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Question: Is It Ever Okay To Clean A Coin?

 
 
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Valued Member

United States
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 Posted 02/14/2018  2:35 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Coinvirgin to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The way I understand it is " Never" clean your coins. Period!
But pocket change is dirty & packed with yuk.
how do I know what I have if I can't see it?
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 Posted 02/14/2018  2:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add shotgung to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I soak mine in acetone and then rinse it. Seems like that brings most of the gunk off and I only do that on pocket change. I haven't cleaned any coin that I've sent in for grading.
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 Posted 02/14/2018  2:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add coop to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If you do it wrong, the coin could loose up to 90% of its value. So best to know what you are doing on a valuable coin. You can practice on junk change. But know what you are doing before altering a coin the wrong way.
Richard S. Cooper
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 Posted 02/14/2018  4:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, if there are things on the coin which if left in place would cause further damage of the coin. But it should be done properly so as to not cause further damage to the coin from the cleaning process if possible.

If you had active PVC residue on a coin that was eating into the surfaces, you wouldn't just leave it alone because "You should never clean a coin." You would clean it to remove the residue and stop further damage for occurring.

Cleaning coins should be approached with the attitude of the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm.
Gary Schmidt
Edited by Conder101
02/14/2018 4:13 pm
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 Posted 02/14/2018  4:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add moxking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
completely with Conder's excellent advice. There is so much to know before attempting to clean a coin that it's extremely unlikely the average collector will have success.

The one exclusion being 100% acetone for some stains.

Ask us. We can give a likely outcome quite frequently.
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 Posted 02/14/2018  4:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SilverDollar2017 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
with Conder's advice.
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 Posted 02/14/2018  5:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Almost all ancient coins need cleaning after recovery from burial.
Almost never required with modern coins, except for removal of bronze disease on copper or bronze coins.
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 Posted 02/14/2018  6:56 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add GR58 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with above.

Many coins have a need to be cleaned.

But as posted above, you have to have experience to get good results.

And know, you never know how a coin will turn out. You can clean two
coins with the same problems and get different results. Sometime you
might be happy with the results, sometimes you will not be happy.

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 Posted 02/14/2018  10:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add yontan to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The on way you will always remain safe is to only use acetone. It will have no effect on any metal coin, except to loosen dirt, grease, and other detritus. Never use any thing with it to "help" remove marks. The acetone will dry very quickly, and, as stated, have no ill effect on the coin. If you find the grease, etc. Runs and leaves any residue, use latex gloves to dip the coin several times in a small container of acetone. This should prove satisfactory. Take care. Acetone is highly volatile, and evaporates extremely quickly. Do these things in an open area. Do not breathe the fumes. Good luck.
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 Posted 02/15/2018  01:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Acetone by itself, would be rather useless to clean whatever a metal detectorist would find. Almost all finds are normally washed with a soft brush and good old water.
Perhaps acetone may be a next step, but
after that,
if there is a possibility that what you find could be valuable, best to leave it to an experienced someone who knows what he is doing.

Coins with a black patina can present a tempting problem to clean. Ancient coin collectors ignore a black patina, but it is almost always a grave error treat a black, or very dark brown patina on any milled or machine struck coin. Almost a 100% guarantee that market value will be lost.
Edited by sel_69l
02/15/2018 01:55 am
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 Posted 02/15/2018  12:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CoinMasters to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with just about all the advice given above. I would add valuable coin cleaning should be left to professionals. I also agree with Yontan about being careful with the Acetone. You should read the warning label. Never put it in a glass, you wouldn't want anyone mistaking it for something else.

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 Posted 02/15/2018  2:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Newbie234 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A toothpick is perfectly acceptable to remove large piles of gunk from the coin. This usually is enough to see what the coin is.But sometimes paint and fingernail polish would be to much for a toothpick to handle. Also if you have a reaction to acetone,LIke I did. Hot water and a mild detergent could remove some of that gunk.
Edited by Newbie234
02/15/2018 2:02 pm
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