A Complete Guide To Cleaning, Preservation & Conservation of Coins, page 1

How To Clean & Preserve All Kinds of Coins, Tokens & Medals

This section contains information on what to do and what not to do with coin finds from recovery to collection.

Coin Before and After CleaningThe information presented in this section is primarily for the inland coin hunter, however, those detectorists who search for jewelry and relics, and everybody else who collect the coins and artifacts, can greatly benefit from reading these chapters as well.

In the chapters below you can find some useful tips and information related to cleaning and preservation of coins, tokens, medals or relics. Please feel free to submit your own practical tips and methods that could help others!

To determine whether your coin is a key-date piece, i.e. highly valuable, or not, you can visit my Numismatic Corner - a guide to the US and other coins, where you will find US coins' key-dates, coin images, numismatic information and specifics.


1. Individual Descriptions of Coin Metals, Alloys and Their Natural Changes:
Platinum, Gold, Silver, Nickel and Copper
True and False Patina of Copper
How To Cure "Bronze Disease"

Iron, Zinc, Tin, Lead and Aluminum

2. Cleaning of Coins
Mechanical Cleaning of Coins:

1) Soaking Before Cleaning
2) Cleaning by Frozen Water Expansion
3) Cleaning with Brushes
4) Cleaning with a Toothpick
5) Cleaning with Masking Tape
6) Cleaning with Ink-Erasing Pencil
7) Carpenter's Glue Method
8) Wet Cleaning with Rubbing with Fingers
9) Removal of Tar
10) Removal of Other Unnatural Coatings
11) Cleaning with Tumblers
12) Ultrasonic Removal of Dirt and Deposits

Chemical Cleaning of Coins:
1) Immersion Bath
Lye (Caustic Soda) Bath
Hydrogen Peroxide Bath
Ammonia Solution Bath
Vinegar and Salt Bath
Lemon Juice and Olive Oil Hot Bath
2) Ultrasonic Cleaning (mechanical/chemical)

Electro-Chemical & Electolytic Cleaning of Coins:
1) Electro-Chemical Reduction - Galvanic Cleaning
Electromotive Series
2) Electrolytic Reduction - Electrolysis
3) Soaking After Galvanic or Electrolytic Cleaning

Cleaning Silver Coins
Cleaning Gold Coins
Cleaning Copper, Bronze and Brass Coins
Cleaning Aluminum Coins and Tokens
Cleaning Iron Coins
Cleaning Zinc Coins
Cleaning Tin Coins
Cleaning Lead Coins
Cleaning Clustered (Unearthed) Coins
Cleaning Lacquered Coins

3. Brightening of Coins:
Brightening Silver Coins
Brightening Copper Coins
Brightening Gold Coins

4. Tarnishing of Coins:
Tarnishing Silver Coins
Tarnishing Copper Coins
Tarnishing/Patinating Copper Coins with Ammonia Vapor
Artificial Patination of Copper Coins (9 Desirable Color Tones)
Tarnishing Zinc Coins
Tarnishing Iron Coins

5. Straightening Bent Silver Coins
Unbend A Badly Crumpled Coin - Tutorial

6. Restoring Worn Impression to Visibility

7. Preservation and Conservation of Coins
Safekeeping of Coins:

1) Mounting Coins on Trays, Displays
2) Plastic Bags
3) Coin Holders
4) Coin Albums

Useful Tips for Preservation of Coins:
1) Protection Against Sun Rays
2) Separate Storage of Various Coin Metals
3) Lacquering Coins
4) Protection by Oils

Removing Rust from Iron Artifacts with Electrolysis - The most detailed and illustrated 150-picture Tutorial on the web - Part I

Removing Hard Encrustations from Coins with Electrolysis - The most detailed and illustrated 50-picture Tutorial on the web - Part II

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