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Dug Coins, Tokens, Jewelry ... Wash or Dry. ???

November 28, 2022 06:21PM avatar
This is something I have been asked quite a few times through the years when it comes to how I identify a found keeper or do a quick clean.

For all of your everyday coin hunting as well as relic hunting, meaning it can be an urban city location or remote site, we all get interested in what it is we just recovered. Sometimes, when we're lucky, we can easily identify what the target is or a date or any writing on it and get a general idea of condition. However, there are 2 rules that I have followed for a long, long time, and those are do I WASH it or do I let it DRY?

This came up in a conversation this weekend so I thought I would share a what I do and why I do it. A recovered target falls into one of two categories:

** A noble metal such as a Silver or Gold Coin or piece of Jewelry.

** A non-noble metal such as a Copper or Brass or Aluminum Coin, Token, Thimble, or any other small artifact that comes out-of-the-ground very dirty and often damp or muddy.

For the noble metals I can use the small squirte bottle of water which typically cleans them off quite well. I can finish that cleaning task when I get home, and they can be cleaned that way without a lot of harsh rubbing or scrubbing.

Then we have all those other desired finds that are dirty, caked-on crud, and very often wet as well. Quite often these targets have a green patina on them, or part of them, and trying to rub a lot of that mud or wet dirt from them can often scratch them up, or just worsen a cleaning process later.

Instead, I prefer to let those Copper, Brass, Aluminum and other metal target sit out for a while and dry. Verg dry. Although I usually put all my coins and tokens through a really good cleaning to make them look almost new or fresh, I don't do that with the good looking oldies or those with more collector value.

The best ones, once dry, I use a toothbrush or a soft brass brush to clean off the dirt but not damage the patina.

So that's it. I have targets I like to WASH and those that I let DRY .... and then I can go about proper cleaning and care.


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Subject Author Views Posted

Dug Coins, Tokens, Jewelry ... Wash or Dry. ???

Monte 147 November 28, 2022 06:21PM

When I say 'Wash' I am referring to in-the-field cleaning.

Monte 72 November 30, 2022 04:32PM

Perfect answer TYthumbs up N/T

kac 84 November 28, 2022 09:58PM

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