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Silver coins - ? cleaning or not cleaning

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vinumohan
Joined: 10-Mar-2018
Posts: 52
Hi everyone ,
I got some silver coins and its hard to find the details in some of them , do you guys clean these type of coins , if yes how would you do that ?
Thanks
Vinu
                      
apuking
Joined: 31-Oct-2012
Posts: 6297
Generally I am against cleaning but in some cases if done without harm its up to you to decide.
If the toning is considered undesirable it is usually called tarnished.
Best without doing much harm would be clean one by one with baking soda, apply some to each side and add a bit of water. Gently! rub it with your index and thumb fingers, add more water to remove any baking soda left. Once finished dry very gently with a microfiber towel.

Bottom row third counting from the right, looks to have some greenish colour on it. That should be PVC damage, here Acetone might be the best way to clean it.
Bottom row third counting from the left, maybe no need to clean it (Your choice) but I think it looks lovely as is.

Good luck on the results.
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vinumohan
Joined: 10-Mar-2018
Posts: 52
Quote: "apuking"​Generally I am against cleaning but in some cases if done without harm its up to you to decide.
​If the toning is considered undesirable it is usually called tarnished.
​Best without doing much harm would be clean one by one with baking soda, apply some to each side and add a bit of water. Gently! rub it with your index and thumb fingers, add more water to remove any baking soda left. Once finished dry very gently with a microfiber towel.

​Bottom row third counting from the right, looks to have some greenish colour on it. That should be PVC damage, here Acetone might be the best way to clean it.
​Bottom row third counting from the left, maybe no need to clean it (Your choice) but I think it looks lovely as is.

​Good luck on the results.
​Thank you, I was worried about the Thailand coins. I probably would try the baking soda
Thanks again for your help
                      
halfdisme
Joined: 6-Oct-2017
Posts: 809
Baking soda--or any kind of rubbing--will mark the coins as cleaned.

The best method I have found is to use a product called eZest, which can be purchased from a coin dealer or coin supplies dealer. Rinse the coin in lukewarm water; then dip it for about 10 seconds only; then rinse it again. Pat it dry with a cotton cloth (a T-shirt undershirt works well)--do not rub.

You will not get them totally white, unless you want to ruin the surfaces.

Experiment with some cheaper coins before you touch any of those nice Thai coins.
halfdisme
Joined: 6-Oct-2017
Posts: 809
Some of your coins should not be cleaned, including both Egyptian and the Hong Kong.

Also note that, if the black is actually metal transfer from being stored in a metal can, no amount of "dip" or baking soda is going to remove it.
pnightingale
Joined: 27-Jul-2011
Posts: 5366
The William IV coin on the 2nd row has already been dipped, I reckon. If you try a second time it's very likely that it will turn an ugly flat white. Most of the coins look great just the way they are, although there's three of them which have more in the way of tarnish than patina.

If I was keeping them I'd try dipping them, in exactly the manner described above, even down to the product choice. It really does work when used judiciously and while there's no substitute for a nice aged patina, if done correctly you will turn a black lump with obscure details into a blank canvas on which you can encourage a nice even tone over time.

A word of caution though. It's very tempting after an initial success to get carried away. Those coins which may be improved by dipping are few and far between.
Non illegitimis carborundum est.  Excellent advice for all coins.
Make Numismatics Great Again!  
vinumohan
Joined: 10-Mar-2018
Posts: 52
Quote: "halfdisme"​Baking soda--or any kind of rubbing--will mark the coins as cleaned.

​The best method I have found is to use a product called eZest, which can be purchased from a coin dealer or coin supplies dealer. Rinse the coin in lukewarm water; then dip it for about 10 seconds only; then rinse it again. Pat it dry with a cotton cloth (a T-shirt undershirt works well)--do not rub.

​You will not get them totally white, unless you want to ruin the surfaces.

​Experiment with some cheaper coins before you touch any of those nice Thai coins.
​Thank you for your clear advise
i will try the eZest
                      
vinumohan
Joined: 10-Mar-2018
Posts: 52
Quote: "pnightingale"​The William IV coin on the 2nd row has already been dipped, I reckon. If you try a second time it's very likely that it will turn an ugly flat white. Most of the coins look great just the way they are, although there's three of them which have more in the way of tarnish than patina.

