With the sentimental value of your coin collection along with the amount of time that went into creating it, you may be looking for ways to clean and keep their coins looking bright and shiny.
Be careful, though. Some old classic editions of coins probably should not be cleaned. Coins that are not cleaned properly can lose their value. Always consult a coin expert before cleaning your coins. Most coin collectors believe that a person should never clean their collection because they believe that any product that is applied to the coin will affect the surface.
Oftentimes, professional collectors keep their coins clean by placing the coins in an airtight container. This is a safe way to preserve the features of the coins. Because of the coins’ years of circulation, there is the possibility of a coin accumulating encrustations, coatings, dirt, and other problems on a coin’s face. These accumulations may cause pitting and corrosion to the surface of the copper coin. The corroded portions should be removed properly without making any scratches.
Many collectible coins are made of copper and a collector may encounter problems in maintaining their features and appearance. A person collecting this type of coin should learn how to maintain and take proper care of these expensive collections.
Here’s a simple way to clean the not-so-old coins.
Mix 1/2 – 1 cup of warm water and a teaspoon of liquid dish soap in a plastic container or bowl.
- Hold the coin between your thumb and index finger and carefully rub it as you hold in under running water for about 10 seconds.
- Dip the coin in the warm, soapy solution and continue rubbing away loose dirt with your thumb and index finger.
- Use an old, soft-bristled toothbrush to brush away any hardened dirt/stains.
- Rinse the coin out thoroughly under running water.
- Air dry or pat dry with a soft towel.
Here’s a way to clean tarnished coins:
Add 1 cup of white vinegar in a plastic container or bowl.
- Dip the coin in the vinegar and and soak them. The longer you leave them to soak, the better the effect of the vinegar will be. For coins that are more than 50% corroded, it’s advisable to soak them overnight
- Take the coins out and sprinkle some baking soda over them; then use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush them clean
- Rinse them out thoroughly with hot water; using tongs or gloves to hold them to avoid burning your fingers
- Place them on a soft, cotton towel and leave to air dry
There are products available that are made especially for coin cleaning. You can usually find these products at your local coin dealer or through an online source.
One product made for this purpose is MS70 which removes corrosion and other surface dirt. It is advisable to use rubber gloves for the protection of your hands, as MS70 can dry the skin but this should be of little concern because it is not that harsh on the skin. A soft toothbrush may help with cleaning and removing any dirt that is on the surface of the coin. Improvement in the appearance of the coin will be seen after it has been soaked and cleaned. If satisfaction is not met on the cleanliness and appearance of the coin, you may add baking soda to neutralize the MS70 and soak it in warm water.
After a through soaking, you can dry the coin using a Blue Ribbon coin cleaner and preservative; apply a coat and dry it for a couple of days then wipe the damp parts with soft cotton balls and place it on a small cardboard with a space on the center.
If you find discoloring on the coin, you may use Dellars Darkener after the coin has soaked in MS70. Use this product before applying the Blue Ribbon cleaner and preservative until you are satisfied with the cleanliness of the coin. Once satisfied with the new appearance of the coin, return it to its set or collection.
The next step would be maintenance and preservation the collection.
A person should know how to preserve their collection and avoid dirt from touching the coins. Here are some tips on how to take care of coin collections:
- The coin should be protected from exposure to any kind of elements. It is also important not to scratch the coins; they should be handled with care to avoid scratches on the surface of the coins.
- It is safe to store the coins in plastic cases or pockets that are made specifically for coin collections and sets. These cases and pockets can protect the coins from dirt and scratches.
- Coins should be cleaned properly using vinegar, lemon juice, ammonia or rubbing alcohol.
- If there is unwanted dirt that is hard to remove on the surface, chemical products for cleaning like Tarnex may be used. This option may be used if vinegar and lemon juice were not able to remove the dirt.
- It is very important to remember that the value of the coin may depreciate if the coin has been cleaned. It is recommended to seek the advice of an expert on other ways of preserving a coin.