You are digging through a big box of pennies that you overlooked for months, only hoping to add more items like Morgan Dollars or round Buffalos to your collection. That is when you find some Standing Liberty Quarters minted before 1925, costing $2,300 each, especially the ones minted in 1916. However, there is a problem. These rare pieces are old and soiled. What are you supposed to do? Should you clean them or should you not? Experts who regularly buy and sell foreign currencies condone coin cleaning as it tends to diminish their value. However, when done right, dirty, old coins can immensely benefit from a good cleaning. Therefore, it is absolutely worth the effort But, first, learn, how to do it, correctly. Here are some tips:
1. Use Water and Soap
If your coins have garden dust or dirt, first clean them with soap and water to make them look brilliant and shiny. Mix a mild dishwashing soap into water. Dip a soft-bristled brush into the solution until it is wet. Holding a coin by its edge, rub the dirt off the piece gently. Once you are through, rinse it under warm tap water and dry it with a clean, soft cloth. Repeat the process for all coins you have in your collection.
2. Use Salt, Lemon Juice or Vinegar
These three kitchen items can go a long way to bring back much of the lost luster of your old coins. You might be wondering why use vinegar of all things. That is because the low and moderate acid levels in the liquid or lemon juice helps get rid of the brown oxidation or patina that accumulated on your old pennies. Pour one-fourth portion of a cup of vinegar or lemon juice into a glass and add a teaspoon of salt to the mixture. Stir thoroughly so that it dissolves completely. Place your coins at the bottom of the glass. Do this carefully to ensure that the pieces are not on top of the other. Wait for about five minutes to ensure that they look clean and bright. If not, let the coins sit for five minutes more. Remember, you may have to wait for 15 minutes to get the desired color and brightness. Once they are clean, remove the coins from the mixture and rinse them in warm tap water. Dry the pieces with a soft,s warm cloth.
3. Clean with a Pencil Eraser
It is the easiest way to clean your old coins, involving no use of fluids that may spill or mess up your place. Start by placing a dirty coin in a clean, flat surface. Take a pencil eraser and rub your Liberty Quarter coin gently to remove the dirt or any oxidation off the piece. Make sure you employ little circular movements. With all the dirt removed, turn over the piece and clean in the same way. Always use soft pencil erasers, paper, and a piece of clean cloth to do the job. Avoid using old pencils with rock-hard erasers because they are difficult to handle and might leave unsightly scratches behind. Be careful while rubbing your old coins because amateurs are prone to removing the mint mark, thus leaving their rare coins of no value.
Do you find the old world charms of ancient coins fascinating? If yes, grow your numismatic collection by buying old currencies. But, even before that, learn, how to clean and handle them properly. However, refrain from using any chemicals for the purpose; it may render your precious pennies worthless.