How To Clean Coins Safely: Gold,Silver & Copper Coins

How to clean coins ? If you want to get a high price when buying old coins or commemorative coins, it’s worth knowing how to clean the dirt.

If an amateur removes dirt without permission, the value will decrease. Therefore, it is necessary to know the correct knowledge.

Basically, commemorative coins do not need to be washed. However, in the case of old coins, there are cases where the surface is so dirty that it cannot be seen.

In this case, it will be necessary to remove the dirt to some extent. It makes a big difference whether you know the right way at that time.

If you know the cleaning method at this time, it will be advantageous in the appraisal, so let’s start.

Is it okay to polish coins in first place?

Since coins are originally made on the assumption that they will be used for a long time, they will not break or become unusable even if they are polished with soap or abrasives.

However, if you do not polish it properly, the coin will be scratched.

Be aware that if rare coins such as error coins and one-of-a-kind coins are scratched, their value will drop significantly.

How to clean coins correctly by material ?

how to clean coins

The correct way to polish depends on the material of the coin, such as gold coins and silver coins.

Therefore, here we will divide it into three types, gold coins, silver coins, and bronze coins, and explain the correct polishing method for each.

How to polish gold coins correctly

how to clean coins

Gold coins, as the name implies, are made of gold.

Gold is one of the few metals that has the lowest hardness and is easily worn, so it is best not to polish it.

Gold is a chemically stable material, so it basically does not corrode or rust.

However, if you are concerned about dirt, use a fine cloth and wipe it gently.

Precautions when cleaning coins

Use a detergent that matches the material

From ancient times, the mainstream materials for coins were metals such as gold, silver, and copper. As the technology progresses, it will be completed by mixing zinc and nickel in order to solve problems such as strength, durability and cost.

When cleaning coins, it is necessary to use a detergent (drug) that matches the characteristics of the material.(how to clean coins)

The material is generally created from the color of coins, but at first glance you can see that it was mainly silver until the 1955’s but changed to cupronickel after the 1940’s, like the 100-yen coin in Japan. Please note that it may not be available.

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When cleaning things, use the acidic and alkaline characteristics of the detergent properly. Since it is basic to neutralize and decompose stains, we think of alkaline detergents for acidic oil stains and acidic detergents for alkaline scale stains.

Mold and other stains on the surface of coins can be removed by rubbing them with hot water. If you use salt, it will be further polished, but if you do not wash off the salt at this time, it may cause rust, so be careful.

After cleaning, it is important to wipe off the moisture with a cloth and expose it to the air to dry it completely.

8 Ways to clean polish silver coins correctly

how to clean coins

1. Is it okay to wash coins?

It is OK if you wash it according to the material.

How to clean coins: Since coins are originally made on the assumption that they will be used by an unspecified number of people for a long time, there is almost no problem even if they are washed with familiar soaps.

If the dirt is just dropped on the ground or spilled food,(how to clean coins) you can just wash it lightly with a diluted solution of kitchen detergent and wipe off the water.

However, it is NG to use a file or rub with metal to clean the surface. The law (Money Damage Control Law) stipulates that “money must not be damaged or crushed.” Changing the shape is against the law, isn’t it?

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Dirt on coins can be caused by the adhesion of sebum on the fingers, discoloration due to oxidation, rusting, and deterioration over time. In other words, there are two meanings of cleaning coins.

Removes dirt on the surface of coins ・ Coins that have been
discolored by a chemical reaction are returned to their original state by a chemical reaction.

Depending on the storage condition of old coins, mold may grow or coins may stick to each other. In order to clean without losing its value, it seems necessary to consider a method according to the type of dirt attached and the material of the coin.

2.Brush with toothpaste

First, apply toothpaste to your toothbrush.

If you have applied toothpaste to your toothbrush, it’s time to brush your silver coins with that toothbrush.

Finally, rinse with water to complete the cleaning.

This method is effective when you want to remove only a part of the dirt, rather than removing all the dirt on the silver coin.

3.Polish with a cleanser that contains abrasives

First, apply an appropriate amount of cleanser containing abrasives to the toothbrush.

If you have a cleanser on your toothbrush, it’s time to polish the dirty areas.

Finally, rinse the coins with water and drain them to complete the cleaning.

Some types of cleansers may contain coarse abrasives.

If you rub it too hard, there is a risk of scratching it, so basically rub it gently.

4.Polish with a coin cleaner

First, sprinkle a coin cleaner on the coins (a pinch).

If you sprinkle the powder on the coin, then add 3 drops of water and rub the dirty part with your finger.

After rubbing it with your finger, wash it with water at the end, and drain it to complete the washing.

If you rub it with a hard object, it may be scratched, so be sure to rub it gently with the pad of your finger.

5.Soak in water and brush with a toothbrush

First, pour water into a deep plate or bucket.

If you put water in it, then put a coin in it and let it soak for 3 days.

If you soak it in water for 3 days, dirt will come up, so use a soft toothbrush to gently rub the surface.

