how to clean your metal detecting finds

Before reading even further, it is very important to understand at this point that there is no single and definitive way on how to clean your metal detecting finds. However, there are just some methods that are very effective when it comes to cleaning, and not damaging, your finds.

After a day out metal detecting in various locations, you finally gathered your finds. Since most of these finds were ‘unearthed’, it is but natural to see them in a cleanliness-compromised state. While it may be tempting to just soak them all in water, hoping that they will all be free from annoying dirt upon rinsing, there are things that should be taken into consideration.

Cautions and Suggestions

Do Not Clean Old Coins

Make sure that you avoid cleaning old coins. Doing so will just decrease the value of your finds up to half its worth. The best way in which you can clean silver coins is to wet them, and then dipping them to baking soda. Afterwards, use a toothbrush for cleaning. It is a natural ability of silver coins to tone and tarnish as a result of the silver molecules actively interacting with the other environmental elements. If you decided to clean a silver coin in order to tone or remove tarnish, you might only end up damaging the coin surface.

The Least Damaging Technique – The ‘Dip’ Method

This method is often considered as the least damaging for your finds. This involves dipping your finds in a solution for a specific amount of time, and then washing it off afterwards. It is somewhat similar to the ammonia method and may work for different finds, including both gold and silver coins.

All you need to do is to place your finds in a jar that is filled with ammonia, and then allow them to just sit there for a while. Afterwards, you can polish them using a cloth. If you just want to remove the tarnish, not minding the possibility of damaging your coins, you can choose to use an abrasive cleaner, including a cream or paste which can be used in rubbing into the surface of the coin until all toning and molecular layers of the surface of the coin is removed.

When it comes to cleaning copper items, place your finds in a half gallon container, and pour white vinegar, filling past the coins. Shake your container accordingly, leaving it overnight. However, don’t forget to rinse them well the day after.

Cleaning Products

While you can choose to make your own solution at home for cleaning your finds, there are also effective products that re currently available on the market that can help you in cleaning your finds.

For instance, BLITZ jewelry cloths come with polish. They are two pieces of cloth that are sewn together in the center. One can be used for buffering, while the other one is for cleaning.

Another product is the Blue Magic Metal Polish which works on materials including silver, gold, aluminum, chrome, copper, brass and stainless steel. All you have to do is to put a small amount of the solution on a soft cloth, rubbing it until you create a black film. Buff it off afterwards using a clean cloth.

Soaking in Distilled Water

This method is often used by archaeologists as a trick in cleaning finds and treasures. All you have to do is to soak the coins using distilled water, and placing them inside the freezer after. You can expect that the coins will not be damaged since the water absorbs through the dirt. At the same time, ice crystals also expand, thus breaking the dirt.

Mayor’s Cleaning Method

Since several nickel and silver coins are being unearthed using black tarnish, using the Mayor’s Cleaning Method can turn out to be helpful.

For this method, all you have to do is to get an aluminum foil sheet with washing soda, preferably Arm & Hammer.

Afterwards, fold he foil with a 2 to 3 inch strip. After putting it at the bottom of your container, place the coins on top and place just a few tablespoons of soda on top of the coins. After this, you need to pour around an inch of boiling water, until you see that the coins are completely covered.

What makes metal detecting different from the others is that the more you become paranoid in cleaning your finds, the lesser value it eventually gets. Any wrong move when it comes to cleaning your finds may only result to the damage of your finds. This is something that you surely would not want to happen. As such, it is very important to know how to clean your finds so that you do not only make them clean in appearance, but also keeping their value.

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