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How Do You Spot A Cleaned Coin?

 
 
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United States
86 Posts
 Posted 12/02/2019  12:06 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add BGLI to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
looking for further details on how to spot a cleaned coin? Sometimes I can just see a coin looks way too shiny. Is it under magnification that you see swirl marks or is it the luster or original toning? Just looking to learn more about spotting a cleaned coin. Bought a few commemorative Columbian halves that turned out to be cleaned so dont want to get burned on more expensive raw coin purchases. even looking at slabs marked "cleaned" I have a tough time seeing it. Also wondering why some slabs say cleaned and others "improperly cleaned". Is cleaned always bad? any thoughts? thanks
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United States
1585 Posts
 Posted 12/02/2019  2:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jpbone to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That's a difficult question to answer out right. There are many ways to clean a coin and all produce different affects. Nickel, silver and copper have different looks as well. The best guide is experience. Study what naturally toned and uncleaned coins look like by looking at known examples of "original" coins. We've all been fooled or made purchases we look back on and regret, but that is the best way to learn.

The other thing to look for is cleaned and then artificially re-toned coins. Re-toning methods differ and the metals that are re-toned are different as well as the skill of the person trying to fool you.

It really is a "feel" you have to get from years of experience.

Then, you have "market acceptable" cleaning. Which muddies the water further. I've seen hundreds of obviously cleaned coins in slabs from ALL TPGs. So many variables are at play. Time and attention is the only cure.
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United States
2432 Posts
 Posted 12/02/2019  6:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slider23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Below is a link to how to detect a clean coin thread:

http://goccf.com/t/319679

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United States
12035 Posts
 Posted 12/02/2019  6:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Detecting cleaned copper coins is usually easier to spot than Silver coins . the copper will most times have a pinkish color to them and look dull in appearance . Silver coins will usually be a light pale color ,both might have light scratches depending what method was used to clean them . Nickels is a whole different animal which are usually harshly cleaned if they must be cleaned at all .
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Valued Member
United States
86 Posts
 Posted 12/02/2019  6:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BGLI to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks all. Very helpful and might save me from future mistakes.
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United States
16330 Posts
 Posted 12/02/2019  6:47 pm  Show Profile   Check vermontensium's eBay Listings Check vermontensium's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add vermontensium to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Also under magnification, hairline scratches can sometimes be seen.
ANA LM1214396
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Pillar of the Community
United States
7881 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2019  1:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add panzaldi to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
some things to look for

scratches that cross over both the field and continue over the devices.

polished coins especially silver almost look like the devices are melted in some cases

higher grade coins that appear dull and lifeless with all the luster stripped off. sometimes difficult to tell as new graders really don't have a handle on what luster actually looks is or looks like

many many more but these ones are quite common.
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18448 Posts
 Posted 12/05/2019  5:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add IndianGoldEagle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Look at as many original coins as you can. Get a feel for correct color and surface quality.
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