Cleaned Coins: How To Tell If A Coin Has Been Cleaned & Why It Matters

cleaned coins

I talk a lot about cleaned coins versus uncleaned coins here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins. You may be wondering what the big fuss is about cleaning coins and perhaps ask yourself why most collectors don’t want cleaned coins. Or, you may be trying to figure out what a cleaned coin looks like versus a regular, uncleaned coin. If you fall into either of those two camps, this post is for you.   … [Read more...]

How NOT To Clean Coins: Tips On Cleaning Coins


OK, as I always start every post I write about how to clean coins, I’m going to put this blanket statement out right now: I strongly urge anybody who wants to clean their coins to reconsider. Why? Because an improper cleaning can ruin a coin’s value, damage its surface, and deny future generations the chance to enjoy your coin in its wholly original form. That being said, some people will still engage in cleaning coins anyway in an often ill-fated attempt to make it look brand new … [Read more...]

Avoiding Mistakes That Beginner Coin Collectors Commonly Make

Live and learn. That's life, right? Well, for coin collectors, 'living' and then learning from the consequences of mistakes can be very costly -- and sometimes damaging to coins. What are some of the common mistakes coin collectors make early on? Let's take a look at avoiding mistakes you won't want to make. If you're like many new coin collectors, you've either: Just found an interesting coin in your pocket change that caught your attention... ...Or somehow acquired a bunch … [Read more...]

How To Grade A Mint State Coin


Grading a mint state coin can sometimes be a complex undertaking, especially in recent years -- after all, there are so many different grades which mint state coins can fall into. Generally speaking, something a mint state coin must NOT have any of is wear. Any coin with wear (evidence of rubbing on the high points) is not an uncirculated coin. And don't go cleaning a coin to make it look like a higher grade! It doesn't work, it lessens the value of the coin, and it damages the coin, too. … [Read more...]

Graphic Photos Of Damaged Coins: These Are The Kinds Of Coins To Avoid Collecting!


Many people who ask about coin values often get the response ‘if the coin isn’t damaged, then a coin is worth…’ You’re probably asking yourself what damaged coins look like, though. Does wear, by itself, cause damaged coins? In a word, no. When coin collectors talk about damaged coins, they're referring to coins that have been cleaned, have holes, are bent, are corroded, and simply have been messed up in one way or another. Let’s talk a bit about damaged coins, look at a picture of a … [Read more...]

Coin Q&A: Answers To 5 Common Coin Questions

These are among the most popular questions we receive here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins...   Question #1: How Do I Clean My Coins? Don't! Cleaning your coins will actually reduce their value. Why? Because coin collectors and coin investors prefer coins with their original, natural toning and color. Cleaning your coins will wash away their natural toning and even strip away some of its metal. As a result, most coin cleanings actually result in damage. Coins with loose dirt … [Read more...]

Should You Clean Coins Or Not? (Hint: NO!)

People entering the hobby of coin collecting (and those who've found a coin that might be valuable) usually want to know how they can clean their coins. Questions like "Which way is the best way to clean my old penny?" or "How do I brighten up my tarnished silver dollar?" normally lead to one, impassioned answer: "Don't clean your coins!" It seems logical to some people that a bright and shiny coin would be favored by coin collectors. While that may be true to a certain extent, what is … [Read more...]

Tips For Cleaning Coins: How To Clean The Old, Dirty Coins In Your Collection


I just want to start off by saying that, as a collector, I do not condone coin cleaning. In almost all cases, cleaning a coin will decrease its value. But I know a lot of you may have some extremely dirty coins that can only benefit from a good cleaning, so I'm going to share some methods that have been known to clean coins. I have not tested very many of these because I don't clean many of my coins. But maybe one of these methods will help you.   … [Read more...]

Rare U.S. Coins: Which Nickels, Pennies, Dimes & Quarters To Keep

photo by My Alternative Photos on Flickr

Do you think you have a United States rare coin? I thought I did. I'm not exactly a coin collector, and I'm far from a numismatist. So, for the latest coin facts and values, you'll want to check out the articles written by our coin expert, Joshua. What follows is my own novice approach to finding the value of some coins I had saved through the years. Everyone does this at some point, right? Have you gone through the coins in your coin jar yet?   … [Read more...]