Video showing the method I use to clean very old tarnished silver coins. Works best with the smaller coins including hammered silver. Thanks to Gary and Alan from the club for showing me this technique. If the coin has plenty of detail I will quite often rub it with ‘Silvo’ on a polishing cloth to protect the shine and lustre, preventing loss of condition.
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25 thoughts on “How To Clean Old Silver Coins”
Does this only work for silver coins or all coins?
I presume it will work for gold coins also but I haven’t found any yet – lol.
The blackness is quite common on silver coins which have been exposed to agro-chemicals and apparently sometimes happens with gold too but not copper. Copper coins just tend to corrode and dissolve.
I’m just imagining how black my eyes would be, if I cleaned my girlfriend’s coin collection. lol
Many of the ones in my collection have been cleaned but by the time I die and my children sell them they should have developed a nice patina again – lol
The method you show looks fairly gentle. It probably wouldn’t look good to take all the tarnish off. I bet some of her coins have been cleaned like that. Tin foil is aluminium. The aluminium is more reactive than silver. You could probably use a salt solution along with the foil, instead of spit.
I watched a video of copper coins being cleaned with vinegar and salt the other day. I gave it a try. It really rips the muck off in seconds.
nice coin mate, its a william 4th, have you tried using bicarbonate soda, only reason i say is because i used foil once on a old edward 7th and it ruined the coin as it reacted badly, bi-carb is a much safer way and also cleans them us nicely, let me know what you think
I generally use baking soda paste but find it doesn’t shift black tarnish as well as the tin foil method. I realised after the video was made that it was a william IV. Normally I wouldn’t bother cleaning a coin in such a worn state and it would just go as scrap silver.
Yes its not the most pleasant way to clean black silver coins.
I have enjoyed watching your videos, pondguru. I have to say though, cleaning silver coins is great if you are collecting them for keepsakes or selling them for their “melt value,” but cleaning coins will make their numismatic value decrease by as much as 50%. Just a friendly note. Enjoy your detecting! 🙂
That is far from true. I have cleaned over 10,000 coins and have sent about 50% of those to a third party grading company and have received great grades without a “cleaned” designation (alot of MS70 and PF70 coins on gold & silver from the 80’s,90’s and 2000’s) and have also done a lot of Morgan, Peace Dollars, Silver Medals, St Gaudens, indian Head gold pieces , ect ect. Cleaning coins is a science and i like to think there are only a few of us who know what we are doing. That being said not all coins can be properly cleaned so you should have an expert do it for you or assist you (this method above is only good for coins with little to no value). Just a side note: I have cleaned a Morgan Dollar that ended up grading out nicely at NGC, Sold the coin for $12,500. Also have cleaned a $10 Gold Piece that graded out great at NGC and sold for $3,450. It’s not impossible or bad if you do it correctly.
No worries, man.
In the UK we have a very different view on coin collecting and cleaning and its common to clean coins for both sale and collection. There are occasions where super rare coins will be required to be cleaned professionally, especially the roman coins which can be the most difficult to clean.
English buyers generally aren’t put off by a cleaned coin like US collectors are. Not sure why there is the great general difference in viewpoint though – lol.
HH and thanks for watching.
I have working man’s hands.
Clearly something you’re not familiar with.
THANK:S….. now im worried about if one of my pennies is that one u just spitted on 🙁
i believe that is william the 4th
Good tip on cleaning up silver. So simple really 😉
It is very simple but a great way to clean silver coins blackened by agro-chemicals.
I got the king on the coin wrong in this video, lol – it is William IIII
Cheers I must try it on a button now I found yesterday 🙂
Must make my way through your videos and try get some permishion from a farmer. Would love to find some coins also 🙂
@***** In Europe coins and other relics are all over the pace so any permission has the potential to throw good stuff up. Best of luck with finding accepting landowners, man.
I use toothpaste it works the best on silver.
its not george the 4th it william the fourth (gulielmus)
nice tip buddy 🙂
Did you spit in the foil (with Saliva), or just hock up a nasty loogie (snot). Gross. You need to drink more water!
All. This has done is make me Bork .. thank you.Baking soda is cheap enough 😊