Cleaning coins

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Chip Kirkpatrick, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Chip Kirkpatrick

    Chip Kirkpatrick Well-Known Member

    i am an avid metal detectorist and find a fair share of coins. Since I doubt I will sell my treasures I like to have them where I can admire and enjoy them at their best and also so I can show them to friends.

    So this leaves the delicate question (since I know I am basically committing THE ULTIMATE SIN, in the eyes of you die hard collectors) of how best to clean my babies. For clad coins I use a rock tumbler with water, gravel, a squirt of Dawn detergent and a dab of white vinegar ( always separate the pennies to avoid pink nickels, dimes and quarters).

    As example, here are 2 of today’s finds: an 1891 V nickel and an 1857 Seated Liberty dime. What would you suggest I do?

    Many thanks. F10C92BC-DAB6-481D-BF69-671BC8DFEB46.jpeg A037525F-A23D-4F75-BAD4-C5681A3D6778.jpeg
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  3. alurid

    alurid Well-Known Member

  4. ultimately its your decision. you own the coins, it does make many cringe at the thought of cleaning coins, but its your collection. I do think you should also think beyond the shiny look and remember you probably wont be the last to own and admire them as you pass them down to following generations.
    LakeEffect likes this.
  5. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I been a lifetime collector. An occasional metal detectorist. However if I had your skill I would likely be a full time detectorist..... I do own an 1864 two cent that came from near where it is known General Sherman held camp as he bombed Columbia SC’s Capitol building. It is a cool piece. The side that was down in the muck is covered in corrosion. The up side is near perfect. It’s a cool piece that I always wanted to clean. But as it is, I think it tells a better story.

    Having said that I will raise the ire of all my collecting friends...... I tend to think the current view of cleaned coins is just a tad over the top. Our collecting predecessors didn’t have quite the view of cleaned coins as we do today. They also didn’t have TPG’s to set their standards either. Myself, other than the cents I shined with erasers in grade school, I have never cleaned a coin. However I do own some cleaned coins that I enjoy as much as all the others.

    Personally, I think you had the skill and determination to free these wonderful coins from eternal damnation in the muck. By golly you should be able to enjoy them. And if a little tumbling and detergent does that for you, than I am all for it...... I might suggest asking at the ancients page how they clean their found treasures.
    phillipaanderson and SorenCoins like this.
  6. SorenCoins

    SorenCoins Well-Known Member

    Yes; some TPGs may offer restoration services, or many ancient collectors restore their finds. Basically just a fancy word for properly cleaning. I'm all for properly cleaning to preserve any left over luster or surfaces, while still removing the tarnishing that coins take after years in the ground. Good luck!
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