but its all be argued before adnusium
Did you clean your coins with Nitric Acid?
Most of the reason you don't see a problem with using an eraser is because you don't know what you are looking at, you lack the experience. But an experienced eye does and they can see it right away.
OK, but suppose you took a piece of course steel wool to that antique furniture or painting ? Do you think that would harm it or restore it ?I understand the things expressed here, that coins can be seen in a similar way as antique furniture, which likewise you probably would want to restore to a new look. But then again, antique furniture is sometimes restored to a lesser extent. As is artwork. And the value of those things isn't hurt by the restoration.
Yes, sometimes coins can be restored. But it depends on what is wrong with them, some things cannot be restored. And you have to use specific non-harmful methods to do that restoration.
Yes, as a general rule newbies are told not to clean their coins. Why ? Because they don't know how to clean their coins. And just like you, they couldn't see anything wrong with what a pencil eraser does to a coin. So if they are told yes you can clean coins, they go out and try all sorts of things to clean them thinking they are doing good, when they are really doing untold harm.I think the stigma in coins just struck me as strange. Coming into this with a background in art, where restorations are common, especially of older, damaged pieces, and also just as a generally unaware coin collecting newbie, the "don't clean" rule seemed strange to me.
You see, there is cleaning and then there is harsh cleaning. Cleaning is OK. Harsh cleaning is not OK. And there is a very, very limited list of things that can be used to clean a coin. But the list of things that can be used to harshly clean a coin is almost infinite.
Suffice it to say that there is a lot for you to learn. We will all be more than happy to help you learn it. And as you learn more and more you will soon begin to see exactly why we say what we say.
Last edited by GDJMSP; 04-22-2012 at 04:57 PM.
knowledge ..... share it
Thanks for the information everyone. Doug especially.
The comment that has sunk in the most was your 3rd paragraph above. It's true, I often don't know what I'm looking at, not only in terms of the condition and quality of a coin but also in terms of what it is, grime included, and what I'd turn it into in any attempt to clean it. It's also an adjustment of sorts to look at something and appreciate it's value while in a condition that on the surface appears dirty, soiled, and covered in years of garbage. In reality, all of that stuff is part of the coin, and not necessarily an obstruction.
I know that cleaning has been discussed countless times around here. I appreciate everyone taking the time to discuss it in terms of exactly why it is something that shouldn't be attempted by an unexperienced hobbyist.
do not clean coins
I clean many coins.
I use acetone to "clean" organic materials off silver coins such as fingerprints, and skin oils.
I use a rock tumbler to clean my dug copper coins, like common wheat pennies. Of course they will always be cleaned coins, since they came out of the ground in poor condition. But the tumbling improves their appearance.
I use a rock tumbler to clean brass, aluminum, and zinc tokens. Token collectors are not picky about original surface, unless we are talking valuable tokens before the 1940s. The rock tumbler gives them an "original look". They look just like the day they were made. They do not looked "cleaned".
I use olive oil on some of my more valuable dug coppers, like Indian head pennies. The oil removes thick green verdigris from the coin. Again...it will always been a cleaned coin, just improving appearance.
...and no...I never clean coins in an attempt to sell them for more profit. Anything cleaned goes into my private collection.
Here are some dug wheats I got, and tumbled.
They look much better. Although they look "bright"...in a few years time they will tone with the other copper wheats they are mixed in with.
Here are a couple tokens I tumbled. No I don't have a before picture. Both looked terrible before though.
Last edited by Detecto; 04-22-2012 at 07:05 PM.
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