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Why are cleaned coins worth less?

Cleaned coins are often worth less than coins that are still in their original, uncirculated condition. Cleaning a coin diminishes its numismatic value and can significantly reduce the coin’s overall worth.

This is because collectors often prefer coins that remain in the exact condition they were in when first minted. Collectors are interested in coins that show wear and patina, which is the toning of a coin over time.

Coins that have been cleaned tend to be bright and shiny, leading to a lack of aesthetics and originality, making them less desirable. Cleaning a coin also can remove it from its original condition, including making any special attributes, such as a flaw in the strike, disappear.

Additionally, cleaning coins can be very damaging to them, as certain substances used in the process can actually corrode them. This can cause irreversible damage that ultimately reduces the coin’s value.

For these reasons, cleaned coins are generally worth less than those that remain in their original state.

Does cleaning coins decrease value?

Cleaning coins can actually decrease their value, depending on the method used to clean them and the condition of the coin before cleaning. Generally, coins that are encrusted with dirt can safely be lightly cleaned with a soft cloth, water and a mild soap or detergent, or a commercial coin cleaner.

However, if a coin is unclean, but not encrusted, it is best to leave it as is and use a coin holder or display case to keep them off of acidic surfaces like fabric or paper. If the coins are valuable or rare, it is best to leave them alone, as cleaning them could damage or discolor the coin, leading to a reduction in value or collectability.

In addition to physical cleaning, coins can also be chemically cleaned or dipped, which should be avoided as it typically results in a decrease in value.

Is it OK to clean valuable coins?

It is generally not recommended to clean valuable coins as it can greatly reduce their value. If a coin is valuable or of historical significance, it is best to leave it in its current condition. Cleaning coins removes some of the patina, which is the natural aging of the metal that develops over time and is part of the coin’s history.

Removing the patina changes the surface of the coin, which can make it look unnatural and tarnished. According to the American Numismatic Association, cleaning a coin can damage the surface and make it more prone to corrosion and discoloration.

Additionally, cleaning erodes some of the intrinsic value of the coin, which comes from its age and the natural aging process.

Additionally, cleaning coins with basic household products like soap and water might be damaging because the ingredients can interact with the metal and cause rusting. It’s best to use specialized cleaning products that are specifically designed for coins.

However, it is still important to exercise caution and take the necessary steps to ensure that the coins are not damaged in the process.

Overall, it is best to leave valuable coins as-is and take steps to protect them from damage. This can include storing coins in air-tight containers with anti-tarnishing strips or chemical-free cotton wipes.

It is also good to keep coins away from moisture, high temperatures, and humidity in order to maintain their original value.

Do professionals clean coins?

Yes, professionals do clean coins, but this is generally not recommended as it can damage coins. Cleaning a coin can involve gentle use of a soft brush or cloth to remove dirt, corrosion, or other substances with a diluted solution of detergent and water.

Using acid or abrasive agents such as toothpaste and steel wool is not advised because they can cause permanent damage to the coin’s patina and finish. Coin professionals also use a cotton swab to gently rub the coin with a very mild chemical solution of soap and water.

Chemicals such as rubbing alcohol, acetone, and ammonia should be avoided as they can cause irreversible damage to collectible coins.

Should you clean coins for collecting?

Whether or not you should clean coins for collecting depends on the type and age of the coins. If the coin is an old and valuable coin that is worth more with its original patina, then it is recommended to not clean it in order to preserve its value.

However, if your coin is from modern times and not worth significant amounts of money, then cleaning it could be a good idea for aesthetic purposes.

When it comes to cleaning coins, it is important to be gentle and not use any harsh chemicals or methods that could scratch or damage the metal. Mild soaps or vinegar and water can be used but even those methods should be used with a very soft cloth or brush.

If you do decide to attempt to clean a coin, it’s important to ensure the coin is dry afterwards or else it will start to corrode again.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not you clean coins for collecting is up to you. As long as you are aware of the risks involved and use the right cleaning methods, you should be able to clean coins safely without damaging them.

How do you tell if a coin has been cleaned?

If a coin has been cleaned, it will likely have a different sheen or patina than its uncirculated counterparts. An uncirculated coin will have a muted and even shine, whereas a cleaned one often has a more glossy or bright luster.

Additionally, the rims of the coin can tell a lot about its condition. Cleaned coins usually have more rounded rims and might even be smoother to the touch than uncleaned coins. Additionally, the surfaces of a cleaned coin may be more smooth and shiny than the surfaces of an uncirculated coin.

Finally, when looking at the coin from the back, any signs of cleaning products or buffing should be detectable, such as chemical discoloration or circular buffing lines. It is important to note that a professional can tell if a coin has been cleaned more accurately than any of the above methods.

How much value does a cleaned coin take?

The value of a cleaned coin will depend on a variety of factors, such as the coin’s condition, grade, mint mark, metal content and rarity. If a coin is cleaned, it can have some negative impacts on its value, as cleaning a coin can change its appearance and impair its value.

However, some coins may not be affected by cleaning and may even benefit from it. For example, a coin with a tarnished or corroded surface may be given a new shine and be of greater value after cleaning, compared to a coin which hasn’t been cleaned.

When it comes to assigning value to a cleaned coin, the best way to do so is by having the coin examined by a certified coin expert. The expert can help determine the grade, metal content and other important characteristics of the coin and determine how much it is worth in its present condition.

In general, it is best to leave cleaning a coin as a last resort and instead focus on cleaning the area around the coin. This way, the coin’s original luster and surface will remain intact and its value won’t be compromised.

Is a cleaned coin damaged?

