few days then pat dry. There is safe way.

Just a question for validation. Water is inert, so I would like to see the research on how it can possibly clean anything. I am not beyond learning. I will do some research.

Kevin Leab

Level 4

Yes. Cleaning a coin is the number 1 no no. There was a time long ago that this was an acceptable practice. One reason you'll see coins advertised with an "old" cleaning. The coin dealer who I bought from when I started collecting even sold a coin cleaning kit...a small bottle of solution and two little wire brushes.

Anakin104

Level 4

Some collectors decide to clean their coins if they are worthless & / or have heavy toning.

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