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Offline Coin Ranger

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Coin Cleaning Methods
« on: March 05, 2011, 16:05 »
Hi All,

Following on from Snoopys original post I figured how about we throw this out to the forum and get some further ideas on preferred coin cleaning techniques - good or bad.

I'm not suggesting coins should be cleaned, especially the rare and valuable ones but lets face it, most people will prefer to clean a coin for display purposes. I'm hoping that by sharing techniques a better result can be obtained.

When posting techniques please try to keep the following format;

1. Title
2. Steps taken
3. Photos of before and after; and
4. Final comments

Mods - any chance this can be made a sticky thread?

I'll kick this off with a method shortly.

CR
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Offline Coin Ranger

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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2011, 16:23 »
Silvo & Pads for Coppers

1. Select a non valuable penny with light corrosion
2. Dab some Silvo on a non scratch scour pad and scrub the coin. A heavy scrub covering all areas of the coin will be required, especially recessed areas
3. Thoroughly rinse the coin - See photos below

Comments;
- Keeps the existing patina of the coin but may add a earthy red tone
- Does not remove corrosion
- Keeps coin detail intact
- Doesn't look over cleaned
- Not recommended for cleaning silvers.
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Offline Splodger

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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 21:16 »
This method WILL NOT pit your coins, if they are already pitted it will obviously make the pitting alot more visible because the coin is CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN.
you will need

Lectric Washing Soda (powdered) You can buy this at Coles/Safeway
Brasso
Al-Foil
A Flat bottomed square glass dish
Boiling Water
An old soft bristle tooth brush

Method

- Place A sheet of aluminium foil in the base of your dish, but dont cover the whole bottom of the dish.
- Place your coins on the Al-Foil, make sure none of the coins are touching each other - At all!
- Pour enough boiling water into the bowl to cover the coins + a bit extra. I usually 1/3 fill the bowl i use.
- Take 2 1/2 Tablespoons of your Washing Soda (Sodium Carbonate) and sprinkle it over the top.
- Leave the coins sit in it for 15-30 minutes. I usually leave them for 20 minutes. After about 15 minutes you should see streaks of corrosion/dirt irradiating from the coins

- Take the coins out and sit them on paper towel and let them dry out by themselves.
- Take one coin and sit in the palm of your hand, tip a small amount of Brasso onto your coin, as a guideline, if I'm cleaning a Commonwealth of Australia coin (Pre-1938?) I will pour the Brasso into the middle circle (One Penny/Halfpenny) until it is full, i guess you could say.
- Take your soft bristled toothbrush and start with small circles in the middle of the coin, getting bigger and bigger until you get to the outside rim, applying minimal pressure. I sometimes apply a fair bit of pressure depending on how shiny I want the coin.

Rinse the coin off under cold tap water and let it to air dry. You won't be disappointed  ;D

*Tips*

Don't let the coins sit for over 30 minutes, they for some reason can stick to the alfoil i have come to realise
If the brasso turns green whilst your using your brush, SIMPLY apply more Brasso.

I am yet to try this on silver coins, but I usually use Silvo on my silver coins and they come up nice and shiny

Jeremy
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 00:41 by Uncle Buck »
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Offline Neo81xxx

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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2012, 11:22 »
I found these coin cleaning techniques from the website - http://www.treasureenterprises.com/Treasure%20Hunting%20Information/treasure_hunting_tips.htm

Coin Cleaning Methods

There are many methods and "ideas" to clean coins.

If you think the coin could be valuable such as gold sovereigns, early pre-decimal silver coins and even some rare date copper coins … my advice is to leave it alone! ….  and get some proper advice from either a reputable coin dealer or a numismatic society. Even a small added scratch could devalue it. Leave it to the experts or the person buying it to clean it.

However, for those other coins which are not as valuable but you would like to clean them for your own collection some of the following methods put forth by other treasure hunters may be of some help.

If you have any another methods … please contact me and I will be happy to add them to this list

PRE DECIMAL COINS

GENERAL INFORMATION: Firstly, please remember DO NOT CLEAN silver coins in with copper coins in any solution !

Secondly, just treat a few coins at a time.

Thirdly, when the solution becomes "Yuckky" dispose of it and make up a new batch.

METHOD No. 1

Possibly the most popular one is to soak them in a small amount of white vinegar with a teaspoonful of cooking salt.

You can, if you wish, make up a strong mixture, but for goodness sake make sure that you keep an eye on the proceedings.

As the coins become clean, take them out and wash them thoroughly and spread them out on a towel to dry.

This method will generally take only a few minutes unless the coins are badly corroded. It takes slightly less than hour for the worst silver coins to come up like new.

It must be noted that if you leave the copper coins too long in this solution it will start to dissolve the copper.


METHOD No. 2

For cleaning old copper pennies and halfpennies.

If you have some Worcestershire Sauce … even a cheap "Home Brand" will do.

Just immerse the coins in the some of this sauce overnight. Just enough to cover the coins.

In the morning just wash them in soapy water …. and bingo!


METHOD No. 3

I suggest that the Tumbler method as described in the DECIMAL COIN section below is NOT to be used on Pre Decimal coins otherwise you can ruin them.
 

