How to Clean Coins – Don’t Do It!
If you are looking to clean old, rare, gold or silver coins…
My initial advice to you is to NEVER EVER CLEAN YOUR COINS.
In most cases, cleaning your coin will ruin the monetary value of your coin substantially. You will get that same advice from any coin dealer or coin collector you talk to. Coin collectors want coins in their natural condition, which means those little fine scratches and bits of dirt are acceptable. So again, my advice to you about cleaning coins is DO NOT CLEAN YOUR COINS EVER.
The only person that should clean coins is a professional. If you have a coin that you think needs to be cleaned, take it to the professional and ask them first.
One type of coin cleaning that you have probably seen is for treasure coins, old coins that were found in shipwrecks. These coins usually have a lot of dirt and barnacles growing on them. In those cases an electrical process is typically used to remove the dirt and debris. This cleaning process does not physically alter the surface of the coin.
The most common mistakes I see in cleaning coins is when someone cleans a coin with baking soda, a scour pad, soap and water or some kind of chemical.
I have actually seen a $20,000.00 coin become a $3000.00 coin all because a customer cleaned it!!!
They called me on the phone and said that they had a twenty dollar proof gold coin that they wanted to bring in. I told him it’s probably worth about $20,000.00 to $30,000.00. When he comes into the store, I look at the coin and it has lines all over it. I ask him, “What did you do?” He says, “Well, it was all dirty and discolored before I came in so I cleaned it.” What he did was lose about $20,000.00 because he cleaned his coin.
Let this be a lesson to everyone, NEVER CLEAN YOUR COINS!