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bgintl
Joined: 4-Mar-2018
Posts: 3
I'm retired and finally have time to go through a coin and paper money collection that I started as a kid. I am going to have a lot I want to trade in the near future. I will also have lots of questions

I have lots of old wheat pennies. Can anyone tell me how to clean them? I've been told to use only Dawn detergent and a soft rag?

I have lots of lead pennies as well. Is it possible to clean them?
MonaSeaclaid
Joined: 21-Jan-2016
Posts: 982
Welcome to Numista!

Typically the answer on cleaning is "don't". If there is physical dirt caked onto the coin then warm water and a soft cloth is a good way to go, using as little friction on the coin as possible. If you're talking about the patina then it's best to leave them be. Of course they're your coins to do what you want with, but if you plan on selling them in the future then it's best to leave them as they are. The patina is part of the coin itself, part of its history. The general preference is to leave it there.

If you're talking about verdigris, that's the green that sometimes ends up on copper coins, that's a whole different story. I suggest doing a forum search for the word "verdigris" and reading one of the many informative threads we've already written on the topic. I especially recommend paying close attention to Fluke's take on it.

In general don't use ketchup or vinegar on copper, it turns it pink.

Glad to have you aboard! Looking forward to seeing you around the forum.
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 5420
Quote: "bgintl"

​I have lots of lead pennies as well. Is it possible to clean them?

​What is a lead penny?

Perhaps you meant a steel wheat US penny, the ones from 1943?

As always, welcome to Numista!
Une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
bgintl
Joined: 4-Mar-2018
Posts: 3
HI,
Thanks for your reply. Yes, it's lead pennies. Someone else has told me you can't clean them. Just looking for a second opinion.
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 5420
Quote: "bgintl"​HI,
​Thanks for your reply. Yes, it's lead pennies. Someone else has told me you can't clean them. Just looking for a second opinion.
​I don't recall any US penny being issued in lead....

Photos maybe?
Une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
Oklahoman
Joined: 20-Dec-2015
Posts: 1520
No lead, steel?
Numismatist uk
Joined: 2-Jan-2018
Posts: 710
It probably is steel, people call them lead, silver or (its a bit silly but) a cent.8)

I was always confused why Americans call their coins pennies, I understand quarters (from pieces of eight) but what is the cent's story?

I suppose its like calling a pound a 'thatcher' in London or a shilling a 'bob '
Coin collector and Silver stacker
'We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.'
Sir Winston Churchill
MonaSeaclaid
Joined: 21-Jan-2016
Posts: 982
A quarter is a quarter because it's 1/4 of a dollar. I believe calling a one cent coin a penny is a leftover from English influence, but have no hard evidence to back it up. It's just a theory. In the colonial and Revolutionary days they didn't divide their money into hundredths so calling anything a "cent" wouldn't have been done.
Numismatist uk
Joined: 2-Jan-2018
Posts: 710
Quote: "MonaSeaclaid"​A quarter is a quarter because it's 1/4 of a dollar. I believe calling a one cent coin a penny is a leftover from English influence, but have no hard evidence to back it up. It's just a theory. In the colonial and Revolutionary days they didn't divide their money into hundredths so calling anything a "cent" wouldn't have been done.

Thanks @MonaSeaclaid​
Coin collector and Silver stacker
'We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.'
Sir Winston Churchill
bgintl
Joined: 4-Mar-2018
Posts: 3
Hi again,
Yes, you are all correct. They are steel pennies. Can they be cleaned?
Numismatist uk
Joined: 2-Jan-2018
Posts: 710
Quote: "bgintl"​Hi again,
​Yes, you are all correct. They are steel pennies. Can they be cleaned?
I'd leave them be. ​Collectors prefer non-cleaned coins and on more expensive ones, it could take a thousand dollars off a coin per wipe.
Coin collector and Silver stacker
'We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.'
Sir Winston Churchill
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 5420
Quote: "Numismatist uk"​It probably is steel, people call them lead, silver or (its a bit silly but) a cent.8)

​I was always confused why Americans call their coins pennies, I understand quarters (from pieces of eight) but what is the cent's story?

​I suppose its like calling a pound a 'thatcher' in London or a shilling a 'bob '
​People in London call pound coins 'thatchers'?
I've heard of the bob one but not that other one....
Une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
Oklahoman
Joined: 20-Dec-2015
Posts: 1520
The round pounds are "brassy and think they are sovereigns."
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 5420
Quote: "Oklahoman"​The round pounds are "brassy and think they are sovereigns."
​Hahaha that's a good one!

I thought it was because they were introduced in 1983 during Thatcher's time as PM, but apparently there was a funnier reason behind it... lol!
Une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
Kipsley
Joined: 3-Feb-2018
Posts: 129
Hi and welcome to an awesome forum. I'm also new so you are in good company.
Collector of Third Reich coins (1933 - 1946), and Australian coins.
PaulDeLucchi
Joined: 21-Dec-2016
Posts: 18
1943 Steel Wheat cents were nicknamed leadies due to there weight.
I purchased a few mixed rolls P,D and S (50) for about $5 each.
I have been told you can clean the steel pennies in in a rock tumbler with walnut husks . I haven't the nerve to try it
I did about 10 yrs back pick up some Unc Steel cents for 1 dollar each. I have since come to realize these are not unc they were somehow cleaned and restored to unc condition.
San Francisco steel wheats demand a preminium
Oklahoman
Joined: 20-Dec-2015
Posts: 1520
Literally hundreds of millions of these were issued. Never be worth a great deal.
PaulDeLucchi
Joined: 21-Dec-2016
Posts: 18
Quote: "Numismatist uk"​It probably is steel, people call them lead, silver or (its a bit silly but) a cent.8)

​I was always confused why Americans call their coins pennies, I understand quarters (from pieces of eight) but what is the cent's story?