DECIMAL COINS


GENERAL INFORMATION:   Firstly, please remember DO NOT CLEAN the Cupro-nickel coins in with Copper coins together.  In other words, classify the coins into the following three (3) groups: 

(a) 1c & 2c.     (b) 5c; 10c; 20c & 50c.     (c)  $1 & $2

Secondly, just treat a few coins at a time.

Thirdly, when the solution becomes "Yuckky" dispose of it and make up a new batch.

 
METHOD No. 1

For cleaning a batch of coins (of the same type).

Important! Use a pair of gloves.

1.  Add 20 mls of swimming pool acid (usually 40% Hydrochloric acid strength) to 300 mls of water. I have been told that a brand R70 is a good one.

2.  Within about 30 seconds to 1 minute they will be clean enough to spend.

3.  Please make sure that you rinse them properly.

4.  Make sure that you don't leave them in too long or else they will be "stuffed"!

 
METHOD No. 2

1.  Simply put them Coca Cola overnight.

2.  Don't drink the "Coke" afterwards !!!

Result:  Reasonable.

 
METHOD No. 3

The White Vinegar and Salt method (as described in the Pre Decimal Coin Section – above) works extremely well on $1 and $2 coins.

It takes between 1 to 4 hours to clean them depending on the condition of the coin.


METHOD No. 4

Some treasure hunters even use this simple method for cleaning decimal coins. Don't do this to the valuable ones … Yes … there are valuable decimal coins! Make sure that you check your Coin and Banknote Guide first.

1.  Cut a rectangular piece of MDF board, say, 15" x 12" (approximately 375mm x 300mm).

2.  Place each coin denomination on the board and trace around it.

3. Then cut out the interior … by the method you would prefer. Make sure that the coin protrudes the surface of the board by a whisker. If you like, you can have numerous holes on the same board.

4. Scrub the coin with a 'steelo' pad or similar. You can even 'knock up' something for your drill or sander and then finally buff the coin.

5.  Repeat the process on the other side of the coin.

6.  It's now good enough to spend.

 

METHOD No. 5

That's if they are not encrusted with sand and dirt etc.

Put them in parking meters or food dispensing machines.

If you just want replacement "new" coins … just feed them into a poker machine and press "Collect" …. Bingo! … unblemished coins!

 

METHOD No. 6  -   THE TUMBLER METHOD .... For Decimal coins only !

Equipment:

Lortone 3A Tumbler (or similar)

Ingredients:  (No ... this is not a cooking lesson!)

Water

Fine beach sand

Coarse beach sand or river sand

Detergent

Salt

Vinegar

Small plastic granules (available from Lapidary shops)

 

1.   Fill the barrel about 1/2  to 2/3 full of coins (of the same denomination).

2.   Add a few handfuls of both fine and coarse sand.

3.   Add about a cupful of plastic granules (some people even use uncooked rice instead).

4.   Add water … just enough to cover the coins and material.

5.   Put a squirt of liquid detergent into the barrel (don't put very much in otherwise there's too much froth and bubble).

6.   Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar.

7.   Add 2 teaspoons of cooking salt.

8.   Start "her" up … and away we go.

9.   After about 5 minutes the tumbling should nice and even … if you find they are "banging' around inside … stop the tumbler and add a little more sand.

10.   Let it all tumble about for about 30 – 45 minutes.

11.   Stop the unit, open the barrel and check the progress.

12.  You will probably find most of them done at this stage.

13.  Tip the contents into a bucket with a sieve on top to catch the coins. You can re-use the sand and plastic granules over and over again … all you have to do is to add some more coarse sand plus the detergent, vinegar and salt for the next batch plus any coins that still need a bit more time.

14.   With the cleaned coins you can put them back into the barrel. Add water, detergent and a dash of baby oil and let it run for no more than 5 minutes …. and … Bingo … it's all done.

15.   Lay them out on an old towel in the sun to dry.

16.   Then either keep them or spend them .... it's up to you now !
 

IMPORTANT:   Don't use the kitchen sink or the laundry tub otherwise you could block up the works and that would "cost" you in a couple of different (?) ways !!! … not forgetting the expense of a plumber ! or .... someone else (not named) doing a moan about it all !  ......or ...bribe them with $2 coins.

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Offline Sambo

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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 11:04 »
The tip below has been submitted by eljay.

Yes i know you already know this, but do you really know ?
This for some of you may be new, this is an improvement an an old idea, it works fast.

The usual tarnish on silver is (black sulfide), The cool thing about this is that you can instantly remove the tarnish from any silver item with commonly available household items, fast!

Aluminum is far above silver in the activity series for metals, and in a suitable solution will reduce the silver in the silver sulfide, reforming silver metal. The reaction is spontaneous and rapid in warm water:

2Al(s) + 3Ag2S(s) + 6H2O -> 6Ag(s) + 2Al2(OH)3(s) + 3H2S(aq)

So, get a container big enough for your silver item, partially fill it with warm water and a couple tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate, ( baking soda ), place some clean aluminum foil in the container and then just dunk the tarnished item. ( i wrap rings loosely in the foil ).
The silver item has to touch the aluminum. It works in a few seconds, no scratches, no muss, no fuss, and then all you you do is rinse the item off. There is no adverse environmental impact, none of the ingredients are in any way toxic (they are food grade!), there is no abrasion or scratching of the silver and you can use your bare hands to remove the treated items from the solution. Just rinse and dry the silver when you are done, & pour the "used" solution down the drain! Re-use or recycle the aluminum foil.