No, a cleaned coin is not necessarily damaged, although it could be. A cleaned coin could simply be cleaned using a mild cleaner and soft cloth or brush to restore it to a more pleasing and attractive condition.

Cleaning a coin too aggressively (with harsh chemicals, for example) can damage the coin, so it is important to use a gentle, non-abrasive method and materials when cleaning coins. Additionally, some coins may be removed from their holders, so the coin may be scratched or otherwise damaged, but initial damage doesn’t usually mean a coin is permanently damaged.

Can coins be cleaned before selling?

Yes, coins can be cleaned before selling. However, it is not recommended to clean coins as this may reduce their numismatic value. Depending on the metals used to manufacture a coin, different cleaning methods can be used.

For coins made of copper and bronze, a solution of vinegar and salt, or a weak acid solution can be used to restore the shine of the coin. For silver coins, a mixture of warm water and a few drops of mild liquid dish soap can be used.

Tarnished silver coins can also be cleaned using a cleaner formulated especially for silver. If a collector wants to make the coins look more attractive, they can also use water and a soft cloth to lightly clean the coins.

It is sometimes possible to gently rub the coins with a toothbrush to remove dirt or grease. However, it is important to be gentle when cleaning coins as coins can be easily scratched or their features can be distorted.

Does NGC grade cleaned coins?

No, they do not grade cleaned coins. In fact, they strongly encourage against cleaning coins since it can cause irreversible physical and/or visual damage. NGC only grades coins that are authentic and that have not been artificially enhanced or altered in any way.

NGC will reject coins that have been cleaned, damaged, or tampered with in any way. Furthermore, NGC does not guarantee grading services for coins that have previously been cleaned or doctored before submission.

How much does cleaning a coin devalue it?

When it comes to cleaning a coin, it can greatly devalue it, depending on the coin. Coins with a high level of collectability and value, like those that are rare or have historical significance, can be affected more than common coins.

Cleaning a coin can reduce its value by as much as 90%. It can be difficult to tell how much damage has been done to the value of a coin just by looking at it, as damage is often not visible to the eye.

Simple Light Cleaning

If done properly and with the right materials, simple light cleaning of a coin can have minimal effect on its value. A cotton swab or soft cloth with a few drops of soapy water can gently remove dirt and grime without harming the coin.

It is important to not scrub the coin, but to gently use the cotton swab or cloth in a circular pattern. It is best to start with the least intrusive method of cleaning and graduate to more intrusive methods if needed.

Strong Cleaning

Mild cleaning can often be enough to safely restore a coin’s luster, but more difficult cleaning may require stronger methods and materials. Applying substances like toothpaste, baking soda and vinegar, or various chemicals like ammonia can be very damaging to coins.

It is best to avoid these methods and seek professional advice for the most effective and safest ways to clean coins.

The best way to clean a coin is to take it to a professional coin restorer or numismatic conservator. These professionals are knowledgeable and experienced in coin cleaning and conservation and are far more likely to be able to safely and effectively clean the coin without causing a significant devaluation.

Can you clean silver coins without losing value?

Yes, you can clean silver coins without losing value as long as you use the proper cleaning methods and materials. Silver coins should not be cleaned with harsh chemicals, abrasive materials, or rough scrubbing, as this will cause unnecessary wear on the coins and reduce their value over time.

If a silver coin has become tarnished, it is best to use a gentle mild soap and warm water, along with a soft, clean cloth for cleaning. Avoid regular household soaps and detergents which can cause spotting and discoloration.

If necessary, silver coins can also be buffed with a cloth or brush to achieve a polished look. Be sure to be gentle in your buffing and use minimal pressure to avoid causing damage to the coin. If a silver coin is heavily tarnished, and cleaning with soap and water fails to work, you can use an enzyme cleaner specifically designed for jewelry and coins.

There are also commercial silver cleaning agents available, but these should be used with caution as some contain harsh chemicals.

What liquid cleans coins the best?

Water and mild soap is the best liquid to clean coins. Start by wetting a soft cloth or cotton swab in the water and soap solution and lightly scrub the dirt and grime away. Stubborn dirt may require a few more vigorous passes, but avoid using anything too abrasive that could cause damage.

Once the grime is gone, rinse the coin in warm water and dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth or tissue. If desired, you can use jewelry cleaner, specialized coin cleaner, or even a multi-purpose cleaning solution specially formulated for coins to make your coins shine.

It’s important to use cleaning solutions sparingly and to rinse coins off in warm water after cleaning to make sure they don’t become permanently discolored. Finally, let the coins air dry on a soft cloth or tissue.

How much value is lost when a coin is cleaned?

Cleaning a coin can significantly reduce its value, depending on the coin and the level of cleaning. A light cleaning, such a gentle polishing with a cloth and cleanser designed for the care of coins, may have little effect on the value of the coin.

However, if a coin is heavily cleaned or treated with harsh chemicals, a substantial portion of its value may be lost.

This is especially true for rare coins or those in high grade condition. Some rare coins can be devalued by up to 50% due to excessive cleaning. If a coin is an extremely rare or valuable coin, even light cleaning can drastically reduce its value.

It is best to consult a professional numismatist to assess the value of a coin that has been cleaned and determine the amount of value lost.

Why shouldn’t you clean coins?

You should never try to clean coins because cleaning them can damage them and reduce their value significantly. Coins are often made of precious metals, or contain important details or engravings, and trying to clean or polish them can cause irreversible damage.

Cleaning coins can also wear down details or wear away protective patinas. If you own any valuable coins, it is important to never try to clean them because the damage done to a coin’s condition can significantly reduce its value.

Instead, consider purchasing clear plastic cases to protect your coins and keep them in an environment that won’t corrode them.