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  #1  
Old 05-27-2018, 03:23 PM
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Default Cleaning crusty Indian Head pennies

I generally do not like to clean my finds other than using a toothpick and an old toothbrush. I've had mixed results with using peroxide, olive oil and other liquid agents when cleaning crusty Injuns.in some cases the coin actually ends up coming out worse than before I cleaned it.
Yesterday I found a real crusty one. I decided to take a different approach. Cleaned it up as best i could with toothpicks and then gave it a run down with 0000 steel wool. This "dry" method will be my go to technique for cleaning old copper. Your mileage may vary but I was extremely pleased by the results. Beautiful green patina left intact. I also sealed the coin in microcrystalline wax when I was finished to prevent further corrosion.Hard to believe the before and after pictures are of the same coin!
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Last edited by pballwiz; 06-21-2018 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:16 PM
wozniak wozniak is offline
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Thumbs up Great Idea!

Thanks so much for that tip, I have been looking for many ways to clean my Indian Heads. I tried everything and this one has so far proved to be the most successful!!
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:25 PM
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Wow that's quite impressive! Thanks for the tip!

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Old 06-10-2018, 06:41 PM
Jonesey89 Jonesey89 is offline
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Thank you for sharing this. I've had this crusty large cent i found about a year ago. I could just barely make out the words one cent on the back. I didnt know how to bring out any detail, afraid that I might scrape off any detail that remained. Being as it was so far gone that it held zero value whatsoever, I tried this a little. I still can't get a date, but it brought the bust out enough that you can at least make out what it is. Cool tip!
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:12 PM
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Try Elmers Glue sometime. Thick coat on 1 side of the penny, let it dry, peel it off. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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Old 06-13-2018, 01:04 PM
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For the heck of it, I took steel wool to a wheat penny that was in horrible shape and I could not read the date. Came out looking brand new and turned out to be a 1910 - my oldest wheat.
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:18 PM
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Thanks for the tip, I recently ruined an old wheat trying a hot hydrogen peroxide dip...

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Old 06-13-2018, 10:34 PM
spenglure spenglure is offline
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Good tip. iíll Have to try this.

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Old 06-14-2018, 03:40 PM
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I was told that you can put some ketchup in a baggie and drop a penny in it. Leave it overnight and the ketchup will turn black and the penny will be much cleaner. Try it on some real grody low value pennies and see what you think
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:29 PM
wozniak wozniak is offline
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Originally Posted by Bounder View post
I was told that you can put some ketchup in a baggie and drop a penny in it. Leave it overnight and the ketchup will turn black and the penny will be much cleaner. Try it on some real grody low value pennies and see what you think
Have you tried this with any of your coins? Curious to see how this works?
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  #11  
Old 06-15-2018, 08:27 PM
Bounder Bounder is offline
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Default cleaning pennies

I tried cleaning several pennies with ketchup and it does work to some extent. I think you don't want to leave them in there too many days though,The ketchup turns very black. It might soften the features of the coin.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:04 PM
wozniak wozniak is offline
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Originally Posted by Bounder View post
I tried cleaning several pennies with ketchup and it does work to some extent. I think you don't want to leave them in there too many days though,The ketchup turns very black. It might soften the features of the coin.
What's the best way you recommend to clean coins?
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:42 PM
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Good tip for non key date coins. This is what those cleaning pencils actually are, nothing more then steel wool.

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Old 06-21-2018, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wozniak View post
Have you tried this with any of your coins? Curious to see how this works?
Every copper coin I've cleaned with Hydrogen peroxide, Ketchup, Mustard, A-1 Steak Sauce, etc. left me regretting the attempt.

I do think it's very important to keep them away from moisture once they leave the ground.
I use a tiny bit of Renaissance Wax which is a microcrystalline wax to protect them before I put them in my finds box.

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Old 06-21-2018, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonesey89 View post
Thank you for sharing this. I've had this crusty large cent i found about a year ago. I could just barely make out the words one cent on the back. I didnt know how to bring out any detail, afraid that I might scrape off any detail that remained. Being as it was so far gone that it held zero value whatsoever, I tried this a little. I still can't get a date, but it brought the bust out enough that you can at least make out what it is. Cool tip!
It looks like it just left the mint now!

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