If you think about it, cleaning dirty coins is not commonplace (they had to be placed). However, some antique coin collectors are eager to protect their coins from oxidation. These pieces are precious and unique treasures, so it is advisable to take care of them with care, but … without damaging them. We will tell you how to do it.

How to recognize an old, oxidized coin?

Collector coins are rare coins and over time they are covered with a layer of oxide, superficial dirt or even green gait. This green color on the surface of the coins is very popular among collectors and even increases their numismatic value. Patina thus protects rare pieces, unlike rust which damages the metal. So yes, you want to clean your old coins, but be aware that numismatists are not necessarily interested in coins that have been cleaned too much. It’s important to know… But if you want to do it, some measures should be considered:

  • You need to consider the composition of your room;
  • Is the patina solid or is it crumbling?

If the patina does not hold, it is recommended to stop cleaning, otherwise you risk damaging your piece irreparably and damaging the reliefs of its design. If you think that cleaning your piece by electrolysis is a good thing, you are wrong. Stop it immediately, and cleaning with coca or alcohol should be avoided if you do not want to damage the patina, which is thus a certificate of authenticity, for your collectible.

How to clean old coins effectively? Homemade methods for copper, silver or bronze coins

Cleaning an old coin is not without risk, because you risk it losing its value. So, there is no need to get carried away with the task by spending too much energy on it until shortness of breath occurs. In this article, we show you how to clean your rare pieces thanks to some effective tips from grandmother.

The cleaning method with white vinegar to make an oxidized piece shine

To use the cleaning technique with white vinegar, your pieces must not contain patina, as this product can remove it. In summary: use it on newer pieces. You’ve been warned! We need:

  • A shallow plastic bowl
  • White wine vinegar

Our instructions:

  • Pour 1 glass of white vinegar and 1 glass of water into a bowl;
  • We put the coins in the bowl. Make sure the pieces are completely covered with the solution. Tip: Place the parts without direct contact between them.
  • Let the parts soak in the bath for about 30 minutes.
  • Rinse with water;

The baking soda method: an effective product for cleaning old coins

Alternatively, it is also possible to clean silver or brass coins with the power of baking soda:

  • We make a paste of 1 tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon of water;
  • Apply to the piece and rub gently with your fingers
  • We rinse with water and here is a gentle cleaning to preserve the beauty of your pieces.

The rinse method

Would you like more tips? We suggest you try a different way this time:

  • We fill a plastic container with water (up to 1 inch to immerse the pieces).
  • We add a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and then put the coins in it
  • Rub them gently with your fingers
  • Just rinse and dry them. That’s it!

Again, the method is suitable for silver, copper, bronze, brass and even gold coins.

How to remove verdigris from an old coin?

As we often see, old pieces can be covered with a kind of layer that is both grayish and greenish. Sometimes the piece is even unidentifiable. So, what can be done before this deposit called “verdigris”? At first glance, the task seems tedious because of the effort it requires, but once again, it all depends on the method. Again, you rely on the trick with baking soda, but with a variant that makes all the difference: hot water.

  • We prepare a small basin or other container and then pour hot water into it
  • Add baking powder and stir
  • Immerse the pieces in the container
  • Let it soak for a few minutes. 10 should be enough
  • Rub gently with your fingers or with a cotton swab, without squeezing
  • Just rinse and dry!

Attention! On the other hand, if you want to sell the coin to a collector and the verdigris does not hide the engraving, the country of issue or the minting date of the coin, it is better not to clean it. As it is, we can decipher it perfectly and will be more interested in its “natural” version.

What about gold coins?

Gold coins do not pose any challenge in cleaning, as they are usually quite easy to handle. To do this:

  • Prepare a basin with hot soapy water based on Marseille soap.
  • With our fingers we clean the surfaces of the gold coin;
  • Simply rinse and dry.

We will always stress that your old coin needs to be cleaned according to the metal it is made of. However, avoid cleaning your coins to preserve their authenticity and value. A numismatist always appreciates the patina that covers them… you will only be a winner! So, think carefully before dipping your pieces in a cleaner.