Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Easy Simple And Gentle Coin Cleaning

Out good friend and CoinZapper Moderator Shawn (The Lone Knight) has provided us with the following quickie coin cleaning exercise. Shawn has used the method and I look forward to giving it a try. Shawn, thank you very much for sharing.

First, mix 5 grams of sodium carbonate in 100ml of distilled water. This translates as follows: 5 grams is approximately 1 heaping teaspoonful and 100ml is about 1/2 cup of water. I suggest you use distilled/deionized water. Proceed by wrapping your crusty coin in a double layer or "pocket" of aluminum foil. One should form a cup shaped wrap to hold the solution. Add an adequate amount of solution to the cup shape and then place inside a very small plastic container of appropriate size. At this point, add the remainder of the solution.

The aluminum foil will deteriorate because the foil is acting as a sacrificial anode. The process can be continued for an indefinite period of time until the coin is clean since the the process is so mild, gentle and non-aggressive.

I have had success with this method on many coins but other coins needed to be Zapped even after the process. However, the coins may not have needed the additional Zap if I had been a bit more patient and continued the process for longer than three days.

I suggest this coin cleaning method for those who are not quite ready to Zap and are looking for an alternative method to cleaning coins. Shawn I am sure our membership(s) thank you for your contribution as I do.. God Bless.. Jerry..


Jessica said...

Zap? Not sure what you mean by zap. Also what coins would get this baking soda & water mix? Crusty coins or just caked in dirt & grime?

P.N. Subramanian said...

I have caused destruction to many ancient (2nd BC to 2nd AD) coins not knowing what to do. Finally I started using Caustic Soda solution. Thanks for the info.

Jessica said...

So I don't have any ancient coins but cleaning coins is a constant conversation at the shop. So for grins and giggles I thought I'd try this on an indian head cent. The coin was black. I washed it with soap & water first. It was still black but a lot did come off with a cotton towel. So I tried this and for got the coin in there. Several weeks later the coin is now brown huge difference. Put it back in the solution just to see what happens. How odd the water turns blue after a while.

Anonymous said...

When researching for better, faster, safer methodes of cleaning heavy encrustations from ancient coins, i have seen advertisements for sonic jewelry cleaners. Also supposed to be good in cleaning ancient coins. I'm cleaning the old fashion way, trying every new idea i can come up with to speed up the process, plus keep it safe.

Has anyone had experiance with sonic cleaners? If so, what were the results.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I tried this method several years ago and I was not pleased with the result. The coins lost all their patina and became ugly pieces of bare metal.
In my opinion the aluminum foil method is good for silver coins but not for ancient copper or bronce.

Anonymous said...

Jessica, I would caution against cleaning any coins other than ancient coins... It will reduce value dramatically; there is no doubt about it...