Q:

What is the best way to clean old coins?

A:

Quick Answer

According to coin expert Susan Headley for About, the easiest process for cleaning old coins is to gently rinse the coins in a bath of warm tap water and mild dish-washing detergent. It is important to make sure that the hands are thoroughly washed to remove all surface oils and dirt that may potentially contaminate the coins. Headley stresses that cleaning old coins is not recommended unless absolutely necessary.

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What is the best way to clean old coins?
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Full Answer

Headley warns that attempting to clean old coins using improper methods may significantly reduce their monetary value. Many people mistakenly believe that the tarnish or seasoning on old coins should be removed, so that they are restored to an attractive shiny appearance, but it is the very presence of this natural oxidation or "toning effect" that increases their value during appraisal. Attempting to clean old coins using products such as silver dips, polishes or chemical solutions can effectively ruin them. Ideally, old coins should be protected from the elements, including direct human touch and exposure to air and water. Headley states that the only time when it might be appropriate to clean a coin is when a beginner collector wishes to remove germs and gunk from a cheap collection for hygienic reasons.

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Related Questions

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    Where can you sell old coins?

    A:

    Collectors most often buy and sell old coins at auctions, from coin dealers and at coin collecting conventions. Coin valuation companies offer a third-party estimated value for both coin buyers and sellers.

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  • Q:

    Are old coins with a hole that are strung on string valuable?

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    Some old coins with a hole in them are valuable. A hole in a coin can also cause the value of the coin to decrease.

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  • Q:

    How do I clean old coins?

    A:

    Old coins maintained for collections must be carefully cleaned with non-abrasive materials and a solution that does not damage the metal compounds in the coin. Improperly cleaning a coin can damage it and substantially reduce its value. Specialists knowledgeable in coin cleaning can clean coins without damaging them. Most expert coin collectors advise against cleaning coins at all, as discolorations and dirt may actually increase a coin's value, explains NemisMaster.com.

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  • Q:

    How do you clean coins?

    A:

    The safe way to clean coins involves washing your hands, readying the work area, preparing the cleaning and rinsing solutions, scouring the coins between your fingers and drying the coins. This process takes only a few minutes per coin. You need soap, water, two containers and a soft towel.

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