How Can I Clean an Old Silver Coin?

There are many different methods to safely clean silver coins, including using commercially available silver polishing products, various acid fluids, and baking soda and water. Not all silver coins need to be cleaned, and sometimes cleaning them may even diminish their monetary value, according to Silver Investing Simplified.

Before cleaning a silver coin, research its value, and make sure that cleaning it does not diminish its value. Most dealers and investors pay significantly less for cleaned coins, especially when it comes to key-date or numismatically valuable coins. Generally, common date coins that you do not intend to sell but rather keep in a personal collection can be safely cleaned.

The simplest method to safely clean a silver coin is to use a commercially available product, such as Weiman Royal Sterling Silver Polish. Place an amount of polish about the size of your coin onto a clean cloth and wrap it around your coin. Rub both sides of the coin at the same time using your thumb and index finger. Then, wipe it on a clean part of the cloth.

Another method is to place the coin in a lemon acid bath for a few hours. The time the coin needs to soak in this bath depends on the thickness of the layer of oxidation you want to remove.