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Cleaning Silver Coins

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 14 / Views: 470Next Topic  
New Member
United Kingdom
15 Posts
 Posted 03/08/2021  08:54 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add orkneycoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi,

I have a silver coin that has gone black at different parts. Is there anything I can do to clean it?

Thanks
New Member
United Kingdom
15 Posts
 Posted 03/08/2021  09:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add orkneycoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
P.S I have just read somewhere its best not to clean them as they become more damaged. Would most people agree with that statement?
Pillar of the Community
United States
995 Posts
 Posted 03/08/2021  09:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dearborn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Looks like you answered you own question.

You should not clean your coins, as the cleaning process can cause scratches and other blemishes on them..
Collecting since 1972. Learning from then on

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -Benjamin Franklin
My Dansco 7070 type set coin count: 31/76
My Dansco 8176 Eisenhower set coin count: 36/36
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United States
20147 Posts
 Posted 03/08/2021  09:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Kind of depends on the coin. If not a valuable one, there are many things y0u could do. However, if valuable, cleaning might well ruin some of the value. For example regular Jewelry cleaner from most department stores would work but on valuable coins that would be considered cleaning and deteriorate the coins value. Really odd about cleaning. If you clean an old oil painting or your car, no big thing. If you clean some old furniture or a coin, ruins the value.
just carl
Valued Member
United States
113 Posts
 Posted 03/08/2021  10:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add EDM to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I too have some valueable uncirculated silver coins that were stored in tissue paper for 60 years and have some black smudge across the obverse. Otherwise they are pristine. If "dipping" does not remove the black smudge is there any other method of conserving these coins? I know there are some purists here who will never say "yes", but I feel the value of some could increase into the 4 figures without the smudges.
Edited by EDM
03/08/2021 10:14 am
Bedrock of the Community
United States
38421 Posts
 Posted 03/08/2021  12:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As a general rule,never clean coins. Post a photo of your coin so we can see what's going on.
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 5+ Million Cents Since 1971
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United States
4532 Posts
 Posted 03/08/2021  2:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I feel the value of some could increase into the 4 figures without the smudges


It is equally likely they could decrease into two figures if you do a bad job.
Valued Member
Korea, Republic Of
452 Posts
 Posted 03/08/2021  2:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lembafc to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Too easy: Don't clean it.
Valued Member
United States
113 Posts
 Posted 03/08/2021  2:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add EDM to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For my part, I'm interested in conserving the coins not cleaning them. Don't coin grading services "conserve" valuable coins?
Edited by EDM
03/08/2021 2:27 pm
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 Posted 03/08/2021  8:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dorado to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Post a photo of your coin


New Member
United Kingdom
15 Posts
 Posted 03/09/2021  06:22 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add orkneycoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply




Thanks everyone for all of the advice. The picture attached is the coin. Based on everyones advice I wont attempt to clean it.

What can I do to prevent the blackness/tarnishing spreading?
Valued Member
Canada
74 Posts
 Posted 03/09/2021  06:55 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cedargrove to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That coin looks great to me. I'd never consider cleaning it, and would be happy owning it "as-is".
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 Posted 03/09/2021  07:26 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
What can I do to prevent the blackness/tarnishing spreading?


You will get some recommendations from others on holders. But my thought is this: If this is the amount of tarnish the coin has acquired in two millenia, it's not very likely to advance an amount I will notice in my lifetime.
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Australia
13582 Posts
 Posted 03/10/2021  12:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ah, an ancient coin. There are several differences between the treatment of an ancient coin, compared to a modern coin.

First off, There's no such thing as an ancient coin that's been kicking around in people's houses or collections for 2300 years. Every single ancient coin has been dug up out of the ground some time in the last few hundred years or so and all the non-gold ancient coins thus found would have been "cleaned", usually cleaned in a way that a collector of modern coins would consider to be "bad" - perhaps with acidic cleaner, or electrolysis, or the careful scraping away of concreted debris with a diamond-dusted dental tool. Cleaning ancient coins is a necessity; the only debate among ancient coin collectors is "how much cleaning is too much" - there is a school of thought that an ancient coin should only be cleaned up to the point where it can be fully identified, and any cleaning beyond that point is unnecessary and redundant. Most collectors, however, want their coins to at least look like coins rather than little green rocks.

Second, such coins, after being cleaned, are often re-toned to make them look more attractive. Nobody wants to buy an ancient coin that looks like it's been polished. An off-the-shelf compound called "Deller's Darkener" is a sulfur-petroleum jelly mixture designed to be smeared onto a silver or bronze object to make it darker.

Third, ancient coins do not need the same level of preservation that a modern mint-state coin does. It has already survived 2300 years without your help, and will likely survive many more millennia unless you (or its future owners) decide to destroy, deface or otherwise do something ill-advised to it.

That being said, I would agree:
- This coin does not need cleaning. It's toning is what would be considered "normal" or "market-acceptable".
- It likely will not darken any further, or spread, unless it is deliberately exposed to darkening agents such as sulfide. Keep it in an airtight container and away from sulfur-containing substances (such as rubber, yellow paper, or the fumes from cooking eggs or onions) and it should remain in this state for at least several centuries.
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
New Member
United Kingdom
15 Posts
 Posted 03/11/2021  04:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add orkneycoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for all of the advice. I am going to follow it.

My biggest worry was that the toning would progress.
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