Cleaning silver coins

Discussion in 'Silver Coins' started by zachary898, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. zachary898

    zachary898 Member

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    Hey SS's,

    Ive recently recieved some older Australian pre decimal coins such as florins, threepence, sixpence ect.. just wondering what success people have had cleaning them ? I normally use the bicarb soda and boiling water over aluminium foil and i also have an cheap ultrasonic cleaner which works pretty well.

    Cheers.
     
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  2. ozcopper

    ozcopper Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    For the more dirty ones, soak them in cloudy ammonia for 2 hours, then rinse and use the bicard, made in to a paste, with your hands to rub the grime off. Don't do this to any rare coins as it will destroy their value.
     
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  3. silversearcher

    silversearcher Active Member Silver Stacker

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    The cloudy ammonia does a great job on dirty old coins with the bicarb soda. A great tip I learnt off one of your Youtube Vids years ago.
     
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  4. Jislizard

    Jislizard Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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  5. Silverling

    Silverling Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    So if you were to put the above coins on the market for sale and attract the highest price, which does the buyer prefer? Uncleaned on the left or cleaned on the right?
     
  6. silversearcher

    silversearcher Active Member Silver Stacker

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    I have noticed that cleaned coins sell quicker.
     
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  7. Jislizard

    Jislizard Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    There is a stigma attached to cleaned coins.

    For common coins, a buyer wouldn't even look at the ones on the left. They might be more interested in the ones on the right but they would be able to tell that;
    1. Old coins shouldn't be that bright
    2. Coins that look uncirculated shouldn't have so many signs of wear and environmental damage on them.
    3. the coins were not in their 'original' condition

    If they were rare coins and there weren't many others to chose from, then most likely the ones on the left would do better unless you can say they were 'professionally restored' to get them to the ones on the right. In which case you would probably be better off letting them tone naturally so they coins didn't look like they had just come out of the dishwasher.

    Many Roman coins have been dug up and cleaned and had corroded parts taken off of them to prevent further deterioration. I have several hammered coins from England which have been in a field for 100s of years. They are all cleaned to remove the dirt but none of them have been taken back to a bright shine and the guy who sold them to me said he wouldn't let me have any more if I was threatening to polish them. I have polished a few and they just look wrong! having a 300 year old coin that is bent and worn but looks like it has just popped out of the mint is very jarring to the eye. Also a bit of dirt in the creases helps the worn design stand out better on the coin's background.

    Ultimately a collector should chose to walk away from both coins and keep looking for a decent quality coin.

    However many coin collectors I know also clean dirt off their coins and are known to give it a bit of a scrub as well. Most stop short of polishing them but most feel a bit guilty about any sort of cleaning. It doesn't stop them though.

    In the order of acceptability you have;
    1. picking a bit of dried dirt off with your thumbnail
    2. running the coin under the tap
    3. running it under the tap with a bit of soap
    4. Soaking in acetone for silver or olive oil for copper
    5. Soaking and then giving it a light roll with a cotton tip
    6. running it under the tap using your thumb or a toothbrush to dislodge harder dirt.
    7. soaking in cloudy ammonia to remove grease and dirt stuck in the grease
    8. polishing with bi-carb of soda
    9. dropping in coke
    10. scrubbing with steel wool or a wire brush

    Most people have their limits.

    178_zpsphlwstd5.jpg

    I have personally cleaned many kilos of coins that generally wouldn't be considered to be worth collecting. I buy them at just above scrap value and spent a ton on cleaning them.

    185_zpshaj50wqf.jpg
     
  8. ozcopper

    ozcopper Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    ^ But they sure look great!
     
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  9. Jislizard

    Jislizard Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Cheers, I keep them in Moccona jars which are more or less airtight and they seem to hold their shine. Also the light shines off them quite nicely.

    I think as long as you only clean junk coins you can only improve them. They would probably have been melted down otherwise.

    There are a few people concerned that you may be destroying a previously unknown variety but if they weren't cleaned you would never spot it anyway.

    186_zpsq7e5nmgc.jpg
     
  10. Silverling

    Silverling Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Looks nice, what would you normally do with 1966 50c pieces? Clean or leave original? Enjoying the posts, thanks.
     
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  11. Jislizard

    Jislizard Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I clean them!

    They made 36 million of them and although I am sure many got melted down, I don't think they are rare.

    If you want you can have a look to see if you have any of the 'Double Bar" variety. If you can convince someone you have, then you could get a bit extra for them but generally, they are sold as a bullion coin with a pretty decent premium, for what they are.

    They generally only need a quick dip in the cloudy ammonia because they are usually not very dirty from circulation. They only need a small amount of bi-card to bring them up nice and shiny.
     
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  12. sammysilver

    sammysilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I still prefer swallowing a coin every two hours and waiting for a perfectly clean specimen the next day. Nothing larger than a Crown!
     
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  13. Jislizard

    Jislizard Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I hope you at least rinse them before you swallow them, you don't know where they have been!

    Also, please never sell me any coins.
     
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  14. Silverling

    Silverling Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    OMG the thought of it!!!!:eek::eek::eek::p
     
  15. silversearcher

    silversearcher Active Member Silver Stacker

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    The look great. And shiney is always better to look at.
     
  16. zachary898

    zachary898 Member

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    Thanks Ozcopper for starting off the suggestions and everyone else. Those photos look great and i wont be swallowing the coins ahah

    I will try the cloudy ammonia and bicarb paste then through the ultrasonic cleaner. I will also post some before and after shots.
     
  17. Jislizard

    Jislizard Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    The best way to tell if someone has cleaned a coin is to check the edge reeding.

    If any dirt remains it is usually in here. If you are doing hundreds of coins you get bored pretty quickly so tend to skip the edges.

    I get one of those microfibre cloths and lay it out flat on a plastic chopping board. Sprinkle with bi-carb and then run the coin edge along the cloth in the direction of the reeds.

    This pushes bicarb right up into the reed and usually does the trick.

    It does take longer though.
     
  18. serial

    serial Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Mate, they look great! When I was a kid and reading pirate books, that is the image i had in my head when imagining a chest full of silver!
     
  19. Jislizard

    Jislizard Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Thanks, I think I got a lot of them from you!

    I am on my fifth chest now, using Moconna jars as a stop-gap measure until they are done.
     
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  20. zachary898

    zachary898 Member

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