Is it worth cleaning coins and relics and how to do it? The answer is simple, do not clean. And this could be the end of this article, but isn’t that what it’s all about?
The first rule, we always entrust certain matters to a specialist or our own experience. Improper cleaning means irretrievable destruction of the item. There are a lot of techniques from specialized chemistry to electrolysis or ultrasonic cleaners and special pencils. It all depends on the mass of details. For example, pencils will work well with brass or copper objects, but old silver can be easily scratched. Steel wool also causes too much smoothing of details. For this reason, it is worth using only degreasers. Soaking plus cotton swabs and if there is no effect, it’s either a professional or leave it as it is and secure it with wax.
Stronger chemistry is a recipe for failure, it is worth conducting trials first. Surface oxidation and items are to be discarded. A well-preserved patina is worth more than a shiny coin! It is worth remembering and does not overdo it with cleaning!
Passive and active electrolysis also requires a lot of knowledge and experience and I do not recommend it at the beginning. Rather larger items and it is worth doing some tests on some scrap metal. After such processes, it is necessary to protect the object with appropriate preparation, e.g. Paraloid B72, so as not to cause excessive oxidation again.
Ultrasonic washer? It beautifully dissolves the cracked patina … just like chemistry when it gets under oxidized silver. All methods have some disadvantages and require full knowledge, for this reason, it is best to wash with soapy water even without using a brush and protect with Paraloid or coin wax. Let a trained specialist do the rest!