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Cleaning those piles of dirty clad coins

January 22, 2020 08:44PM avatar
Wintertime and frozen ground have given me the opportunity to play a little catch up on cleaning and organizing my finds that have accumulated over the last couple years. I tend to put my clad coins in jars and as time allows, I will sort out various denominations.

I've tended to do a lot of accumulation and little cleaning, as the cleaning part has never really been up to my expectations. I start with dirty, stained, tarnished, corroded coins and finished with coins less dirty, stained, tarnished and corroded. (Except for the zinc cents. They are usually more corroded when I'm done with them) they've never really come out of the wash looking good.

Well, that changed yesterday when I brought home some new cleaning media for my tumbler. Tiny Stainless steel pins. I've been meaning to buy these for cleaning my brass cartridge cases for reloading, but being in between houses for the last couple years, I've not had opportunity to set up my workbench

I picked up the idea from mkus on the findmall and dankowski forums. He uses various sizes of steel shot in a tumbler and has been pleased with the results. My local sporting goods store has been out of almost all shotgun reloading materials so I decided to save the gas and get the more expensive tumbling pins

Mkus' recipe is media, dirty coins, water, a little bit of dish soap and a cap of lime away all added to the tumbler and turn it on. I started with about 200 quarters. Since a portion of the quarters were beyond dirty I decided to stop at 30 minutes, rinse the contents and check for any silver coins disguised by the dirt. No silver turned up, but the first 30 minutes showed an amazing change. I Then added fresh water to cover everything, a little squirt of dish soap and a squirt of lime away, restarted the tumbler and went to bed.

I let it run 7 hours and checked my results this morning. Wow. Clean. I rinsed off the coins and steel pins and set them in a gold pan for when I got home from work. These are the best results I've had in all the years I've been doin this. I have the dimes running at the moment and am headed to give them a 30 minute rinse and check for any silver lurking under the dirt and blackness.

Now obviously, you don't handle valuable or rare coins this way. This is for cleaning clad so I can put it back into circulation without having the store clerk wonder why I handed them a handful of dirty black coins they don't want in their cash till. thumbs up


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/22/2020 09:18PM by UtahRich.
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Cleaning those piles of dirty clad coins Attachments

UtahRich 628 January 22, 2020 08:44PM

Re: Cleaning those piles of dirty clad coins

Tom Slick 366 February 02, 2020 01:20PM

Re: Cleaning those piles of dirty clad coins

UtahRich 354 February 02, 2020 08:08PM

Re: Cleaning those piles of dirty clad coins

Kickindirt 364 January 24, 2020 02:12PM

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