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The Atrocity of Cleaned Rare American Coins
A mint state/uncirculated coin will NEVER need cleaning. Don’t even consider cleaning it for virtually any reason. Circulated coins don’t have the value of these uncirculated counterparts and can occasionally be improved with a gentle touch up.
A well circulated coin needs to look well circulated, so leave it alone. That leaves the AU grade array of silver coins most at risk of being improved by cleaning. If you want to clean the coin, take action properly!
Otherwise take it to a dealer and request their advice. The dealer will most likely let you know to leave it alone, since improper cleaning will substantially decrease its value and sale ability. The bigger priced the coin, the more disastrous improper cleaning is going to be because of its value.
Remember, you can’t unclean an improperly cleaned coin.
Any coin whose surface doesn’t look quite right will undoubtedly be labeled “cleaned” by coin graders. Their surfaces will look flat, have small scratches or hairlines in it, or several other sign of tampering. Among the absolute most frequent reasons for a coin to get a Details Grading is unskilled and improper cleaning.
Improperly cleaned is really a generic term employed by coin graders to explain unskilled cleaning when the actual nature of the action is uncertain. Improper could be the operative word here. Improper cleaning is applying an abrasive like a scouring pad, Scotch Brite pad, cleanser, polishing compound, etc. to the coin’s surface.
The word “improperly cleaned” employed by the grading services suggests there are proper ways to totally clean a coin. Light, nondestructive cleaning, specially when on older coins, can still permit numeric grading of the rare American coin.
You can find always a number of nondestructive forms of cleaning silver coins. I’ll gently wipe business strike circulated coins with rubbing alcohol and cotton pad to remove surface grime and finger prints. This makes the coin look more presentable without removing toning or doing surface damage.
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Washing the coin in dish detergent also constitutes proper cleaning. Allow the coin soak in dish detergent mixed 50/50 with water for ten minutes, then swish it around in the detergent water before holding it under the running rinse water, and finally blotting it dry with a terrycloth towel.
For very specific forms of problems, there is a professional coin dipping solution called EZ-est, which removes surface contaminants quickly without apparently damaging the surfaces. This to me is a good product for enhancing a person’s eye appeal of a coin without changing mint luster or any important characteristics.
I rarely dip silver coins. Dipping solutions only benefit a tiny volume of very specific situations. It’s not just a panacea for problem coins.
I only dip a coin after carefully considering perhaps the coin is probably be substantially improved by its use. For instance, if the coin has tarnished to a golden or black I’ll consider dipping it briefly. I don’t want to fully take away the toning, adequate and so the features can be seen again.