How to Clean Old Coins Without Damaging Them?

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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.

How to clean old coins without damaging them? Is it possible? How can you take care of your old coins? I have put together this guide to answer this question. In addition, I share what makes coins valuable and what you can do to preserve their conditions and value.

What Are Old Coins?


There are a few types of collector’s coins that you might find yourself cleaning. If you have any coins that are over 50 years old, then they’re considered to be old. Any coin that’s more than 100 years old is an antique. Coins over 200 years old are antiques, and those over 300 years old are considered rare collectibles. If your coin is 400+ years old, it’s so rare and valuable that it will probably be worth more than any other thing in your house—if not all of your furniture combined!

Why Are Old Coins Valuable?


Old coins are valuable because they’re a finite resource preserved well over the years. Old coins are valuable because they are rare. The US Mint has issued some $1,000 bills, but this doesn’t make them worth more than their face value—and indeed, not any collector’s item.

Old coins are valuable because they are well-preserved and protected from natural elements like dust, water, and rusting metal. Coins with such characteristics can sell for thousands at auctions or antique stores. If a coin is found in excellent condition (i.e., no rust), it’s likely worth much more money than one exposed to the weather for many years already—even if both were made in the same year!

Are All Old Coins Valuable?

is there a safe way to clean old coins

Not all old coins are valuable. It’s important to know that leaving it alone is your best option if you don’t know the value of an old coin. As a general rule, if you doubt the value of an older coin and its good condition, it’s better to leave it alone rather than ask if there is a safe way to clean old coins because there’s no safe way to clean your coin without affecting its value.

If it looks like there might be some value in an old coin and you’re willing to do a bit more work to find out exactly how much that might be, then, by all means, go ahead and clean them up but only after checking with someone knowledgeable about collecting rare coins so that you don’t accidentally damage any!

What Are Examples of Valuable Old Coins?

  • Old coins from the Roman Empire are considered valuable because they’re rare.
  • Old coins from the Byzantine Empire are also considered valuable due to their scarcity, but not as much as old Roman coins.
  • Old Ottoman Empire coins are valuable in Asia, especially Turkey and Egypt.
  • British Empire coins are often used as decoration or jewelry, so they aren’t worth much money.
  • French Empire coins may be worth something depending on their appearance, but it’s unlikely they’ll be worth much more than their dollar value.
  • Dutch Empire and Spanish Empire coins are usually only worth something if they have some special design or inscription on them that makes them unique from other similar kinds of currency; otherwise, likely, collectors will only want them if there is some historical significance associated with who made/used them during those times.
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How to Clean Old Coins Without Damaging Them? 9

How to Clean Old Coins Without Damaging Them?


How to clean old coins without damaging them? Well, it’s not a good idea to clean old coins. The main reason is that cleaning old coins can remove important details from the coin’s surface. This can result in damage to the design and value, as well as decrease its collectability.

If you have an old coin that needs cleaning, consider having it professionally restored by a reputable dealer or certified appraiser who will cover all costs of restoring your coin.

What Do Professional Coin Cleaners Say About Cleaning Old Coins?


Professional coin cleaners believe that cleaning old coins is a bad idea. They say that cleaning devalues your coins’ value and can damage them. It’s better to leave them before damaging them and losing their value. There are other ways to take care of your coin without the risk of devaluing and damaging them! I know it’s tempting to clean old coins, but if cleaning them means losing their value, it’s better to leave them be. A little dirt on coins didn’t hurt anybody, right?

“[Cleaning] is not recommended for most collectors or investors…The only exception would be a rare coin with an almost perfect surface or only minor imperfections that are not distracting to the eye, particularly if it has been off the market for years and was last sold at retail in poor condition.”


How To Take Care Of Old Coins?

  1. Keep them in a cool, dry place. If you live in a hot climate, keep your coins in an air-conditioned area or use an electric fan to circulate the air around them.
  2. Keep them in a protective case. A coin capsule or holder is best because it will protect your coins from dirt and damage while allowing you to view the designs on both sides of each coin.
  3. Keep them in a coin album. An album containing only one type of coin will allow you to view all sides of each piece without having to flip over pages like other types of albums do when they have multiple themes (eagles, presidential portraits). This is ideal since some older coins can be quite delicate and may not withstand much handling or flipping through pages. 
  4. Some people prefer storing their collection lose inside bookshelves so that they can lay out several different groups at once; however, doing this increases the risk of scratches caused by dust particles getting caught between pages and contact with fingers touching both sides simultaneously during flipping through pages (which causes friction).

Before you go…

I hope we answered all your questions on how to clean old coins without damaging them and how to take care of them. It is best not to clean old coins. This can damage the coin and make it worthless. If you have an old coin, it is better to leave it in its natural state and sell it as is. Some people may disagree with me on this point, but I believe it’s important for collectors who want to preserve the value of their collections by keeping them looking new.

Check out my next article: “How To Clean Oxidized Coins?

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1 thought on “How to Clean Old Coins Without Damaging Them?”

  1. Oils, dirt and grime ruins a coins surface as seen with everyday use. Now tell me again how cleaning a coin gently is going to ruin the surface?
    I think these made us stories about not cleaning coins gently was made up by very, very lazy men who don’t want to clean.


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