An aluminum cooking pot works well as long as you use some steel wool on it first to remove the native aluminum oxide. This "treatment" works on silver plate, jewelry, any tarnished silver.

I put this in as i have seen similar reports but only stating water and aluminum foil, the above is much easier and faster.
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Offline ivanll

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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2012, 11:11 »
A Book: Cleaning and Preservation of Coins and Medals...................Avai lable Hard cover or Soft cover.
SANFORD J. DURST Numismatic Publications New York, N.Y.
Including: Paper Money Restoration and Preservation.

Can be hard to chase down but not impossible.

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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 18:59 »
My preferred method in cleaning coins after trying many methods is WD40. The silvo cleaning agents you buy in the supermarkets tend to erode silver if you don't monitor how long you clean a coin, and rubbing a coin is a bad idea. I found cleaning a coin initially with soapy water or a little olive/vegie oil and soft tooth brush, then try the WD40 to finish off. I don't ever use scrubbers, just a soft tea towel and wipe away any grime, changing the cleaning cloth around so you don't scratch the coin with soil residue on the cloth.  ;)

Offline DylanTheCoinHunter

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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2014, 08:26 »
Silvo & Pads for Coppers

1. Select a non valuable penny with light corrosion
2. Dab some Silvo on a non scratch scour pad and scrub the coin. A heavy scrub covering all areas of the coin will be required, especially recessed areas
3. Thoroughly rinse the coin - See photos below

Comments;
- Keeps the existing patina of the coin but may add a earthy red tone
- Does not remove corrosion
- Keeps coin detail intact
- Doesn't look over cleaned
- Not recommended for cleaning silvers.

Hi, do you know what the stuff on the half penny is even after you cleaned it? i have alot of it on some of my pennys and cant get it off.
Thanks
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Offline junker

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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2014, 12:48 »
That penny is R/S , you will find severe pitting under those blisters when you remove them , best just to scrub the coin as clean as possible , put it in your collection separate from other copper coins , that corrosion is contagious to other copper coins if kept together , just use till you get a better coin to fill that years  spot till you get a better one .
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Offline The Catseye Cleaner

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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2014, 19:53 »
Hi, do you know what the stuff on the half penny is even after you cleaned it? i have alot of it on some of my pennys and cant get it off. Thanks
It is severe oxidization. This type of damage is often found on copper coins that are retrieved from parks and sports ovals and is commonly caused by the fertilizers used to keep the lawns green. You will also find it on coins found in crop fields and pastures that have been treated with super phosphate. Often the 95% silvers will have no damage and the 50%ers will be only slightly affected if at all. I have dug up copper coins so bad that they crumble in your hand like water cracker biscuits. Unfortunately there's not much that can be done with them. I've never tried it, but you might have some success using reverse electrolysis.  
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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2015, 19:46 »
Hi all, if you're looking to purchase a Lortone 3A Tumbler, Ceramic and Craft Centre NSW has them on special for $139.00.

I've just ordered one, postage and handling to Melbourne was an additional $12.00.

Web is : www.ceramicandcraft.com.au

Cheers, richo$$$
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Offline BAZ

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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2015, 12:05 »
Hi All,
Those badly oxidised decimal silvers can be made look like new by soaking in Ajax " Spray n Wipe "
Cover them completely and leave for a couple of days. Still have to scrub with coarse steel scourer-- maybe a couple of times for the really bad ones -- but they do finally come clean.
Just finished doing about $ 60 worth that I have collected over the past couple of years. Some of the really bad ones still show a tinge of pink if you hold them to the light a certain way.
Don't mix copper coins with them.
Baz
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Offline ANT1967

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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2015, 15:03 »
I have about 500 x 20c pieces that are in very bad condition to clean up
combination of moisturised rust
The bank wouldn't take ( they said the dates were illegible )
I know they can send them back to the mint
Time to try a few methods , funds better converted for my pocket than lying around :)
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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2015, 15:38 »
Save the elbow grease and use them in parking meters or drop them in a car wash and convert them to goldies!
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Re: Coin Cleaning Methods
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2015, 16:14 »
I have about 500 x 20c pieces that are in very bad condition to clean up
combination of moisturised rust
The bank wouldn't take ( they said the dates were illegible )
I know they can send them back to the mint
Time to try a few methods , funds better converted for my pocket than lying around :)

I used ranex rust-buster, (jar of coins at a time, same coin type) then rinse and drop in the tumbler for an hour. Now i take them to the bank, last time i had around $1200 of coins some were worn real bad or run over by a train. 
I thought not accepted and sure enough the teller said why are these damaged we can not take them, before i could tell her, her job and the role of a bank, the manager said yes we can take them and that was it, bank was the NAB.

cheers
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