What's the best way to clean coins

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Helen L Byers, Jun 24, 2021.

  1. Helen L Byers

    Helen L Byers Member

    I e heard never clean your coins, but what if they're funky or really dirty with sugar or gum? Someone told me once you can use vinegar to soak coins and it wont do much damage. Any truth to this?
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  3. Omegaraptor

    Omegaraptor Gobrecht / Longacre Enthusiast

    Short answer: don't.

    Long answer: don't unless you know what you're doing. And most new collectors or people who happen upon a coin collection, don't.

    Vinegar is an acid. Acids will damage and corrode a coin's surface. Indeed, most household chemicals will damage a coin's surface. Do NOT use vinegar.

    There are a few ways to get gunk off a coin's surface safely in a way that will not harm the coin. One of these ways is with 100% pure acetone (NOT nail polish remover, use the Klean Strip you would get at Home Depot). Acetone is a solvent that does not damage most common coin metals but will remove certain types of organic gunk, such as PVC residue and tape residue. Acetone will not get rid of corrosion - corrosion is irreversible damage.
  4. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    It’s best not to clean them. Cleaning a coin removes the v C pins luster along with the dirt on the coin.
    Welcome to CT.
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  5. Helen L Byers

    Helen L Byers Member

    Thanks you guys I really appreciate this!
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  6. potty dollar 1878

    potty dollar 1878 Well-Known Member

    If your just talking about like for example modern zilincons or spenders.Don't do it just spend them as long as the receiver can tell what it is.
    OldSilverDollar likes this.
  7. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    If they're dirty with sugar, soaking them in distilled water should do the trick without damaging them further. But if the sugar came from, say, a carbonated soft drink, they're probably already damaged -- those drinks are fairly acidic, and will lightly corrode metal. Avoid vinegar for the same reason.

    Welcome to CoinTalk!
  8. OldSilverDollar

    OldSilverDollar +_+ Supporter

    Welcome to CT :happy:
    Only clean your coins if you have to otherwise let them be in my opinion.

    Here is an example were PCGS conserved(cleaned) a coin because the owner wanted a bright coin instead of nice natural toning. after cleaned the coin is duller and every single flaw is very obvious and stands out while some was hidden, to me the coin should have had a point taken away from 65 to 64+.

    Sometimes leaving coins as they are is better then trying to make them look new that's my 2 cents
    148878410.jpg 169213659.jpg
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  9. Helen L Byers

    Helen L Byers Member

    I appreciate all this info. Yeah, I work in a gas station and have been collecting silver dimes for a little bit. I scored a 1964 silver half dollar and looking into that I've been learning new stuff. And its super interesting. I find foreign coins, silver coins. Mostly canadian and mostly dimes. Like learning about full bands on dimes. Super interesting.
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  10. Helen L Byers

    Helen L Byers Member

    What's a v C pin?
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  11. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    That my phone acting up. Lol I didn’t catch it. Should be Cleaning a coin removes the Coins Luster. :)
  12. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    Don’t forget about silver quarters & silver war nickels.

    During WW2 nickels began to be made with some silver since the nickel metal was needed to make ammunition and other products for the war effort.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2021
  13. Helen L Byers

    Helen L Byers Member

    So what's this? I hope you can see in the pics. But the quarter on the left has a yellowish reverse? Is this just a natural thing that happens to these coins? So I've placed the coins side by side the one on the left is yellowing. Then I have separate pics of each. Theres nothing I can, or should want to do?

    Attached Files:

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  14. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Just a natural toning on the coin. Lots of them will turn that color.
  15. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    Just natural toning from the environment.
  16. Helen L Byers

    Helen L Byers Member

  17. Helen L Byers

    Helen L Byers Member

    I didn't know about war nickles, and I've ALWAYS got my eye out for that silver quarter. So what years are good for the nickels between 41 and 45?
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  18. Helen L Byers

    Helen L Byers Member

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  19. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    Actually 1942-1945

    You can identify them easily if you see a mintmark on the reverse above Monticello as seen on this one.

    They are 35% silver.

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  20. Helen L Byers

    Helen L Byers Member

    Wow thank you for the advice!
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  21. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    As stated m, 1942-1945 and the mint mark will be a large P, D or S over the dome on the reverse. 1942 also had non silver nickels but they don’t have the letter above the dome. Here’s an example from my collection.
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