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Coins: To clean or not to clean?

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Hello All,

Well, I have decided to give up my drywashing completely in favor of coin/jewelry/relic hunting. We all just seem to have a much nicer time when we are dettecting rather than throwing dirt all day. So, until I can sell my 151 drywasher and pick me up an E-Trac, I would like to ask some questions in preparation.

1. To what extent should a coin be cleaned after being pulled out of the ground? If it is fairly clean where I can just rub dirt or mud off of it and it be legible then obviously that is okay. But what if it comes out of moist ground and is covered in alkali or is corroded, etc?

2. I have been told that coins are exempt from the 50 year-old artifact law! Is this true for all coins, or just coins produced in the last 50 years?

3. What is the best current publication for finding out the value and history of coins that I may come across on this adventure?

4. Is it okay to just keep coins and relics together in one place (after the find)? Or should I look into purchasing coin collecting books to separate each coin individually?

5. Same question as #3, but this time in regards to relics?

Thank you for any and all replies.


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Chris If the coins are old non clad I would just soak the dirt off. The clad stuff I just toss on a large jar. If you find a rusted piece you want to save such as a civil war gun part spray it with clear coat paint. If they stay exposed to air without coating it will turn to rusted powder over time. You can't get in trouble unless you are caught in the act or run your mouth about a super find. I know civil war hunters who have quite a collection. You know if your searching a old gold area you can find both gold and relics

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Coin values are easily found on the net as google will amaze you with dozens of comparable sites.

Clean??-only new junk metals as to clean a silver older coin kills the worth--generally-by at least 60%. Seperate out the clad copper junk and process seperately with a good ol ammonia soak--same with nickles. On beach corrosion a rock polisher/bullet vibrating cleaner do the deed. If you mix coin types the copper makes the others nasty looking.

Drywashing is indeed a bunch a hard work,filth and noise and not many stick with it for very long but coins,relics,gems and minerals are all in the same general areas and keep them pans as you'll definately need them too-John

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