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  #1  
Old 09-09-2014, 06:47 AM
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gameoftag gameoftag is offline
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Default Cleaning old nickels Here is how I do it.

Many times, people ask how to safely clean nickles as they usually look pretty bad coming out of the ground. Opinions are all over the board on this topic but my personal opinion is a method that Goesforever told me a few years back. I personally, still like my nickels to maintain a dug look because I'm proud to have recovered them from the ground. Keep in mind, I'm only really talking older nickels. Modern nickels go into the tumbler and off to the bank.

for those of you who want to make your dug Buffalos, V's, and Shield Nickles look nice, there is a way, but it seems crazy...

In my opinion, it captures the exact look i want for my nickels. The method is.... An SOS pad.

Many people gasp at the thought of putting something so abrasive on a coin, but nickels are surprisingly tough, and in order to get all the crud and some of the purple/Brown color off, this will do the trick.

Here is how I do it:
I start off by vigorously scrubbing the nickel under running water with soap and a toothbrush to get as much dirt and crud off first, then I take an SOS pad under running water and work back and forth only until the crud is gone. You can go to town with an SOS pad and bring some of the silver color back but, in my opinion, it doesn't look good.

Pictures say a thousand words, so here is a before and after of a recently dug Buffalo. Would love any comments or suggestions. Again, this is mere opinion, but for those of you who like the look, the method works every time.

Before: after being scrubbed with soap and water. As you can see, the toothbrush just won't cut it as most of the green crud just won't come off.

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After: Yes, you can tell this Buffalo has been cleaned, but the crud is mostly gone, and it still shows evidence that it was dug

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Thanks for looking.

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  #2  
Old 09-23-2014, 04:11 PM
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Great results! They still have that rustic look.
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2014, 04:29 PM
NectarDetector NectarDetector is offline
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Whatever you do, don't use vinegar on an old nickel.... found that out the hard way...
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  #4  
Old 09-26-2014, 06:27 PM
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Like the cleaned dug look. Displays a lot better, thanks for sharing.

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  #5  
Old 09-30-2014, 04:15 PM
coinshooter coinshooter is offline
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Default Nickels

I'm going to give it a try on some nickels that are red when I dig them out.
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  #6  
Old 09-30-2014, 07:39 PM
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Has anyone tried tumbling the buffalos? I got a few this year and just planned on tumbling them at the end of the year.

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Old 09-30-2014, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by predrunner View post
Has anyone tried tumbling the buffalos? I got a few this year and just planned on tumbling them at the end of the year.
Try grapefruit juice.

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Old 09-30-2014, 08:29 PM
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Great thread i sos ALL my old nickels, also works MAGIC on aluminum tokens! Removes all the brown corrosion

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  #9  
Old 10-07-2014, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Sandigger View post
Like the cleaned dug look. Displays a lot better, thanks for sharing.
I agree, I display them in a Dansco album. Love the dug look in the brown album.
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  #10  
Old 10-07-2014, 11:56 PM
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Great post I have some rough nickels I am going to try this on.

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Old 10-08-2014, 07:05 PM
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Would have never thought sos pad, will give it a try. Thanks
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  #12  
Old 10-11-2014, 09:41 AM
paulz-ny paulz-ny is offline
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Great advice. Thanks i'm gonna give it shot
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  #13  
Old 07-06-2017, 07:50 PM
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Well after seeing your results.... I will give it a shot, Thanks!

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  #14  
Old 07-07-2017, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by CaliPullTab View post
Well after seeing your results.... I will give it a shot, Thanks!
Right? Same Here! Good info from an old thread! Thumbs up!

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  #15  
Old 07-16-2017, 11:35 PM
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I just tumbled several batches of clad and one small batch of nickels yesterday and today.

The nickels (only 21 in that batch) had 3 buffalos and the rest were Jeffersons. I only cared about getting the dark brown off, not collecting them.

Here's what I used in the tumbler:
- small handful of white / non-dyed aquarium gravel
- several small bits of cut up 3M Scotchbrite pad (about 1/4" x 1/2")
- Close to one tablespoon of salt
- About two teaspoons of Cream of Tartar (buy the large, cheap size). If you don't know what that is, as the cook in your house :-)

I plug the tumbler into a light timer and tumbled about 2 1/2 hours.

I have on old deep-fryer basket that I dump the tumbler barrel contents thru into an old plastic darkroom developer tray so the gravel and other bits don't go down the drain of the basement laundry sink. Give the fryer basket a couple of shakes under running water, above the tray and only the coins are left in the basket, ready to dump onto paper towels for drying.
All nickels came out very clean, with not a bit of the brown discoloration. The three Buffalos and a few Jeffersons, showed pitting, but the rest were in great spendable condition. I would not even think to bother with SOS pads on individual nickels unless I was going to hang onto them. For spending-clean coins, the tumbler is the least labor-intensive method going. I'm running a batch of pennies in the tumbler as I write this.

I had read about the Cream of Tartar many years ago and it seems to do a nice job.

Jim

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  #16  
Old 01-30-2018, 09:09 PM
JeffFl JeffFl is offline
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Found out the hard way myself about using vinegar on an old nickle...not good! So to add insult to injury,on the next old nickle I found I tried lemon juice...Yikes,turned out even worse than the vinegar treatment
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  #17  
Old 02-04-2018, 02:57 AM
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I tumble my nickles, dimes and quarters with aquarium gravel using a little CLR and some water. It makes them shiny.

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