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Old 02-19-2017, 02:51 PM
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KirkS KirkS is offline
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Location: St Pete FL
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Default Tarnished clad - clean or don't bother?

It seems the clad I find doesn't hold up too well against the Florida sand-soil. Almost every coin I find has a deep reddish brown tarnish. I've tries a few simple things to try and get them to look decent enough for spending, but I'm wondering if it's worth the time and effort. I've tried olive oil, soaking in detergent, mouthwash (alcohol), and scrubbing with a toothbrush, but nothing is helping.

Should I try something more aggressive, or would you not bother? I just want to be able to spend them or roll them for the bank.

Here's a sample of a dime and a quarter, with a surface find for comparison:
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:19 PM
davidlhyde63366 davidlhyde63366 is offline
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Thumbs up cleaning clad to make it usable for spending

I have had some good results with vinigar and salt and putting them in the tumbler for a while. It has been posted under cleaning coins on here before with pictures. I wouldn't use it on any thing valuable i wanted to keep , but got rid of the discoloration for me.

Fisher F4 , Bountyhunter Treker IV , Whites TRX pinpointer, finds mostly clad nothing worth posting , really enjoying this hobby, looking forward to much more of it.

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Old 02-19-2017, 09:27 PM
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ohiochris ohiochris is offline
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Ive cleaned hundreds of dollars in clad with vinegar and salt to make it spendable , but it is a pain and you have to be careful not to over do it or the coins can go past clean and become discolored or ruined all over again from the acid. Get it just right and just long enough and maybe polish them up a little afterward with abrasive hand cleaner and a rag to remove any discoloration.

But I bought one of the tumblers from harbor freight and now I just tumble them , its easier and gets better results. A little ammonia+water and some fish gravel , add coins ( pennies separately ) , tumble a few hours , rinse , done. If any didn't get as clean as you like , put them back in for an hour.

You wouldn't want to tumble just a couple coins at a time , save them up for a while and do a bunch at a time.

Garrett AT pro , Minelab Equinox 600

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Old 02-20-2017, 07:52 AM
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Mick56 Mick56 is offline
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I tumble all the coins for a few hours, and then use them at the self checkout at Walmart.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:01 AM
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Mud-puppy Mud-puppy is offline
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Location: West Michigan area
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Ahh Yes..The age old mega cladders conundrum! There was a real good recent thread on the 'General Hobby Discussion' section started by AtProDude about a week ago concerning this dilemma! On page 2 right now you might want to read to get some ideas of what to do to maximize your ROI on dirty discolored clad that simply will not clean up nice and shiney.....


Detecting is the study of Mankinds interaction with topography, the untrustworthiness of pockets, and metals desire to return to the Earth from whence it came.

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Old 02-22-2017, 08:55 PM
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Dirtfishn350 Dirtfishn350 is offline
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+1 on the tumbler.

Ace350 DD/X-terra705+6"HF DD/Fiskars(GPP/TRX):Rings~Gold(3)Plat(1)Silver(2)(3)Wheats(19)(15)IH(2)Buff(1)Tokens(3)(1)Silver coins(3)(7).....Happy Hunting!

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Old 02-22-2017, 08:58 PM
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bruinvikes bruinvikes is offline
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DO NOT use the vinegar trick on pennies. The vinegar will eat them.

Fisher F70, Fisher F44, Fisher F2, 2018 clad: $0.01, Silver coins: 0, Indian heads: 0, Wheaties: 0, Gold rings: 0, Silver rings: 0, Total clad: $286.80, (after paying off the F2), Silver coins: 38, Gold rings: 4

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Old 03-20-2017, 12:06 AM
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diggin4clad diggin4clad is offline
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Tumble the coins in soapy water and gravel to get the dirt off them for about 30 minutes, then soak them in salt and vinegar for 5 minutes and then tumble them again for an hour. They come out nice and clean and you can run them through a coin machine with no problem. I cash mine at my bank and there's no fee like at coinstar where they whack you for about 10%.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:30 AM
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amc rulz amc rulz is online now
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I tumble for a half an hour. Do not roll the coins, find a counter. If a teller opens a roll, (pretty good chance) and discovers off-color coins, the bank may refuse them. This is via my own experience.

Explorer 2/Etrac

My neighbor called the cops for me playing LED ZEPPELIN too loud...

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Old 03-22-2017, 07:00 AM
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T-Man T-Man is offline
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I tumble all my clad in aquarium gravel with some Dawn and a splash of CLR. Works pretty good, just make sure you separate the pennies from everything else or they will all be orange.
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