Numismatic and History Discussions > Uncleaned Ancient Coin Discussion

How to Clean Silver (not Silvered) Coins

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Joe Sermarini:
Discuss methods for cleaning silver coins (that is solid silver, not plated or coated coins) here.  If you have questions about a specific coin, please start a new topic.  

The artists among you will doubtless cringe, but I have had great success cleaning most coins, including silver, coated with really tough crud using naval jelly rust remover, bought at my local auto parts store.  (Do NOT, however, apply to silvered coins, or they won't be any longer.)  Often, the results of a 15-minute soak can be wiped away with a rag after rinsing--repeat as necessary.  A brass brush or other tool can be emplyed as needed.  I bought this Macrinus denarius for $2 from a junk bowl, with no idea what it was but just enough visual clues that I thought it probably wasn't yet another FEL TEMP.  Naval jelly did the trick.

Try boiling in washing soda and brushing.

Much!  :) If the ammonia soaks are working, I'd stick with them, and try to work out the grime with a pin and a light touch. If that absolutely fails, dilute some lemon water (half and half?) and soak for a few minutes at a time until the desired level of cleanliness is achieved.


Andrew Courtney:
I have just started trying to use a art gum eraser, the very soft kind used for drafting.  I have been using it before using a brush and after a lemon juice soak.

So far, so good.  It seems to be removing the crud real well without damaging the coin.  I am still in early stages with this coin.  Has anyone tried this and run into any problems?


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