Silver… Cleaning or not cleaning… That is the question!
Many say that silver should not be cleaned. Just rinsed with water at the very best. This indeed, helps keeping an old look. It will definitely emphasize the age of your coin. Some will add that cleaning silver will decrease its value.
Now, coins can be made out of silver but so can be jewelry. Then again, it’s all a matter of personal preference. One may also make a difference between cleaning a 150 years old seated dime and silver Rosie.
Last but not least, some do like their silver to be shiny.
If so, and if this is your personal choice, there is a very easy way to clean silver. And everyone has exactly what is needed right at home.
Below is an example of this method, applied to a Mercury dime.
All you need is aluminum foil and baking soda. Sometimes baking soda alone is enough. You can use baking soda and a little water, (to turn it into a paste) and rub the coin between your fingers.
But it may not be enough and some black residual may remain.
You can then take things up to another level. Wrap the coin in aluminum paper and then place it into boiling water. Wait for a few minutes. A couple minutes may actually be enough. You do not have to wrap the coin too tight. You can actually add baking soda directly in the aluminum paper with the coin, and then only place it into boiling water. Heat is known to help enhancing chemical reactions.
When you take out the aluminum foil, unwrap it. The baking soda will already have turned into a paste, inside the aluminum foil. You can finish cleaning your coin by rubbing it with this paste.
Rinse with water, dry and you’re pretty much done.