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How to Clean Your Coin Collection

December 20th, 2011 Coins

Coin collecting experts agree that it's best not to clean your coins if they're valuable or if you're not sure of their value. Coin dealers and collectors prefer to buy coins in their original condition, even if that means they're a little dirty. If your collection is just for display or personal pleasure, there are ways to clean your coin collection with minimal damage.

Take your coins to a professional for cleaning if you're concerned about diminishing their value. Experts use a process called "dripping" which cleans the coins without damaging them.

If you're cleaning coins yourself, never use jewelry or metal polish to clean the pieces. These solutions will get rid of any natural toning that copper or silver coins have acquired. Removing tarnish could leave behind scratches or spots that could greatly reduce the value of your coins. Avoid touching your coins on their face sides. Use your fingertips to hold them by the edges.

To clean any kind of coin, first soak it in warm, distilled soapy water and rub it with a very soft toothbrush. Tap water could deposit minerals on the coins, which may leave spots. That may be all you need to do. If not, you can use petroleum jelly to get rid of grime and dirt by rubbing it with a Q-tip and wiping it off with a clean cotton pad. Isopropyl alcohol also works well without damaging the coin.

Rinse cleaned coins with distilled water and pat them dry with a soft cloth. Don't rub them, as you could scratch the surface. Leave them out to air dry and then sit back and enjoy your handiwork!