Why Should I Avoid Washing My Coins?

Has your coin collection been gathering dust in the back of your closet, or have you just inherited a bunch of old coins in Mill Valley, CA from someone else? Amateur coin collectors might be tempted to scrub some of the dirt and grime from a seemingly-ancient coin—especially if it’s hard to ascertain what kind of coin it even is—but before you grab your cleaning supplies, read this post! Washing your collectible coins could negatively affect their value.

If you need cleaning advice or old coin appraisal, stop by Collectible Coins & Jewelry today.

How old coins are valued

Numismatic coins are collector’s items, but not every old coin will be worth more than its monetary value. There are four key factors that go into valuing your old coins: condition, grade, scarcity and demand. Depending on where your coin falls in each factor, you could be sitting on a gold mine—some old coins have sold for millions of dollars.

Why cleaning numismatic coins is bad

So, why can’t you clean your old coins? Surely the shinier they are, the more they’re worth, right? Actually, most numismatists will suggest you handle your coins as little as possible, only touching the edges while wearing cotton gloves.

Metal cleaners—even the specialized “coin cleaners” you might see advertised on TV—use acids and abrasives to clean the metal, which can seriously damage your old coins. They can not only remove some of the finish, but also leave scratches or unnatural shine that will reduce your coin’s value. Even polishing or rubbing your coins can lead to diminished value.

Cleaning a coin can affect its grade, which is the value assigned to how well the coin is preserved. There’s a 70-point scale that ranges from “poor” all the way up to coins that look as if they were minted yesterday. If you clean your old coins, you run the risk of disqualifying your coins for grading. It’s just not worth it!

Ultimately, if you think you have a rare piece, your best bet is to see a qualified coin appraiser who can tell you what you’re dealing with. Don’t make costly mistakes!

Valuing your old coins in Mill Valley, CA

Since 1993, Collectible Coins & Jewelry has been providing quality services to the San Francisco Bay Area. As one of Northern California’s leading precious metal buyers, we offer the highest prices and pay cash or check on the spot. With our safe and convenient physical location, our priority is to make you feel comfortable. Whether you wish to buy or sell, we are here to provide you with a level of service that is genuine, courteous and discreet.

We provide cash prices for your gold, silver, platinum and precious gemstones, and our aim is to always complete all deals in a timely manner. If you decide to sell your assets to us, you can be assured that you will be getting the best deal. Give us a call or stop by today!

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