​I suppose its like calling a pound a 'thatcher' in London or a shilling a 'bob '
​Real Americans call their coins cents. All the cataloging services call them cents . Canadians call them cents. we fought a war 240 yrs ago to call our coins cents not pennies. A quarter is a quarter of a dollar. I think it is just lazy Americans calling them pennies that havent cut the cord from jolly old England . Calling cents pennies is a pet peeve of mine but I do find people in all walks of life using the term. I have also seen it in the print media which makes me cringe. I also found a Dansco album from the 70's or 80's use the term ...reprehensible
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 5420
Quote: "PaulDeLucchi"
Quote: "Numismatist uk"​It probably is steel, people call them lead, silver or (its a bit silly but) a cent.8)
​​
​​I was always confused why Americans call their coins pennies, I understand quarters (from pieces of eight) but what is the cent's story?
​​
​​I suppose its like calling a pound a 'thatcher' in London or a shilling a 'bob '
​​Real Americans call their coins cents. All the cataloging services call them cents . Canadians call them cents. we fought a war 240 yrs ago to call our coins cents not pennies. A quarter is a quarter of a dollar. I think it is just lazy Americans calling them pennies that havent cut the cord from jolly old England . Calling cents pennies is a pet peeve of mine but I do find people in all walks of life using the term. I have also seen it in the print media which makes me cringe. I also found a Dansco album from the 70's or 80's use the term ...reprehensible
​I've never heard Americans say 'gimme a cent' or the 'cent' term.... I always thought the difference was the 'penny' was the term that appeared on the actual coin itself in the UK. If anything all the American sources I've observed, from the Simpsons to American Numista members call their one cent coins pennies.
Une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
halfdisme
Joined: 6-Oct-2017
Posts: 505
Quote: "PaulDeLucchi"​1943 Steel Wheat cents were nicknamed leadies due to there weight.
​I purchased a few mixed rolls P,D and S (50) for about $5 each.
​I have been told you can clean the steel pennies in in a rock tumbler with walnut husks . I haven't the nerve to try it
​I did about 10 yrs back pick up some Unc Steel cents for 1 dollar each. I have since come to realize these are not unc they were somehow cleaned and restored to unc condition.
​San Francisco steel wheats demand a preminium
​Thousands of the steel cents (technically, they are zinc coated steel) have been "reprocessed" by non-Mint sources. This is a fancy word for harshly cleaning/replating the coins. As another post has indicated, the Mint plated entire sheets, before punching out the planchets, so an Uncirculated coin shows a sandwich of low-carbon steel between two thin (0.005 inch) layers of zinc. (The reprocessed coins are generally bluer in color than Uncirculated coins, and the reprocessed coins often show wear.)

They are sometimes called "lead" because of the thud when dropped, and the black color to which they turned after some time in circulation.

Some sources believe "quarters" got that name from the practice of cutting an 8 reales (peso de ocho reales) into 4 two-reales pieces. The Spanish colonial mints struck large numbers of 8 reales, and much smaller mintages for any of the fractions (1/2, 1, 2 and 4 reales).

Spanish colonial silver circulated widely in the American colonies, even though the English crown representatives "guiding" the colonies tried to discourage trade with anyone but England. The English crown did not provide any precious metal coinage to the colonists, because they wanted to keep the colonies on a barter economy, and wanted all bullion to flow to England.

The triangular rum and slave trade between New England, Africa and the Spanish colonies required large sums of money, and the Spanish colonial silver was what was available.

Talbot, Allum and Lee issued thousands of one cent coins in New York in 1794-95, and the U. S. Mint had started minting half cents and cents in 1793, but most of the small change then and prior was either British or Irish half pennies (genuine or counterfeit), or lightweight copper coins simply called "coppers".
ALLRED1950
Joined: 2-Jul-2012
Posts: 4015
The Belgium 2 Frank coins from 1944. Were made with the leftover unused planchets of the US 1943 steel penny.

Getting ready to put in some WD-40
Welcome to the site
AT THIS TIME IAM NO LONGER SWAPPING. I need too put things in order. And take some time off. Thank you yours daryl
halfdisme
Joined: 6-Oct-2017
Posts: 505
Sorry, not enough zeroes. The zinc coating on the steel cents was 0.0005 inch thick.

The Belgian 2 francs coins of 1944 were indeed struck on the same planchets, in the Philadelphia Mint. Altz and Barton's "Foreign Coins Struck at United States Mints" indicates that two distinct weights for these coins have been found.

Although that book also said it, it is hard to believe that 25 MILLION planchets were "left overs"!

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