News-Antique.com - Apr 27,2008 - It's 75 degrees, Sunny, no customers, all I want to do is go out and find old collectables. I don't mean going to a house and dealing with customers either. I mean hoofing through the woods with a metal detector. There are so many cool things that are just laying out there ready to be unearthed. Especially old coins. I'm actually located in a traffic hub area for houses built on or before 1770. Lots of history in the area means lots of dropped older items to be found. Primarily coins. Old Coins are great. You never know when your going to strike it rich just by walking around listening for the blip in your ear.
Now, for cleaning the coins. Most collectors will tell you "Do Not Clean Coins!" Your normal cleaning solutions and styles will ruin the collectable value according to PCGS. They won't even grade a coin that has been cleaned. Then here comes the question. I have a coin I found but there is so much dirt and metallic wear around it I don't even know if its a 300 year Colonial pence piece or a 60 year old wheat penny. The way I clean coins is to use the natural elements around you. Plain water works well. You can soak a coin and lightly rub particles off with a very soft rag or even a leaf. Just don't use Poison Ivy leaves. This shouldn't hurt the collectable value and give you a good look at what you have. Never you Silver Polish or abrasive cleaners.