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Rinsing Coins Without Damaging The Surface?

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 Posted 04/16/2018  04:56 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add andreeamac to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi, I am aware is not recommended to clean the old coins, but most if the coins in my collection have been poorly stored and handled so far, and I'd like to rinse them to remove the fingerprint/sweat traces. What would you recommend to do in this case? I'm not interesting in scrubbing any dirt or to change the surface in any way. But I understood in time the fingerprints and sweat can damage the surface. Any advice? I also imagine there might be different substances to use depending on the material each coin is made of. I would appreciate any opinion or guidance in this matter. Many thanks!
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 Posted 04/16/2018  04:58 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
to CCF. Fingerprints are permanent unless you remove them right away when it first happened. 100% pure acetone is safe to use,not nail polish remover though.
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
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 Posted 04/16/2018  08:26 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add moxking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Your question is a wise one. You also know that typical cleaning of any kind may destroy the numismatic value of a Coin.

Pure acetone, available at any hardware store is the only exception.

Always hold coins by the edges only.

Soak the coin until it has stopped removing any noticeable traces on the coin. Flip and repeat. Rinse in pure water. Never attempt drying by any means other than air dry. A hair dryer may be of help in drying the coin faster.

If you can provide photos we may be able to give you more specific opinions.
Edited by moxking
04/16/2018 08:28 am
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 Posted 04/16/2018  09:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
With coins in VF or lower condition, and have a decent rich protective patina, I am happy to wash those that need it, with good old soap and water.
Just rinse them properly, and dry with a soft cloth.
I have never had any problem in doing this, in more than 50 years of collecting.

Also works well with less valuable finds from CRH'ing, when acetone cleaning is not justified. Most CRH'ers and coin dealer junk box searchers can get their fingers dirty, and it is good to have soap and water close by.
Valuable ancient gold coins respond really well to this method. None of my coins need to be washed more than once, before going into a 2x2.

Better grade coins should be given a soak in acetone, but only if they really require cleaning. Rarely do I have do this.

There is no cleaning method known, that will remove finger print stains. Natural skin oils are acidic, and will permanently stain a coin that has an otherwise nice luster.

All ancient coins have to be cleaned after recovery from ground burial. That is best left to the professionals. In almost all cases, they come onto the market after being cleaned anyway. Same applies to sea water wreck recovery coins.
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 Posted 04/16/2018  11:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dorado to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
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