Finally, wash with water and remove the water to complete the washing.

We also recommend using a soft toothbrush instead of a hard toothbrush.

6.Polish coins using chemical reactions

First, spread aluminum foil in the bowl and insert coins.

If you insert a coin, then sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda on the coin and pour enough hot water to soak the coin.

After pouring hot water, soak the coin in the hot water for 3 to 5 minutes.

If you soak it in hot water for 3 to 5 minutes, the dirt will come up, so wash it with water and drain it to complete the washing.

7.Polish with a cloth exclusively for precious metals

First, prepare a cloth for precious metals and a coin you want to polish.

If prepared, lightly polish the coin with a precious metal cloth.

If you polish it lightly, it will regain its original shine, so at the end, wipe it gently with a soft cloth to complete the cleaning.

This method is relatively easy to try because you can purchase precious metal cloths at 100-yen shops and home improvement stores.

8.Polish with an ultrasonic cleaner

Polishing coins with an ultrasonic cleaner is very easy.

Basically, all you have to do is insert the coin you want to clean into the ultrasonic cleaner and switch it on.

After that, the ultrasonic cleaner shakes or bursts minute bubbles to polish the coins cleanly.

How to wash copper coins ?

how to clean coins

Copper coins can be washed with relatively familiar household items.

Like silver coins, cupronickel and brass are dull or discolored due to oxidation, so reducing them using a chemical reaction is considered to be the quickest method.

(1)Soak in acidic seasoning Soak in vinegar, lemon juice, sauce, ketchup, or other acidic seasoning, leave for a few minutes, and rub the surface lightly. 

If you add salt and rub it, it will also have a polishing effect and will be clean. After that, wash it with water and wipe off the water thoroughly.

(2) Using citric acid paste

There is also a method of immersing in a citric acid solution, but the paste form is more effective. 

Apply citric acid paste dissolved in a small amount of water to the entire coin, wait a few minutes, rub it with your fingertips, then wash it with water and wipe off the water.

(3) Use household detergent

You can expect the same effect by immersing in acidic toilet detergent or bath detergent. After waiting for a few minutes, wash it with water and wipe it off with a cloth.

All yen coins currently in circulation in Japan are mainly copper such as cupronickel, bronze, and brass, except for 1-yen coins made of aluminum. 

In addition to copper, it is made by changing the composition of zinc, nickel, and tin. In particular, the 10-yen coin is bronze, so it seems to be a feature that you can clearly feel the brilliance at the time of issuance by cleaning.

4.Polish with citric acid paste

First, dissolve the citric acid paste in a small amount of water.

If you have melted the citric acid paste, then apply the melted citric acid paste to the entire coin and wait for about 5 minutes.

Finally, polish the dirty area with your finger and wash it with water to complete the cleaning.

Please note that the method of polishing with citric acid paste will also oxidize if left for a long time.

5.Polish with household cleaner

First, add a small amount of household detergent to a small plate and put a bronze coin in it.

If you put a bronze coin, soak it for about 5 minutes.

After soaking for about 5 minutes, wash with water at the end, and lightly drain to complete the washing.

If you don’t have a household cleaner, you can substitute an acidic toilet cleaner or bath cleaner.

6.Polish with baking soda and water

First, mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of water.

If you mix baking soda and water, apply the liquid to a brush and polish the coins.

Finally, rinse with water to complete the cleaning.

After rinsing with water, if you leave it unattended, it will rust, so be sure to use a dryer or a dry cloth to remove the water.

How to wash banknotes

Regarding banknotes, even if there are stains or stains, there is basically no need to clean them.

This is because it will not affect the price unless it is a large stain or stain.

Also, old banknotes are made from poor quality Japanese paper, so if you wash them poorly, you risk tearing them.

Since it takes a high level of skill to clean banknotes, it is basically better to choose “do nothing”.

How to store coins in good condition

coin store

How to clean coins: Dirt on coins is caused by sebum and moisture on your fingertips, so it is best to store them in an environment that does not touch them. 

After cleaning and drying, use a finger cot or tweezers to store the coin in a coin case so that you do not touch the coin directly. Since it is not exposed to the air, it can be stored for a long time.

However, in some cases, the dirtiness of old coins is preferred. The idea is that discoloration and deposits are worth keeping as they are, as you can feel the passage of time and the history of life. 

This is a place where people have different tastes, but if they are to be handed over to others in the future, there seems to be room for consideration.

If the characters on the surface of the coin cannot be read well due to aging, it is difficult to identify the material over time, so it may be better to avoid using chemicals. 

Also, if you try to force the coins apart, such as when coins are stuck together, you may not be able to keep the original shape.

In such a case, you can store the surface by gently wiping it with a soft cloth, and if you have the opportunity, consult a specialist about the cleaning method. 

If you don’t have a coin case, it’s a good idea to create a similar environment by laying a cloth in a substitute container. I want to save it carefully so as not to damage the value of the coin.

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