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BULLION BLURB - Coin Collecting 101: NEVER, I repeat, NEVER clean your coins

I cannot tell you how many times we get asked the question, “how should I clean my coins so that they are nicer looking?” Or, we hear the comment, “Once I wipe these down, they’ll look like new.”

Oh how very wrong this is. Never clean your coins!

From the moment you do, you lose a sizable portion of its numismatic value immediately. How much value solely depends on the type and date of the coin. For example, a common date Peace dollar will only decline from $14 in its original condition to $12 cleaned. However, an 1896-S Morgan with a straight MS60 grade is worth double or more of its UNC Details-Cleaned counterpart.

Cleaning coins is an unfortunate situation to all parties. We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but far too often we have these conversations. That really nice type coin that was the prize of your collection, or so you thought, is now simply considered to have problems.

Quite frankly, dealers and expert collectors can tell immediately if a coin has been cleaned or polished. And a coin in its original condition, even if you think its “ugly,” is worth more than any altered coin.

So, the next time you look through your collection and that 1896-S Morgan dollar looks like a little spit and a clean rag would bring it back to life, leave it alone. Don’t do anything. Believe me, everyone wins.

We’ll see you with the next #BullionBlurb!

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