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Thread: Tumbling cents

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  1. #1
    Just a lil' bit outta plumb...

    Mar 2006
    The Peach State
    Whatever it takes to get the coon.
    561
    40 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Tumbling cents

    Morning, Y'all...

    I have about 30 pounds of copper and wheat cents found in MO back before '82, all copper. Missouri soil is hard on coppers. All I know for sure is there are no key dates. Surface encrustation is too bad to really look at them. I ain't going to try to individually clean each coin, so decided to order a rock tumbler from Harbor Freight. I have no experience in tumbling coins, just know enough that different metals should not be tumbled together. I also have a lot of discolored Jefferson and Indian head nickels, and some discolored 'junk silver' I'd like to clean up. I'm asking for suggestions for a tumbling medium/cleanser. I'm gonna do this. Thanks in advance for suggestions. I'll let Y'all know results.
    I respect your opinion, but not when I know better.

    Fish... or cut bait.

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, Fisher 1260X, 1265X, Garrett Carrot, Stealth 920iX Keene A52
    10,677
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    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    I've experimented myself. I used aquarium rocks, water and just a tiny squirt of dish soap - ended up tumbling them again to get all the soap off them.

    Another time I used distilled vinegar and salt - they came out seriously discolored - and had to tumble them again with just the aquarium rocks and straight water.

    Until I have another bright idea or a better method is posted here, I'll stick with the rocks & water. It does work. About a half hour gets them clean enough to identify. Zincolns with rot really get rotten!
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

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  3. #3
    Just a lil' bit outta plumb...

    Mar 2006
    The Peach State
    Whatever it takes to get the coon.
    561
    40 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thanks for the suggestion. Still awaiting tumbler to be delivered.
    I respect your opinion, but not when I know better.

    Fish... or cut bait.

  4. #4
    us
    sprailroad

    Jan 2017
    Grants Pass, Oregon
    Minelabs/Garretts
    778
    976 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Good morning Captain Ron. What I've learned and or do. For clad dimes and Quarters, lemon juice and salt, this I learned from a fellow T-Net member, use just enough lemon juice to cover the coins, add two teaspoons of salt, and the gravel, I tumble for about an hour or so, and I tell ya, the discolored dimes and quarters come out looking almost pretty much new. Same with nickels, but tumble them by themselves. Penny's. I use something called "Magic Tumble Clean" I buy from Kellyco, and it works great on copper, not so with clad coins, they still come out discolored, again lemon juice/salt for them. Now, what I have learned what NOT to do, I tried the lemon juice/salt thing with penny's, and not only do they come out discolored as Deepseeker said, but worst, the ZINC penny's, of which many are alittle or a lot corroded, well, it may very well be a chemical reaction between the lemon juice, salt, copper and ZINC, but that tumbler took on the shape of a balloon ready to explode, no joke, it was like a cartoon, I took it outside and when I loosened the top, it more than "popped", don't do that. I can only tumble 100 penny's at a time, and with 30 pounds?

  5. #5
    us
    THE RUM KING

    Nov 2014
    Westmoreland County, PA
    Fisher F2, Fisher F5, Garrett ATP
    45
    53 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    i use aquarium rocks (small but jaggedy) and a squirt of Dawn dish soap.
    make sure lid is on tight - a mess if it isnt.
    fill tumbler half full or so with rocks, add coins till 3/4 full, add water till it covers coins, then add a squirt of dish soap.
    seal and tumble for at least 2 hrs - this will clean them good enough for use or just for looking at. you're not trying to get them
    in mint condition

    TIP - do the pennies by themselves - no other coins mixed in.
    TIP - all other coins (nickels,dimes quarters) can be mixed for cleaning
    TwistedT
    Fisher F2 & F5 * Garrett ATP * Fisher F Pinpointer * Garrett Pro-Pointer * Fiskars Digger * Lesche Digger

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Sep 2015
    Illinois
    Garrett AT PRO, Garrett Carrot Nokta Waterproof Pinpointer Vibra-tector 730
    1,843
    1690 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by sprailroad View Post
    Good morning Captain Ron. What I've learned and or do. For clad dimes and Quarters, lemon juice and salt, this I learned from a fellow T-Net member, use just enough lemon juice to cover the coins, add two teaspoons of salt, and the gravel, I tumble for about an hour or so, and I tell ya, the discolored dimes and quarters come out looking almost pretty much new. Same with nickels, but tumble them by themselves. Penny's. I use something called "Magic Tumble Clean" I buy from Kellyco, and it works great on copper, not so with clad coins, they still come out discolored, again lemon juice/salt for them. Now, what I have learned what NOT to do, I tried the lemon juice/salt thing with penny's, and not only do they come out discolored as Deepseeker said, but worst, the ZINC penny's, of which many are alittle or a lot corroded, well, it may very well be a chemical reaction between the lemon juice, salt, copper and ZINC, but that tumbler took on the shape of a balloon ready to explode, no joke, it was like a cartoon, I took it outside and when I loosened the top, it more than "popped", don't do that. I can only tumble 100 penny's at a time, and with 30 pounds?
    "I took it outside and when I loosened the top, it more than "popped", don't do that. I can only tumble 100 penny's at a time, and with 30 pounds?"

