HOW to CLEAN Silver? Common Date Coins, Rounds, Bars

Sacrilege to less than half the crowd, the idea of cleaning common date junk silver coins, silver rounds, and silver bullion bars can somehow still be controversial.

Yet, if you would prefer to rid some of the tarnish from your common date silver pieces, the team at SD Bullion recently put up a handy quick video and blog on “How to Clean Silver“.

To begin, we will reiterate… never clean highly collectible silver coins and rare key date silver pieces.

In doing so you would likely lose a massive amount of any collectible premium you might have enjoyed under the tarnish and toning.

The following how to clean silver content is for you to learn how to clean silver coins, rounds, and bars that are common dates and not highly rare of numismatically collectible.

These methods are also effective in mass to clean silverware and or clean silver jewelry of tarnish in a quick and expedient manner.

Cleaning Silver Coins: Which Kinds of Silver Bullion items are OK to Clean?

You can for instance gently clean an oxidized older common 1 oz American Silver Eagle coin, or 1 oz Silver Rounds, older silver bullion bars, or common pre-1964 90% US Silver Coins.

Why Clean Silver Coins?

Silver reacts to open air readily with sulfur or hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and thus produces silver sulfide (Ag2S), a dark-colored compound familiar as the tarnish on silver coins and other sterling silver objects. In the video we will embed below, you can see a time-lapse video reflecting this dirty looking but a naturally occurring phenomenon.

Often older formerly circulating 90% US silver coins are purchased by bullion buyers for their low premiums and due to diminishing “Junk Silver Coin” populations each and every year, we move forward in time.

The problem is most of these older ‘90% silver coins’ are covered in tarnish, dirt, and the grime. They often have a sticky film on them and leave a sour smell on your hands after touching them.

Even cleaning silver coins of common dates is a divisive topic in the silver bullion and silver coin buying community. About half the crowd hates the idea of it, while the other half hates having dirty tarnished coins. We’re here to help the latter half of the readers learn how to clean silver coins (common versions) with easy household items.

Often bullion buyers and Pre1964 US Silver Coin buyers choose to lightly clean silver coins using non-destructive methods we will cover here. We’re going to show you various methods of restoring tarnished silver coins to a more illustrious shine without ruining their values.

Cleaning silver coins that are not ‘key dates’ or of high numismatic collectibility is an easy process.

There are a few simple processes you can do at home not only for cleaning silver coins easily but also for cleaning silver items like .925 silverware or other silver jewelry items.

Silver Coin Cleaning Warnings

WARNING: Never clean collectible Numismatic key date coins, rare high premium rounds, or high premium bars. Their toning adds value, cleaning them strips many a price premium amongst collectors.

WARNING: The following two methods of easy silver coin cleaning produce sulfuric fumes you should not inhale in high volumes.

 

 

How to Clean Silver Coins: Baking Soda Method

Ingredients and Tools Required:

Dirty non-numismatic silver coins or other sterling silver items, aluminum foil, baking soda, hot water, a container to soak them in, latex gloves, a disposable toothbrush or small brush to enhance results, open air as the fumes extrapolated are toxic in high volumes, an additional container of clean water to rinse with, and some towels for drying out freshly cleaning silver coins or silverware.

Steps to Cleaning Silver Coins with Baking Soda

Step 1: Line a container with Aluminum Foil (shiny or dull side, doesn’t matter).
Step 2: Sprinkle some Baking Soda on the foil.
Step 3: Add Tarnished Common Date Silver Coins.
Step 4: Add Hot Water to cover the coins fully, then add more Baking Soda covering the silver coins. Let sit for 5-minute rotations, two rounds of this should suffice.
Step 5: With latex covered gloves extract the silver items and additionally with a toothbrush or dry towel rub away any tarnish and grime. Here you can choose to perhaps apply additional baking soda applications and rounds soaking in the hot water with aluminum foil.
Step 6: Fully Rinse after Cleaning Silver Coins with Cold Water.
Step 7: Inspect Your Cleaned Common Silver Coins.

 

 

How to Clean Silver Coins: Fabric Softener Method

Ingredients and Tools Required:

Dirty non-numismatic silver coins or other sterling silver items, aluminum foil, liquid fabric softener, iodized table salt, hot water, a container to soak them in, latex gloves, a disposable toothbrush or small brush to enhance results, open air as the fumes extrapolated are toxic in high volumes, an additional container of clean water to rinse with, and some towels for drying out freshly cleaning silver coins or silverware.

Steps to Cleaning Silver Coins with Fabric Softener and Iodized Table Salt

Step 1: Line a container with Aluminum Foil (shiny or dull side, doesn’t matter).
Step 2: Sprinkle some Fabric Softener Liquid and Iodized Salt onto the foil.
Step 3: Add Tarnished Common Date Silver Coins and other Silver items.
Step 4: Add Hot Water to cover the silver coins fully, then add more. Let sit for five minutes.
Step 5: With latex covered gloves extract the silver items and additionally with a toothbrush or dry towel rub away any tarnish and grime. Here you can choose to perhaps apply additional baking soda applications and rounds soaking in the hot water with aluminum foil.
Step 6: Fully Rinse after Cleaning Silver Coins with Cold Water.
Step 7: Inspect Your Cleaned Common Silver Coins.

How to Clean Silver Coins: Video Transcript

To begin this how to clean silver coins of common dates and mintages, we start with a WARNING. Never clean highly collectible coins or highly rare key date pieces.

This video is how to easily clean common silver coins, silver jewelry items, and sterling silver utensils using typical household items. For this video, we will focus on common silver coin cleaning, but again these are also some quick and easy methods to shining tarnished silverware and sterling silver items too.

The entire common silver coin cleaning process takes about 15 minutes of time, and the results can be dramatic and rather easy.

Scientifically speaking, physical silver tarnishes over time as it reacts to open air readily with sulfur and hydrogen sulfide producing silver sulfide, a dark-colored compound familiar as the tarnish on silver coins and other sterling silver objects.

Often older formerly circulating 90% US silver coins are purchased by bullion buyers for their low premiums and due to the fact that there are lessoning populations of them each and every year we move forward in time.

The issue for some bullion buyers is that virtually all of these older ‘junk silver coins’ are covered in tarnish, dirt, and the grime. They often have a grey dirty film covering them and leave a sour smell on your hands after touching them.

Cleaning common silver coins is both a divisive and somewhat controversial subject in the silver bullion and silver coin buying community. In our experience about half of the buying crowd hates the idea of it, while the other half disdains dirty tarnished silver coins.

We’re here to help the latter half learn how to clean silver coins, silver rounds, and silver bars (again common versions only) with easy household items.

Both a baking soda or a fabric softener salt method can be seen here and neither takes much time or effort in executing.

The results in cleaning common silver coins can be dramatic and make a vast difference in both look and shine.

Let us know in the Silver Doctor website comments below if you have ever cleaned common date silver bullion products.

How did you do it? What were the results?

For more bullion related content, be sure to subscribe to this our official SD Bullion youtube channel.

Thank you for watching and for backlinking to our SD Bullion blog and educational content.

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About the Author

James Anderson has a BA in finance from Loyola University New Orleans. He has both worked and invested in the physical investment grade bullion markets prior to the 2008 global financial crisis.

James’ twitter is @JamesHenryAnd and he has authored SD Bullion’s complementary 21st Century Gold Rush Book.

 

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