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Cleaning Coins With Acetone.

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Moderator
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United States
20960 Posts
 Posted 08/18/2018  2:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Anyone ever try MEK?


Yes, but at a previous job. I would never use anything so strong on coins. Just my Two Cents...
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

Valued Member
353 Posts
 Posted 08/18/2018  3:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MeowtheKitty to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It was just a thought, as it was one of the most powerful solvents that was available publicly. The MSD sheet makes it sound dangerous. It might even have a line saying, "Kills Cats Instantly". Maybe Meow should not let curiosity rule this Cats life so much.
Valued Member
United States
61 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2019  11:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Villa Rose to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I pulled these out of my pocket change (which I keep in my pocket) and soaked them in water overnight. Would any of them benefit from an acetone soak? Or any other "legitimate" cleaning technique? I'm not talking about whizzing, polishing or anything like that. By the way, I know these coins are virtually worthless. Well, I guess they're each worth one cent. That's why I'm experimenting with them. If I ruin them, so what? I've included one group shot and a couple of close-ups. The close-up that shows the reverse is the 1997-D.




Pillar of the Community
United States
1004 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2019  12:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add llewellin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Good to see you back here. If I were to try, I would first soak those in distilled water to get off salts/acids and such, then perhaps try some VerdiCare to see if it helps the corrosion. Would not expect acetone to make much of a difference for those.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1004 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2019  12:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add llewellin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I think the moderators should pin this as a sticky topic. It's a very important one, in my opinion, as there's so much good and valuable information given on this thread.


I agree this is very important to inform people. I have seen an alarming number of recent posts recommending harsh cleaning or chemicals that would likely result in damaging the coin, so I think we really do need to be better at giving prudent advice to novices here. When in doubt, leave coins alone and I really don't think that can be stressed enough. That being said, there is some misinformation on this topic that I'd like to point out:


Quote:
Acetone(and apparently MEK) is for organic substances, and Xylene base is for non-organic gunk on coins. One is an acid base the other alkaline. ... If MEK is advertised as a stronger substitute for acetone, more damage than acetone may occur... stick with the known factor, acetone.


Acetone, MEK, and xylene are solvents for organic substances, in increasing order of non polarity; among them xylene will be best at removing oils and acetone will be worst, but all will be safe for coin surfaces in principle. Describing them as acids or bases is complete nonsense, as is describing any of them as categorically stronger/safer solvents. Depending on what you want to remove will determine your best treatment protocol. Acetone is the best all-rounder solvent commonly available and relatively safe to human health which is why it is universally recommended here.
New Member
Canada
33 Posts
 Posted 07/20/2021  8:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numisnut1960 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi everyone. I've read this whole thread. Very informative. However I'm still not sure about cleaning tarnished silver coins. Is it acceptable to use lemon and salt solution to soak them in? Or something else? I have some old nclt stuff that I'd like to make shiny again. Just for fun.
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Australia
13859 Posts
 Posted 07/20/2021  9:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Removing "tarnish" from silver coins is generally considered "bad cleaning". We don't even call it "tarnish", unless it looks really ugly, we call it "toning" instead. Silver coin "dips" such as the acid-and-salt method remove the toning/tarnish by dissolving the silver sulfide off the surface of the coin. As such the process removes part of the silver from the coin itself - as opposed to acetone etc which remove non-metallic surface contaminants only.

They're your coins, and you can legally do with them whatever you wish, short of physically destroying them (which is still illegal in Canada). If you personally like the look of "nice shiny coins" rather than "tarnished coins", then go right ahead and dip them. Just be aware that most coin collectors don't like the look of over-dipped coins, and therefore most coin dealers don't like them either. Dipping is highly likely to remove any collector premium such coins might carry, turning them into bullion pieces. If the coins in question are so common they are traded at bullion rates anyway, then no harm, no foul.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
Valued Member
United States
55 Posts
 Posted 08/01/2021  10:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Eagle_Eye to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I learned quite a bit from this post and the replies.
Thank you all.

EE
New Member
United States
27 Posts
 Posted 09/16/2021  7:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add OldSilverDollar to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

It has helped me avoid several mistakes that would have ruined some nice old coins down the drain.
This is the most helpful conversation regarding the subject online I just want to thank everyone for the advice shared here.
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