Silver Dimes

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Sam Stone, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    I just found one of our old hiding places we forgot about and it has 50 or 60 silver dimes so I'm putting them in holders. Most are in OK shape, none seem exceptional, but some are just dirty. Is it a sin to give them some kind of bath, then just take them out and let them air dry or tap dry them with microfiber cloth (I do know not to "wipe" or "scrub")? Is there a standard method to help them feel better about themselves without ruining them? We will eventually sell them, so I need to do the right thing for whoever buys them.

    Thanks, and everybody stay safe and healthy.
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  3. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    If there are any better dates-- leave them Alone!
    Sam Stone likes this.
  4. QuintupleSovereign

    QuintupleSovereign Well-Known Member

    As a general rule, do not clean coins. Period. End of story. Cleaning destroys value.
    Sam Stone and ernie11 like this.
  5. ernie11

    ernie11 Member

    What QuintupleSovereign said. DO NOT CLEAN COINS (if you need to hear it a second time.
    Sam Stone likes this.
  6. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    OK. That's what I expected, but I just don't understand the problem with cleaning. If I was doing something that could cause scratches, debts, fingerprints, or whatever I wouldn't do it anyway. But the concept of "dirty" coins being preferable eludes me. I don't ever see pictures with dirty coins, so it seems to me at least something minimally is being done to enhance their appearance. Clearly, I have a lot to learn, but personally I would think when comparing eye appeal vs. dirty coins, as long as a coin isn't damaged eye appeal would win. Unfortunately, I have read contradictory opinions on just that. I would very much appreciate any wisdom shared on the subject.
  7. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    I'm hearing everyone loud and clear and I won't clean them. I have some questions I just wrote that should be just above this note if anyone can share their thoughts. Thanks very much.
  8. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Don't clean your coins. Leave them be. Just plug your holes.
    Sam Stone likes this.
  9. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Telling people to not clean coins is like telling teenagers it is illegal to drive barefooted. Is it illegal to drive barefooted...of course not, is it the majority of cases, yes. Is it "bad" to clean coins? In the case of coins that have premium value or that are "priceless" artifacts, don't try cleaning or conserving them unless you know what you are doing. If you have a 1916-D dime...don't clean it in any way. If you have a 1944-P dime in G4 condition, you aren't going to do it any harm by cleaning it properly. @paddyman98 cleans his FOG (Found On Ground) coins because they are worth face value and he is going to cash them in. Soaking coins in water and then blotting them dry is acceptable for most anyone. If you are going to use soap or detergent to clean them, make sure it is thoroughly removed because soap residue can make them look like crap in time. These are my thoughts. First thought, see if you have anything really collectible, then do whatever you want with the rest, after all, they are YOUR coins.
    ja59, capthank, wxcoin and 4 others like this.
  10. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    Thank you. I really like your anecdotal comparative analysis, especially since I have a teenager until July. I will do research to make sure I'm not ruining a national treasure. You said letting them sit in water and blotting them dry is OK, and that makes sense. But I got in trouble once before asking a similar question because I was seeing opposing opinions about doing the same with acetone or hydrogen peroxide.

    Nobody wanted to use hydrochloric acid and the bench grinder was ruled out as well.

    My wonderful loving and understanding wife and I are barely surviving on a disability check, so most of what we find of value will help us pay for the far too large and expensive vanity home we built when I made far too much money.

    I very much appreciate everyone's candor and honesty. You're making a tangible difference for my family and myself.
    capthank, Spark1951, Kentucky and 2 others like this.
  11. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Acetone is fine but it needs to be an industrial strength, not nail polish remover. Please do some research before doing anything.
    capthank, Spark1951 and Sam Stone like this.
  12. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Though I have never cleaned a coin, I’m not as rigid about common series as others are. If these are Roosevelt dimes, I see no harm in a bath. No rubbing and nothing abrasive.... Roosevelt’s are common and are likely covered in fifty years of nicotine. Sort of gross when you think about it now, but that’s how things were back then. I wouldn’t bathe Mercury’s.... Roosevelt’s I see nothing wrong with it.
    Sam Stone likes this.
  13. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

    The problem with acetone, is that if your coins are circulated it may reveal
    problems that are currently hidden by dirt and patina. After the crud is gone.
    I think that's a country song.
  14. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    I think I would say "industrial grade" 99% pure (usual impurity is water).
    Sam Stone likes this.
  15. bsshog40

    bsshog40 Senior Member

    Acetone is a good way to clean coins. No rubbing, just let soak. If they are just your everyday silver roosies, the acetone isn't going to uncover anything worse than the environmental damage they will get over time with the dirt and crud on them now. Also, if there is any patina/toning, acetone will not remove that. It will only clean off dirt, residues and grime. Use the acetone that you can buy at home depot or such. Also, pay attention to the precautions. Use in a ventilated area away from flame (ie.. smoking). Acetone is very very flammable!!! Also recap after pouring because it will also evaporate.
    capthank, Sam Stone and Kentucky like this.
  16. Long Beard

    Long Beard Well-Known Member

    The graders "conserve" them every day. So go for it, but exercise caution.
  17. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Most collectors like their coins the way your find them in circulation, with the toning, and maybe a little dirt on them. That said removing lots of dirt is acceptable, but NEVER rub. Soak and patting dry is the only way to go. You could use a toothpick very carefully. Old time collectors talked about rose thorns.

    By in large it is better to leave coins alone. Removing tarish from a ciruclated coin usually is a disaster. At a minimum, you need to start with a Choice Almost Uncirculated piece, and it takes to trained eye to know then is appropriate.
    Dynoking, capthank and Kentucky like this.
  18. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    Thanks. I'm storing this info in my files for future reference.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  19. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    I was warned about this earlier so I only buy the real stuph. I also toss whatever I use so it doesn't contaminate the rest of it. Thanks for helping me so much. I see your name often, and I appreciate your time and patience with me.
    Collecting Nut likes this.
  20. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Thank you and you are welcome.
    Sam Stone and Randy Abercrombie like this.
  21. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    Thanks for the reminder. I guess it's a good thing I wasn't cleaning coins when my daughter was still a kid. She is 36 now, and it's very easy to be proud of her. I've always been proud. HOWEVER, when she was somewhere between about 5 to 10 she was a bona-fide pyro maniac. Once I just walked down to the mailbox and back and when I opened the door she had a flame on the kitchen table tall enough to reach the light fixture. That's one of 3 different stories. I'm pretty sure she's outgrown it, but just in case please don't tell her I might have flammables at home.
    John Skelton and bsshog40 like this.
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