    That must have quite a sight! Reminds me when I was a kid, playing with the science kit
    sprailroad likes this.
    "See your doctor if your detector has a detection for more then four hours!"

  7. #7
    Just a lil' bit outta plumb...

    Mar 2006
    The Peach State
    Whatever it takes to get the coon.
    561
    40 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thanks everyone... the tumbler arrived this morning. No aquarium rocks on hand, none within 30 miles... I live out of town. Think I'm going to throw some clean builders sand & soap in with a bunch of no date Buffalo's for the trial run. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The Buffs are only worth five cents apiece.
    I respect your opinion, but not when I know better.

    Fish... or cut bait.

  8. #8
    Just a lil' bit outta plumb...

    Mar 2006
    The Peach State
    Whatever it takes to get the coon.
    561
    40 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Oops... read the owner's manual, states in bold type DO NOT USE WITH SAND. I reckon I won't try it until the weekend after I get to WallyWorld for some gravel.
    sprailroad likes this.
    I respect your opinion, but not when I know better.

    Fish... or cut bait.

  9. #9
    us
    Sep 2011
    Denver, Colorado
    Garrett AT Pro, AT Gold, ATX, MH7 (oldie!) Minelab Explorer SE Pro
    1,039
    719 times
    No need to go to wallyworld for aquarium rocks. Get some road gravel from the first pile of it along a roadway or next to the county maintenance yard, etc. The last stuff I got, my neighbor had brought a bunch of it home and I grabbed a coffee can full.
    The lemon and salt is the trick on clad including nickels. I do them all at once, no problem. Just DON'T rinse with hot water! The coins will turn rainbow's of colors, red, orange, green, blue.... rinse with cold water and dry on old towel. I find that once I do the lemon salt tumble, that the clad is etched and a white color. Then, I tumble them again with the gravel to polish and they look like they were never dug.

    BACK TO THE CENTS. I agree with others. I don't fill my barrels more than 2/3rds full, however, to allow the tumbling action to work. I go about half full or a tad more. About half full with gravel, then add a handful of cents and then fill just up to the level of material with water. A little soap.....comet, dish soap....whatever, and let them tumble for hours and hours. The longer they tumble the cleaner they get. I'll do a load and if there's a few that still really look bad, they go into the next load for more tumble time.

  10. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Coin Rescue Tech

    Jun 2014
    Northern O-H-I-O
    F75 LTD SE, F70, 1280X Aquanaut, & Fisher F2 (loaner) Have had a TC 1023, Fisher F4, Whites Classic ID II, BH LRP, Tesoro Lobo, F75, & XP Deus.
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    Metal Detecting
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    I am a frugal person, I took 1/4" screening and sifted small stones out of my gravel driveway. You only need a bout a coffee cup full.
    Last edited by Loco-Digger; Oct 12, 2017 at 04:31 PM.
    Rescuing Coins 1 Beep at a time

  11. #11
    us
    Randy

    Feb 2015
    Fullerton CA
    Minelab CTX 3030
    2,204
    2841 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by sprailroad View Post
    Good morning Captain Ron. What I've learned and or do. For clad dimes and Quarters, lemon juice and salt, this I learned from a fellow T-Net member, use just enough lemon juice to cover the coins, add two teaspoons of salt, and the gravel, I tumble for about an hour or so, and I tell ya, the discolored dimes and quarters come out looking almost pretty much new. Same with nickels, but tumble them by themselves. Penny's. I use something called "Magic Tumble Clean" I buy from Kellyco, and it works great on copper, not so with clad coins, they still come out discolored, again lemon juice/salt for them. Now, what I have learned what NOT to do, I tried the lemon juice/salt thing with penny's, and not only do they come out discolored as Deepseeker said, but worst, the ZINC penny's, of which many are alittle or a lot corroded, well, it may very well be a chemical reaction between the lemon juice, salt, copper and ZINC, but that tumbler took on the shape of a balloon ready to explode, no joke, it was like a cartoon, I took it outside and when I loosened the top, it more than "popped", don't do that. I can only tumble 100 penny's at a time, and with 30 pounds?
    Zinc copper and lemon juice You just made a battery! What ever you do, check them often. You don't want to over tumble them. You will erase history
    sprailroad likes this.
    Anything That Comes Out of The Dirt Is Awesome!

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