Lighter shade?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by BronzeAge, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. BronzeAge

    BronzeAge Member

    Sometimes it seems the metal polish I use will lighten up any copper based coins, like older pennies. But, it didn't affect a 2021 penny, supposedly a pure copper cladding. This Sacagawea is 77% copper and seems really bright now compared to how I remember them from 2000. Is my memory faulty or is my polish adding a brightener?

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  3. Kurisu

    Kurisu Supporter! Supporter

    Not sure what you're asking... These tone in a variety of shades over time and vary in lightness...
    Polish almost always lightens...
    But with always ruins.
    Once it's polished it's basically a novelty and unless it's an incredibly rare variety it's basically worthless in regards to numismatic value.
    In general most of us experienced collectors can tell at a glance if a coin has been cleaned/polished. It's not really something we do.
    There are however methods of 'restoration' that do not involve any abrasion on the fact we don't even touch the coin, other than holding it by the edges.
  4. BronzeAge

    BronzeAge Member

    What I meant by "lighten" was not anything to do with years of corrosion, but rather what polish compound would do to brand-new, clean metal.

    It's strange that it didn't affect the 2021 penny at all (pure copper clad), but it seems to lighten up any brass like or bronze like pennies from before 1982 (pre 1997 Canadian). None of the older pennies I polished look like copper now. They look like the amalgums they are supposed to be.

    But these are decades old and I don't remember what they looked like so long ago.

    I recall the original Sacagawea being more yellow like brass or gold (like the one on the left), whereas the one I polished now looks more like bronze, or a pale reddish orange.

    Any memories of the original coin? Should I just go buy a new one at the bank?
  5. Kurisu

    Kurisu Supporter! Supporter

    The short answer is polish is for weather vanes and bells lol...we don't polish coins. Is what I'm saying.
  6. JPD3

    JPD3 Well-Known Member

  7. Lueds

    Lueds Well-Known Member

    AS already discussed. We don't polish or clean coins. Back in Australia many years ago I saw a $3200 coin devalued to $320 cos the owner wanted to make it clean and shiny... Very sad day for that coin owner let me say.
    GH#75 and Kurisu like this.
  8. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    You just killed the value of that coin. Shiny does not mean better.
    Kurisu likes this.
  9. Kurisu

    Kurisu Supporter! Supporter

    How about this horribly painful story... a $200,000 exceptionally rare gold coin purchased by someone who thought they knew it all.

    A coin that would've been worth $500,000 about 10 years later after the owner held on to it... but is only worth about $6000 thanks to the owner who just did not get it, or listen to a respected expert...

  10. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Polishing or cleaning a coin is a great way to destroy the coin.
  11. masterswimmer

    masterswimmer Well-Known Member

    This is the video I was looking for. Thank you for posting it. I couldn't find it :(
    GH#75 likes this.
  12. GH#75

    GH#75 Well-Known Member

    I sometimes polish coins because they look cool. But nothing that would be worth anything more than face. Like that Sacagawea dollar coin, feel free to polish it. It's always going to be worth a dollar. Well, for the next 100 years.

    The reason it got lighter is because you polished away the natural toning and the luster.

    But... NEVER clean or polish a coin if it has any numisic value. The only thing I would advise you to do is rinse the coin in water under the tap.
  13. BronzeAge

    BronzeAge Member

    Last night I had a nasty, blackened, silver dime from 1957 in my hands ($1.75 in silver) and thought it was an ugly old thing I would simply recycle. Now it's a gorgeous piece of shiny silver and I wouldn't dare get rid if it.

    How much money did I lose by polishing it?
  14. Kurisu

    Kurisu Supporter! Supporter

    The easiest thing to do is to take a couple clear pics and ask for an opinion. Since we have no idea what it looked like or what kind of condition it's in...sounds like you currently have a silver dime worth it's weight in silver.
    Enjoying yourself and the coins is what it's all about.
    If you want to get experience with numismatic value and what to do, and not to do feel free to ask honest questions. Maybe search for some relevant threads, because A LOT has been discussed here over the years. You can do the same by searching for some YouTube videos that might be relevant to your coin knowledge interests :)
  15. BronzeAge

    BronzeAge Member

    After going to numista I noticed that for this silver dime any conditions less than "uncirculated" pegged the value about the same, or much less than, it's melt value of $1.90 (I did the math on that myself, using $24 per ounce, 90% silver, 2.5 g total and 28.35 g/oz).

    What reduces it to a simple G or VG? Is it wear, scratches, dents or is it the black corrosion, or some of everything?

    Mine has very little wear or damage, because it was in my grandmother's collection, and she died in 1991. But, I couldn't remove all the corrosion. As long as you don't look at it too closely, it looks fairly new.
  16. Kurisu

    Kurisu Supporter! Supporter
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