Should You Clean Collectible Coins or Not?

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Written By Paolo
A passionate collector of sneakers, Funko Pops, and Displates. Paolo has been a sneakerhead since teenager and has built an impressive collection of rare and highly sought-after kicks.

Maybe some of you have collectible coins in your possession and ask, can you clean collectible coins or not? Should you or should you not? In this article, we’ll look at cleaning coins and whether it’s safe to clean them! What are we waiting for? Let’s jump in!

What Are Collectible Coins?

If you’ve ever wondered about the collectible value of your coins, the first thing to know is that there are many different types of coins. Collectible coins are those whose value is not solely based on their face value or metal content; they’re often sold at auction and can be worth thousands of dollars.

Collectible coins have a long history and are prized for their rarity, condition, age, or other factors. Generally, any coin issued by a government (or government-sanctioned entity) has some degree of in it—but some go above and beyond what most people would think when they hear “collectible.”

Why Are Collectible Coins Valuable?

Should You Clean Collectible Coins or Not? 9

When thinking about whether or not to clean your collectible coins, you should first understand why they are valuable. Its value of it depends on several factors:

  • Rarity
  • Historical significance
  • Artistic value
  • Collector value
  • If it’s worth cleaning, it’s likely because of the last one—numismatic value. This means its market price is based on the coin’s rarity, historical significance, and artistic value.

What Are Examples of Collectible Coins?

When you hear the term “collectible coin,” you may think of coins from the United States Mint, but it’s important to note that collectible coins can be found in nearly every era, country, and mint. Here are some examples of collectible coins:

  • 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar – This collectible coin was sold at a whopping price of $10 million in 2013. This coin features a profile of Lady Liberty with her hair flowing and an American Eagle shown at the back. This coin is considered a rare collectible piece since fewer than 1,800 coins were made! And it is said that the remaining number of this coin is around 120-130 pieces! Talk about rare.
  • The 1787 Brasher Doubloon  In the late 18th century, a goldsmith and silversmith named Ephraim Brasher made a coin that shows a state seal with a rising sun and an American eagle with a shield at its back. This coin is already rare, but certain versions seem to have different values.
  • The 1787 Fugio Cent may not be as rare as the first two coins mentioned above; the 1787 Fugio Cent has a fascinating history! This coin was first circulated when the newly formed United States was founded. This coin was called Franklin cent, after the founding father, Benjamin Franklin. This coin features a sun and a sundial with the Latin motto “Fugio.”
  • The 723 Umayyad Gold Dinar – One of the most prized Islamic coins and only a handful exist. This coin features a “mine of the Commander of the Faithful” marking and is the first Islamic coin to mention Saudi Arabia.
  • The 1343 Edward III Florin – An old gold coin with only 3 in existence! Two are found in the British Museum, and a prospector found the other with a metal detector. This coin features King Edward III sitting on his throne with two leopards’ heads on both sides. Because of this, it was also named “Double Leopard.”

Should You Clean Collectible Coins or Not?

If you’re still asking whether you can clean collectible coins, the easy answer is there is no need to clean a collectible coin. A coin collector who buys a rare and valuable collectible coin will want to take care of the item by keeping it in the same condition they purchased it in. A collectible coin has value because of its age, meaning that if you clean your collectible coin, you are destroying its value and going against what it was meant for.

What Happens To Collectible Coins When Cleaned?

When it comes to coins, cleaning can be a tricky subject.

First, let’s talk about what happens when you clean your collectible coins:

  • Cleaning can damage or destroy the toning and patina that give collectible coins their value. The more valuable a coin is, a chemical reaction over time has altered, the more likely its appearance. Collectors often seek out coins with unique colors and textures produced by natural processes like oxidation and exposure to elements like sulfur or sulfur dioxide. This process is called patination—and since collectors love unique colors and textures on their collectibles, they often look down upon any form of artificial enhancement (such as polishing). So if you try to remove these natural colorations from your collectible coins during a cleaning process, chances are good that they’ll lose some market value in the process!
  • Cleaning can also remove mint luster from your collectible coins—and again, this will reduce their market value because many collectors prefer to buy mint-condition items rather than ones with signs of wear or aging (which means “old”).

How To Take Care Of Collectible Coins?

  • Avoid cleaning collectible coins.
  • Avoid touching collectible coins with your hands.
  • Avoid keeping collectible coins in a pocket or purse.
  • Avoid keeping collectible coins in a humid environment.
  • Avoid keeping collectible coins in a hot environment.

Before you go…

I hope this article helped you answer questions about whether it is okay to clean collectible coins. If you have a collection of coins and want to keep them in pristine condition, then it is important to know that cleaning them can be harmful. As the expert suggests, it’s better to leave them be because it can affect the coin’s value! So always remember to take care of your collectible coins and keep them in a safe place!

Check out my next article: “Can You Clean Coins Without Losing Value?

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