Quick Answer: How Do You Clean Old Pennies Without Damaging Them?

Why do pennies turn green in vinegar?

A chemical reaction has occurred.

(A chemical reaction is the combination of two reactants to form something entirely new.) A penny is made of copper.

The vinegar on the paper towel helps the copper in the penny easily react with the oxygen in the air to form a blue-green colored compound called malachite..

How much is a 1943 wheat penny worth?

CoinTrackers.com has estimated the 1943 Steel Wheat Penny value at an average of 45 cents, one in certified mint state (MS+) could be worth $10.

What liquid cleans coins the best?

Vinegar (or Lemon Juice) and Salt This method is the best way to clean your pennies, and it will produce a very bright orangey-copper color on your pennies.

Are wheat pennies worth anything?

Most wheat cents (wheat pennies were minted between 1909 and 1956) are worth about 4 to 5 cents. Those in better condition can have double-digit value. Special examples (especially those in near perfect condition) can be worth much more. … And pennies dated from 1879 to 1909 are worth at least $1.

How long do you leave pennies in vinegar?

Put the salt and vinegar in the bowl. Stir until the salt dissolves. Dip one penny halfway into the liquid. Hold it there for about 10 seconds, then pull it out.

How do you clean old coins?

To be safe, after cleaning with vinegar or lemon juice, it is best to soak the coin in distilled water with a little baking soda added for a week. (Never use vinegar or lemon juice to clean bronze coins.) Silver coins can also be cleaned by placing them in an aluminum can filled with a baking soda and water mix.

Should you clean old coins before selling them?

1. The most important thing NOT to do is clean your coins. Cleaning rare numismatic coins will significantly reduce their value – plain and simple. Although you don’t lose much by cleaning a coin which derives value only from its silver content, it’s not worth the risk.

Does hydrogen peroxide clean pennies?

Hydrogen Peroxide is praised religiously by many as to being a great household ingredient for cleaning coins without causing any damage. Simply submerge coins into a container of Hydrogen Peroxide and just let soak for 24 hours.

Should you clean wheat pennies?

How to Clean Dirty Coins. First of all, when washing grimy coins, do not use jewelry cleaner or metal polish. Save those cleaning substances for grandma’s antique silver teapot. These materials are too harsh for your old dollar coins, buffalo nickels, copper wheat pennies, or your other collectible metal currency.

Will Coke clean a penny?

Coke and off-brand colas will quickly remove the tarnish. Just don’t drink the coke afterward. Coke contains phosphoric acid that cleans the oxides. Try a variety of citrus juices to see which works best or simply let your pennies soak in lemon juice.

Can you clean coins without losing value?

It is best not to clean rare coins as removing the patina can significantly reduce the value of them. For this reason, most coin hobbyists almost never clean their coins. In fact, 99% of coins do not increase in value after you clean them, but many will be greatly devalued.

Can vinegar damage coins?

There is some pretty fancy chemistry going on in that little bowl of yours. It turns out that vinegar is an acid, and the acid in the vinegar reacts with the salt to remove what chemists call copper oxide which was making your pennies dull.

How do you make coins shine like new?

Follow These Steps:In a jar, combine one cup vinegar (or lemon juice) and 1 tablespoon salt. … Pour the solution into the plastic container. … Add the coins in a single layer, so none of the coins are touching. … When you remove the coins and wipe them with a cloth or paper towel, they should look shiny.More items…•