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Cleaning Coins

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I know coins get body bagged for being "cleaned", but I hear about dipping and that seems ok. What is the difference and if dipping is ok, how do you do it?

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Gunsmoke,

 

In numismatic parlance, ``cleaning'' generally refers to a harsh and destructive method. Whether dipping is ok is an opinion. I have dipped coins, but I prefer my coins to be undipped and with original patina.

 

However, too much or improper dipping of a coin can cause a service to view that action has having had a destructive effect on the coin. In that case, the services should BB the poor coin.

 

EVP

 

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GS,

 

I use MS-70, which will do a pretty good number on spots by reducing them, removing dirt and grime, and lightening or removing dark, unsightly toning.

 

Best thing to do is get some junk silver and practice on it. Dipping copper is definitely not recommended.

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It's much the same process, except that with a coin, you dip the coin in the solution and rinse with water. You don't want to wipe it with a cloth, as that causes hairlines and becomes "cleaning."

 

You can dip it in alcohol to dry the coin off after the water rinse, and pat dry if needed.

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Sometimes just gentle soap and warm water- being careful not to rub the coin but very gently with your fingers- running the coin under the warm water for awhile afterwards. Pat dry with a clean cotton towel and use a blow dryer to get rid of any water (no spotting).

Be very gentle though and don't use a lot of soap! Just half a speck or so of liquid, mild hand soap.

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They (the Services) test for any contamination on the surface before they Grade. Sorry Arch, potato oil would probably leave spots. Read the ingredient list on most liquid silver cleaners and coin dip solutions. They all contain an acid as one of their main ingredients. That is why you only can dip a coin a few times before it loses luster and grade points.

 

Have you ever seen those MS62 slabbed coins that appear to be a much higher grade? They are the dull lustered fall-out of over dipping. Also, after you have dipped a few coins, look in the bottom of the dipping solution. Those small bright specks that you see lining the bottom are pieces of your dipped coins. If that does not wake you up, huh! tongue.gif

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  • Administrator

 

Yah, I was just kind of laughing to myself on the potato. When I was a kid I had this 1880something german mark. It was all tarnished up, and the advice from my mom was that I should clean it with a potato, because it wouldn't damage the coin. So I did it.

 

It's been so long since I've looked at the coin, that I don't even remember what condition it's in. But the potato thing kind of cracks me up in retrospect.

 

Arch

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Gunsmoke - I would only add to what Keith said to avoid dipping copper. In that vein, I have experimented with MS70 on nickels and the results are very bad. Leaves a shiney appearance that makes the coins look cleaned. I use the same dip for nickels as I do silver - a dilute (3:1, water: solution) solution of eZest coin cleaner.

 

Hoot

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