3 Steps to Safely Clean and Preserve Your Rare Silver Coins
The value of a coin is something which is affected by the appearance of the coin itself. There are a few different times when you might not want to clean a silver coin. When the coin is extremely old, you might actually cause the silver to weaken and deteriorate by cleaning old coins. In other cases, the silver has been combined with a different kind of metal and cleaning solutions can actually cause the metal to darken rather than to give you the brilliant shine you are looking for.
It is also important to note that the vast majority of collectors will not want a coin after it has been cleaned. They feel that it is not in keeping with the nature of coin collecting if it has been cleaned. The problem is that it wipes away the historical significance of the coin. If you are still ready to clean your rare silver coins, it is important to remember that any kinds of acids will wear away the obverse and reverse reliefs too quickly. This is why it is important to pay attention to the materials used and the way that you handle the coin while you are cleaning it.
The first thing that you can do to clean your coins is to simply soak them in distilled water. Rare silver coins can have mineral deposits which will dissolve into the distilled water. Some will recommend you brush the coins every day while changing the water. This is dangerous as you can actually scratch the coin through using a toothbrush. You are better off using a cotton cloth to rub the coins after they have been soaking. Better still, anything which does not come off after a few days of soaking should be left alone.
Making a Compound
The next thing you can do is to use baking soda to clean your rare silver coins. This is done by simply mixing in enough baking soda to make a paste. Gently rub this paste over the entire coin. The base material will aerate and dissolve anything which might be on the surface of the coin. Allow the compound to rest on the coin for at least 3 hours. You will then use water to rinse the compound off of the coin. You may want to soak the coin in distilled water again for 24 hours.
It is very important that you dry your rare silver coins completely. You do not want for the coins to rust when you put them into a coin container for storage. Use a clean white cotton cloth to dry the coins completely and use cotton gloves to handle the coins at this point. Once the coins are clean and dry, you should store them in an inert flip so that they will be protected from getting dirty again. You may even want to have them put in a slab at this point to protect them further.