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Improper cleaning designation

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I recently purchased an NCS 1874 Indian Head Cent in a Heritage auction, labled improper cleaning. Could you expand on that definition and does it imply that there is proper cleaning for copper? By the way I purchased the coin to be used as a comparison to help me detect these types of problems.

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The improper cleaning designation refers to a coin that displays visible signs of a previous attempt to remove foreign materials during which the original surfaces were damaged or impaired.


The most common example of a coin that is given this designation is one that displays hairlines from wiping the coin during the cleaning or to dry it off.


Unfortunately, we see a significant number of coins that have been improperly cleaned in the past.


To detect the cleaning your Indian cent, look at it under an incandescent light and move it around to highlight various parts of the luster. If you look carefully, you will probably see hairline scratches. You will probably also notice that the color off. The color of copper coins is almost always changed to an unnatural color during an improper cleaning.

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