How to clean coins from the ground?

Sgtfury488

Jr. Member
Jul 13, 2019
24
57
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I have been dabblings in metal detecting and have found a few odds and ends and some newer coins. Which brought up the question of how most of you clean coins from the ground. I know your not supposed to clean coins in a general regard but I assume that most people do when they are covered in dirt. Any info on this is most helpful.

thanks in advance.

~ sgtfury488
 

mindcrime1988

Bronze Member
Apr 17, 2011
1,117
1,432
Wyoming
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro, XP Deus, DetectorPro Headhunter & BlissTool
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Anytime you clean a coin, you stand the chance of lowering its value. If that is something you do not care about, there are many ways to clean coins which I'm sure other members will share. I use a tumbler to clean all the modern coins I find. Just watch some videos on YouTube to see how it's done. Hope this helps.
 

ShinyShores

Jr. Member
Mar 19, 2020
96
223
Rhode Island
Detector(s) used
CTX3030
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
I have been dabblings in metal detecting and have found a few odds and ends and some newer coins. Which brought up the question of how most of you clean coins from the ground. I know your not supposed to clean coins in a general regard but I assume that most people do when they are covered in dirt. Any info on this is most helpful.

thanks in advance.

~ sgtfury488
This is a GOOD question, and a DIFFICULT one for coins coming out of the ground. Modern coins of modern value can tumble, old circulated coins with possible value should never be cleaned in any style or risk devaluation, but for a dug coin with dirt/mud all over the surface to where its hardly identifiable will certainly need a clean to some extent, I understand your question. From my experience, to get that dirt off is different for each type of metal in the coin, and I have no perfect solution and am no pro. This is what I have heard/experienced if it helps, I am still always learning.
Some say the time some coins are exposed to air after being dug could cause them to dry out and cause damage, I have heard of some carrying olive oil with them to put old coins to soak to remove dirt, and others have said not to do that. Some say silver can be sprayed with a water bottle to get mud off but no rubbing at all silver will scratch so easily, and some say do not spray water on copper coins as it can flake the patina right off. Some say to put cold hydrogen peroxide on to soak for a bit and gently use a q-tip/toothpick to help get corrosion off. Some use products like coin care and renaissance wax to clean/preserve coins/finds that do not hold much value. Of course there is electrolysis as well. I have not tried electrolysis yet but I need to. There are a lot of techniques these old pro's have and I would love to hear more as well.
 
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Sgtfury488

Jr. Member
Jul 13, 2019
24
57
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
This is a GOOD question, and a DIFFICULT one for coins coming out of the ground. Modern coins of modern value can tumble, old circulated coins with possible value should never be cleaned in any style or risk devaluation, but for a dug coin with dirt/mud all over the surface to where its hardly identifiable will certainly need a clean to some extent, I understand your question. From my experience, to get that dirt off is different for each type of metal in the coin, and I have no perfect solution and am no pro. This is what I have heard/experienced if it helps, I am still always learning.
Some say the time some coins are exposed to air after being dug could cause them to dry out and cause damage, I have heard of some carrying olive oil with them to put old coins to soak to remove dirt, and others have said not to do that. Some say silver can be sprayed with a water bottle to get mud off but no rubbing at all silver will scratch so easily, and some say do not spray water on copper coins as it can flake the patina right off. Some say to put cold hydrogen peroxide on to soak for a bit and gently use a q-tip/toothpick to help get corrosion off. Some use products like coin care and renaissance wax to clean/preserve coins/finds that do not hold much value. Of course there is electrolysis as well. I have not tried electrolysis yet but I need to. There are a lot of techniques these old pro's have and I would love to hear more as well.
I have tried electrolysis before but have had problem with getting the coins rinsed well enough after the fact, most of everything that i have tried it on in the past has just ended up rusting away into nothing due to the residue that i haven't been able to get rid of.
 

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