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Proper Caring Of Your Collection

Jul 1, 2008
Cleaning your coins then taking every precaution to see that they are properly handled and stored are vital roles in continuing to have a successful coin collection.

The cleaning of your coins is not recommended due to cleaning can reduces the value of your coin collection. Older coins tend to show deep coloration from age which are much more desirable to collectors than coins that have been stripped by improper cleaning. There are times when you may feel there is a need to clean your coins, especially if only to remove the build-up of dirt so that your collection will always look its best, but never ever clean coins that have been inherited.

Another reason to clean your coins might be if you are teaching a child how to become a collector and want to show them how to properly clean their circulating coins, which can tend to be filthy. However, your coins whether circulating or uncirculating contain a certain patina, which is a chemical process caused by oxygen in the air and it is harmful to the your coins. When you clean your coins it is very possible to remove the patina and accidentally damage your coins forever.

Not only is the grade of the coin going to be the same, you have now possibly degraded the coin further by cleaning your coins. In addition, never wrap your coins in paper, paper contains trace amounts of sulfuric acid, which is a an acid that is used in paper manufacturing. There are few steps you may wish to follow to help minimize any risk of damaging your coin collection.

Carefully wash your hands with soap, which will remove any oils and grit from your fingers that may be transferred onto your coins. Once you feel your hands are completely clean make sure to completely rinse throughly to ensure that all residue from the soap has been carefully rinsed from your hands. Always dry your hands with a clean soft towel to ensure not to recontaminate your hands by using a dirty towel.

Place a soft cloth or clean, soft towel that has been folded a couple of times onto the surface you will be working on. This will catch any coins you might accidentally drop and provide a space for them to be able to dry. To set up your soapy bath, first fill a small plastic container with luke warm tap water. You never want to use glass, china, or metal because these types of hard surfaces can really scratch your valuable coins. Into your plastic container, add a small amount of mild dish washing detergent, but nothing that contains a bleach additive and all you really need is a couple of little drops.

You will want to fill a second plastic container with distilled water for the final rinse before you begin cleaning your coins, because you do not want your coins to sit too long before being rinsed. Distilled water is the best choice for rinsing your coins due to the fact that it ensures no additives, which can be in tab water, will linger on your coins, but hot running tap water would work.

To begin cleaning your coins, pick up your first coin between your index finger and thumb and immerse it into the soapy water. Gently rub both sides of your coin between your fingers while being sure to pay close attention to any dirt, which may be gunk, debris, or stickiness. Continue to gently rub the dirt toward to the edges and away from the center of the coin. Always work in an outward pattern when cleaning your coins, because the dirt toward the edges will simple go over the side of your coins while you are gently rubbing instead of across it.

Make sure whenever you are doing the first rinse to your coins that you gently rub the coin under warm running water until the soap residue is completely gone. It is always important to never rub hard. Even if when you are rubbing and you feel a little light grit do not rub it, because this will only scratch the surface of the coin, which is very easily done. The best way to remove that little bit of light grit is to agitate it by moving your coin quickly in the water, which enable to grit to become dislodged.

Not causing scratches to the surface of your coin should always be your main focus when having to clean your coins. This is why it is important to pay special attention to each detailed motion of the movements of your fingers. For the final rinse if you are using tap water, then make sure that the water is fairly hot.

When using distilled water, place the coin in the plastic container and swish your coin around, which will remove any chlorine residue and any other contaminants that may be found in your tap water. By holding your coin by the edges and gently agitating this will help remove any left over residue. Once this is completed, make sure you do not touch the obverse or reverse of your coin. Only touch your coin by its edges with your index finger and thumb.

If you did use the distilled water rinse, then your coin should dry completely free of spots. The distilled water does not have any dissolved minerals or other impurities, so you can allow your coin to dry on the towel to air dry. If you had to use the hot tap water rinse, then gently pat the coin dry to prevent any spotting, but never rub a coin dry and be sure to use a soft cloth or tissue.

Before putting your coins away, make sure they are completely dry because damp coins may suffer damage over time. Another helpful tip is to never put all your coins into the water at once, because they will come in contact with each and may cause scratch marks onto the surface of your coins. You also never want to use metal polish to ever clean your coins either.

Never try to remove the natural tarnish or oxidation from your coins, which is called toning, because your coins are worth more with it intact. If you remove it, then this will definitely damage the surface of the coin and greatly reduce its value. The thing you need to remember is that you always want to maintain the integrity of your coins.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about rare coins, stamp collections, and rare collectibles. Follow these links to find the best marketplace for: rare coins, stamp collections, and rare collectibles.
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