Many people nurture a hobby of collecting coin. They want to clean their coin from time to time without knowing their value. However, experts recommend that if coin collectors do not know its value, they shouldn’t clean it or if they think it is valuable, they shouldn’t clean it. The reason for this is that coin dealers and collectors are interested in purchasing coins in their original condition and natural state of preservation so it’s better to leave them untouched and stored in proper holders.
Difficulty Level: Moderately easy
Things You Require
Still, if coin collectors want to clean their coin then they require the following things:
1. Liquid Dish Soap
2. Isopropyl Alcohol
3. Soft Cloth
5. Olive (not Virgin) Oil
8. Blow Dryers
10. Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners
1. Firstly, soak the coin for a few minutes and wash it in clean, warm, soapy, distilled water in a plastic container, using a mild liquid dishwashing soap and a very soft toothbrush. To make soapy solution, use one tablespoon dishwashing liquid soap to a pint of water in your plastic container.
2. Accumulated dirt and grime can be safely removed from a coin with the application of petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) to both sides using a cotton-tipped swab.
3. Carefully remove the residue with clean swabs and finish with a soft and lint-free cloth. Isopropyl or denatured alcohol is another non-abrasive cleaner that can be used in place of grape or olive oil.
4. Never use baking soda for a cleaning rub as baking soda may make a coin shinier but will ruin the coin’s numismatic value. A good example of corrosion that should be removed is Polyvinylchloride (PVC), a chemical found in older plastic coin holders that over the time leaves a green, adherent, acidic, sticky, slightly scummy, scuzz discoloration on coins. This scuzz can spread so it is best to remove it as soon as possible using an organic solvent. One such organic solvent is acetone.
5. You must adhere strictly to the warnings shown on the container, as a solvent such as acetone (found in nail polish remover) can be dangerous. Organic solvents can be used to remove tape or adhesive residue.
6. Some archeologists, professional coin dealers, and metal detecting hobbyists have used ultrasonic tanks that use ultrasound waves to agitate the clean, warm, soapy, distilled water in which coins are immersed. Sound waves are gentler than even a soft toothbrush.
7. Commercial coin cleaning agents are available at coin shops. These cleaners should only be used as a last resort. You should never put gold coins into jewelry cleaner. Neither should you dip silver coins in silver dip or polish them.
8. After cleaning the coin, rinse it with distilled water, not tap water, which contains minerals that may leave spots on the coin. Some people suggest adding a final rinsing in isopropyl or denatured alcohol.
9. Dab or pat rinsed coins partially dry with a soft, lint-free cloth, then allow them to air-dry without touching each other on a soft cloth without rubbing, which can cause minute scratches
Things to keep in mind
While cleaning your precious coin, you need to take some precautionary measures:
1. Handle coins by the edges to avoid putting fingerprints on the flat surfaces.
2. Avoid silver and other metal polishes – even jewelry polishes. They are too harsh and will leave tiny scratches on the coin’s surfaces.
3. Soak the coins in olive oil or soapy water for a few days and then rinse them well with clean water.
4. Try non-abrasive cleaners such as denatured or isopropyl alcohol, acetone, or an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner (with water) if the above process doesn’t do the trick.
5. Blow dry or pat cleaned coins with a soft cloth, not tissues or paper towels.
6. Never rub the coin.
7. Always dry the coin after cleaning them. Make use of soft and lint-free cloth for the purpose.
8. Do not clean valuable coins with commercial coin cleaners.
9. Do not use lemon juice or vinegar for gold coins, as the acidic content in both of them may reduce the luster of the metal.
10. Do not use abrasive household cleaning products, as they may scratch and ruin the coin.
11. Do not soak different types of coins together.
12. Toothpaste can effectively remove the dirt off silver coins. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub the coins with toothpaste gently.
13. Clean the antique coins carefully, as the acidic materials and chemicals may remove the patina from them.