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Do Cleaned Coins Bother You?

 
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Valued Member
United States
459 Posts
 Posted 06/29/2017  08:58 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add jskirwin to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I started collecting US coins as a kid in the 1970s. At the time cleaning coins wasn't a big deal. I quit the hobby and recently returned to numismatics collecting ancients where cleaning is common and considered a must in many cases due to corrosion and chemical reactions (bronze disease).

I've begun dabbling in classic US coins again and see that cleaning is now a mortal sin. So many graded coins have the cleaned qualifier on them, most likely due to handling by numismatists decades ago.

Shouldn't how the coin looks matter more than whether it was cleaned in the past?

I can understand if a coin has been improperly cleaned and made ugly. With ancients eye appeal factors into the price. A coin that is cleaned but with a beautiful patina will sell for much more than an uncleaned coin or one that has been scrubbed to bare metal.

What do you think? Would you choose a homely but uncleaned coin over a beautiful but cleaned one? Just curious.
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United States
4315 Posts
 Posted 06/29/2017  09:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kanga to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Do Cleaned Coins Bother You?

Depends on several factors.

If the coins are for one of my primary collections, YES it does.
Are the coins more expensive than I could otherwise afford, NO it doesn't.

To the best of my memory (and knowledge) I do not have any cleaned coins.
I DO have one DETAILS coin but I'm not going to put any serious effort into replacing it.
And I have a number of MS coins graded below -63 but I'm also not going to put any serious effort into replacing them.
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12057 Posts
 Posted 06/29/2017  09:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There are a couple of stages of a cleaned coin . Not talking about ancients right now . Some coins with a very light professional cleaning is acceptable to most collectors .
But a coin that has been harshly cleaned can only be accepted by someone who knows nothing about coins .Most hardline collectors will not touch a cleaned coin .
As for Ancients that I know nothing about , I can understand why they need to be cleaned to an extent .
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Pillar of the Community
United States
1817 Posts
 Posted 06/29/2017  09:27 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nfine to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I kept a few that I cleaned as a kid in the 60s to remind why one should never clean coins.
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Australia
16114 Posts
 Posted 06/29/2017  09:33 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I don't mind cleaned coins. Cleaning detracts from the value, wbich makes a coin cheaper to buy. I would ratber a cleaned coin to a coin with damage.
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United States
6362 Posts
 Posted 06/29/2017  09:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TypeCoin971793 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Depends of the coin and the severity of the cleaning. I have a very lightly cleaned Barber quarter that still retains much of its luster. You can only detect the hairlines in the right light, and it looks beautiful otherwise. This coin does not bother me.

I have a PL Trade dollar that has been more-harshly cleaned, and it bothers me. The luster on the devices is impaired and the eye appeal is dramatically reduced.
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 Posted 06/29/2017  10:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As most have already stated, only if to harshly cleaned. If just a small amount of cleaning, it doesn't bother me since I never sell coins so the biggest problem with cleaned coins is trying to resell them.
just carl
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United States
338 Posts
 Posted 06/29/2017  11:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nutmeg to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Harshly cleaned coins bother me.
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United States
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 Posted 06/29/2017  11:23 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Mister Kairu to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For me honestly I try to compose my collection of coins at really good prices. Eye appeal-wise I only care abput seeing the details of the coin itself and if cleaned in a way that it is uniform with nothing distracting too much from the details of the coin, I am fine with that plus it means it is much cheaper.
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 Posted 06/29/2017  11:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Too many variables. Depends on the coin, its rarity, the grade, how severe the cleaning was, and what the final eye appeal is.
Gary Schmidt
New Member
Australia
14 Posts
 Posted 06/29/2017  11:42 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add plusultra76 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Since TPGs became a huge factor in the numismatic market there are a lot more collectors nowadays hate cleaned coins than there were a few decades back. I think to many people cleaned coins do bother solely because they don't get graded.
Valued Member
United States
335 Posts
 Posted 06/29/2017  11:54 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add man2004 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with the rest of the members. If I'm buying the coin to keep in a collection and the price is right, a lightly cleaned coin doesn't bother me. I'm sure selling one is tough in today's world. I think in the old days, buyers were not as conscious or educated about details coins. Now, it seams to be a deal breaker or at least a big bargaining chip in some series.
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79443 Posts
 Posted 06/29/2017  11:56 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Shouldn't how the coin looks matter more than whether it was cleaned in the past?
Yes. Light and/or old cleaning does not bother me, as long as it is not distracting. If I need a loupe to see the scratches, then I am not going to fuss much.
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10197 Posts
 Posted 06/29/2017  2:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Crazyb0 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Gee, nobody's mentioned those improperly stored "so-called toned" coins that just beg to be straightened out!






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17900 Posts
 Posted 06/29/2017  2:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add moxking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Cleaning not only varies in the type and intensity, but also on the type of coin. A mirror proof with any cleaning will cloud the mirror, even if it's only dipped.

Most collectors who don't mind cleaned simply don't know how to tell which coins are cleaned - with the exception of parallel scrub lines.

There is one dealer on eBay that cleans almost all of their coins, usually with chemicals rather than rubbing, then sticks them in his own house slab, inflates the grade, and sells many millions of dollars a year. So bad coins are bought by a lot of collectors, even those spending many thousands of dollars on a single example.

You should make the decision of buying cleaned coins or not based on why you collect. If you ever intend to resell them, don't buy cleaned.
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United States
1335 Posts
 Posted 06/29/2017  3:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ArrowsAndRays to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Almost all circulated coins have been cleaned at some point. 160 year old silver with no dirt or finger prints? Puh-lease. It's how they look now that matters to me.
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