​If I was keeping them I'd try dipping them, in exactly the manner described above, even down to the product choice. It really does work when used judiciously and while there's no substitute for a nice aged patina, if done correctly you will turn a black lump with obscure details into a blank canvas on which you can encourage a nice even tone over time.

​A word of caution though. It's very tempting after an initial success to get carried away. Those coins which may be improved by dipping are few and far between.
​Thank you
                      
halfdisme
Joined: 6-Oct-2017
Posts: 809
Quote: "vinumohan"
Quote: "halfdisme"​Baking soda--or any kind of rubbing--will mark the coins as cleaned.
​​
​​The best method I have found is to use a product called eZest, which can be purchased from a coin dealer or coin supplies dealer. Rinse the coin in lukewarm water; then dip it for about 10 seconds only; then rinse it again. Pat it dry with a cotton cloth (a T-shirt undershirt works well)--do not rub.
​​
​​You will not get them totally white, unless you want to ruin the surfaces.
​​
​​Experiment with some cheaper coins before you touch any of those nice Thai coins.
​​Thank you for your clear advise
​i will try the eZest
​Make sure that you rinse it thoroughly after dipping--let the water run over it a few seconds. It could spot the coin if not removed.
erniemix
Joined: 1-May-2012
Posts: 87
Cleaning coins is almost an art form that improves with experience. The first rule is to make it appear the coin has never been cleaned after you are done. 'Dip' only works well on AU or UNC silver. It is best applied with a Q tip for control. I will usually clean with acetone to remove surface dirt and oils before dipping. Acetone and a Q tip works well with other metals without disturbing the patina of the coin. Do it correctly and the cleaning is unnoticeable even if you are submitting the coin for slabbing.

Ernie
Moneytane
Joined: 28-Jan-2014
Posts: 792
The blackened coins maybe with hot water and a brief lemon rub, the rest hell naw. Any cleaning will ruin the patina and tone on a better condition (VF plus or any lustre) piece and look wrong with streaks.

Never ever use commercial jewellery cleaner, brasso, silvio or any type of abrasive cleaner or cloth. Cleaning is a last resort and sometimes soaking in hotwater may even help, do NOT rub or scrub the coins with any brush or harsh cloth. Wipe lightly with a soft cloth. Silver is very soft and malleable.

The William IV rupee is nice and leave it as is.
I love coins, both old and precious and also change coins. If its round and shiny, it will garner my interest. I also collect stamps and have an abiding interest in History, Archaeology,  and Social Issues.  I also worship the musical god Prince.
vinumohan
Joined: 10-Mar-2018
Posts: 52
Quote: "Moneytane"​The blackened coins maybe with hot water and a brief lemon rub, the rest hell naw. Any cleaning will ruin the patina and tone on a better condition (VF plus or any lustre) piece and look wrong with streaks.

​Never ever use commercial jewellery cleaner, brasso, silvio or any type of abrasive cleaner or cloth. Cleaning is a last resort and sometimes soaking in hotwater may even help, do NOT rub or scrub the coins with any brush or harsh cloth. Wipe lightly with a soft cloth. Silver is very soft and malleable.

​The William IV rupee is nice and leave it as is.
​Thank you
                      
neilithicman
Joined: 22-Nov-2017
Posts: 920
I clean mine with a little isopropyl alcohol and a soft cotton makeup pad. It will remove any gunk and grime but leave all the nice natural toning intact. Having all the grease from people's fingers taken off really makes the details pop.
What? Me Worry
oldandhardy
Joined: 16-Apr-2018
Posts: 27
Isopropyl alcohol is indeed good against dirt, grease or nikotin. But before all i give my coins a relaxing bath in an ultrasonic cleaner.
radrick007
Joined: 7-Feb-2011
Posts: 2473
Quote: "neilithicman"​I clean mine with a little isopropyl alcohol and a soft cotton makeup pad. It will remove any gunk and grime but leave all the nice natural toning intact. Having all the grease from people's fingers taken off really makes the details pop.
​Yes Neil, likewise I have had some really pleasing results with IPA, particularly with copper and bronze coins. Gets rid of all that built up gunk and crud then lo and behold the inner beauty of the coin is finally revealed, often with toning and sometimes even lustre that was previously invisible.
Just because you can't see it ... doesn't mean it isn't there - Anon

