In the world of ancient coins, there is a general consensus that cleaning is OK, because otherwise we would all have nothing but little round discs of dirt. Bronze is quite reactive, and can never be restored to it's original color - most collectors agree that you can clean down to the patina, and then you should stop. Gold on the other hand is highly inert - you basically just need to rinse off the dirt and you'll never be able to tell it spent a day underground. Silver on the other hand is slightly reactive, and the method used to clean it can have dramatic impacts on the end result, further complicated by how it's stored. I've seen varying opinions, but I thought it would be fun to see what everyone prefers for their collection. Imagine you had an example of each available to you, for the same price, same level of desirability besides the surface. What type of silver coin would you choose? Illustrated with some silvers from my own collection: Top row - Clean silver 1) Minty fresh - like it was struck yesterday. Bright, reflective surfaces. 2) Bright, clean silver - Not quite reflective, but close. 3) Bright, slight satin finish - Surface has some subtle luster, but mostly scatters light to give an even look. 4) Bright silver, but satin surface completely scatters light, and gives it a sense of age. Bottom row - Toned silver 5) Album toning - Clean surfaces, not quite reflective with light/medium grey and possibly other colors creeping in 6) Gunmetal - Deeply toned with little to no reflectivity 7) Matte black - Completely darkened silver 8) All natural - Uncleaned or minimally so, just how it came from the ground. Feel free to show your own examples of an "ideal" silver coin and expand on your rationale! Personally, my ideal for silver is right around the Trajan - I prefer my ancient silvers to show their original color, while also having surfaces indicative of age. This is what the majority of my denarius run looks like, although the Trajan is by far the most pleasing example.