This section is intended to deliver some advices when it comes to cleaning our finds. It’s really important to make the following statement though : almost all coins found in the ground will be graded with the mention “Environmental Damage”.
One may interpret it as “harm is already done”, if only considering the financial value of the find/coin. And although we – metal detectorists – consider ourselves as coin collectors, we clearly know the difference between the coins we may purchase at a coin show and the ones we find in the ground.
It is with the understanding of that previous statement, that this section is giving advices on cleaning/restoring your finds.
The purpose is not to increase the value of the coin but rather to enjoy the history of our finds, of their design, by giving them a better appearance.
Cleaning can be done in many different ways. It is important to learn how to “read” the shape of your finds or coins to pick the most appropriate method. And even then, there truly is no ideal method. Some will work on specific metals, some will work better with dirt, others with heavy crust, some will remove the patina, some will actually preserve it. But at the end of the day, they will not save or reveal what was not there to start with. Indeed, it is a matter of choosing the right method, but a method can’t be blamed. It takes a lot of trials and errors to fully master cleaning methods.