Coin catalogue referee for Celtic Britain, England, United Kingdom, New Zealand & Pre-Union South Africa
Banknote catalogue referee for England, United Kingdom
cncote10
Joined: 24-Oct-2012
Posts: 927
Quote: "erniemix"​Cleaning coins is almost an art form that improves with experience. The first rule is to make it appear the coin has never been cleaned after you are done. 'Dip' only works well on AU or UNC silver. It is best applied with a Q tip for control. I will usually clean with acetone to remove surface dirt and oils before dipping. Acetone and a Q tip works well with other metals without disturbing the patina of the coin. Do it correctly and the cleaning is unnoticeable even if you are submitting the coin for slabbing.

​Ernie
​This is the key... if you have a coin that is unc or so, it can sometimes come out great with a quick dip done correctly. It won't do anything but remove uneven toning or surface residue. If the coin grade is below that area, it will look cleaned because it will be blast white but with no patina and with the accumulated wear. That is what I avoid when doing this with silver coins. It can take sometime to figure out exactly which coins are best served with this cleaning but it is well worth the time to figure it out.
Moodman
Joined: 9-Jan-2020
Posts: 10
Yeah, I have some coins that are from the last century. A lot of them look pretty interesting, but I don't know why people don't respect such an old culture and I mean the older coins. Personally, for me, these coins have a value that is passed down from generation to generation, it's a family tradition. However, I want to clean them and I've heard that ultrasonic cleaner can help me with this task. Actually my friend that often cleans his hunting rifles, has recommended me to view the options and meanings of the ultrasonic cleaner https://www.ddcountermeasures.com/best-ultrasonic-cleaner/ . I think this option can help me, since it's pretty effective to use this option. What are your thoughts guys?
Dejan
Joined: 26-Jan-2020
Posts: 36
What is your standing on applying lacquer to a (copper, zink, silver) coin, to prevent it from further deterioration?
pnightingale
Joined: 27-Jul-2011
Posts: 5366
Quote: "Dejan"​What is your standing on applying lacquer to a (copper, zink, silver) coin, to prevent it from further deterioration?
​This was almost universally accepted as being a good thing right up until the 60s. It's still possible to find coins with a pre war coating of lacquer still intact. Better storage materials have seen the end of this trend but overall I'd say it was a net positive. Entire generations of coins were spared from deterioration by long dead collector's efforts. If you don't care for the coating - maybe it's discolored over the years - acetone will remove it almost instantly.

I wouldn't advise anyone to use it today given the well funded suspicions around altered surfaces and the changing tastes of collectors. What may have been beneficial for a lightly circulated gem pulled from circulation by a sharp eyed schoolboy probably won't work on modern proof "coins" celebrating the 32nd anniversary of the toaster oven.
Non illegitimis carborundum est.  Excellent advice for all coins.
Make Numismatics Great Again!  
ZacUK Numista team
Joined: 3-Jan-2011
Posts: 7741
I have this copper Netherlands beautiful medal that is 337 years old ...
https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces114689.html [1683]
and those are my pictures, which show the now darkened old lacquer still on it.
Further down that page is an example of what it looked like when minted.
Not looked at it for years so can not remember if those surface markings are
on the medal or the lacquer - either way I will not be removing it.
My collections >
http://mycoinssite.webs.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=13560800
also 13750057 also 15924495 also 15995337
http://mycoinssite.webs.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=16060326
Dejan
Joined: 26-Jan-2020
Posts: 36
In my opinion, lacquer should not be considered to decreasing the value of a coin. Like old instruments: it keeps their sound - and their look - fresh for hundreds of years. True - most organic lacquers have a tendency to darken over decades but it is less serious than oxidation on less noble metals and can be cleaned in acetone and re-lacquered again.
Ryurazu
Joined: 4-Jan-2019
Posts: 78
DON'T CLEAN COINS , especially if you don't know what you are doing. As cleaning may result in collector only want them for close to melt prices so unless you are happy with them being bright and shiny and only care about the silver value.

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