I am putting together a complete set of uncirculated 1926 coins to display with my 1926 coupe to show the types of coins that were in the pocket of the Model T driver when my T was new. Is there an accepted way of chemically cleaning silver coins without using abrasives that will remove stains and brighten the coins while leaving the original lustre, such as using mild chemicals that will not attack or alter the surface but simply remove tarnish to brighten the coin? I once cleaned a solid silver clarinet that was black with tarnish with "Tarnex" clear liquid tarnish remover. When I was done applying the "Tarnex" with a soft paint brush and rinsing it off with warm water, the clarinet was a beautiful bright white silver with no scratches from abrasives, but I'm not sure if this method would be acceptable for coins. Thank you. Jim Patrick
Would something as simple as a vinegar solution do it? Taco Bell hot sauce makes pennies look brand new, which freaks your friends out at lunch, but it's just the vinegar in it doing the work.
Numismatists' (coin collectors) general rule number one;
NEVER CLEAN A COIN!!!!
And if you believe that they don't, I have some beach-front property for sale near you.
It has been a long time since I actively collected coins, so I son't know what they may be secretly using these days. An expert can usually tell by looking through a magnifying glass if a coin has been cleaned or not. Generally, if they can tell, it will drop the value of the coin between 10 and 25 percent. For your purposes, that probably does not matter. I would probably use some old style tooth paste (not the modern gel type) with a soft used tooth brush to start. Finish with the tooth paste just rubbing it around the coin with your fingers. Don't over polish.
I think that is a great idea to display with your car! (Just be careful of "grab and runs")
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
When I was a kid, a life time ago, we used to leave coins in a glass of Coca-Cola over night to clean them.
Wayne is correct. The driver in 1926 would probably not have had un circulated coins in his pocket. If that is what you have, display them as they are. I assume your coupe is circulated.
"Toning" that naturally occurs on silver coins can "increase" the value of a coin. But for your purpose, we aren't talking about storing a box of coins you inherited and know nothing about, or are trying to resell.
They're your coins, and you want to display them your way. I personally like the natural toning, but if you want shiny, there are many ways. But if these haven't been cleaned before, it will generally decrease a brilliant uncirculated coins value. But if you paid 20 bucks for it, shine it up, who cares that it's now only worth $15.
If this is for investment, different story, but just for display, look for (XF) Extra fine coins. half the price of uncirculated and will display just as nice. Folks at cars shows aren't looking at your coins under a loupe!
Just my three cents....
Well at least don't do to the coins what some one do to their gold coins back in days of the American west. Put a small hole in them and put the coins on a string so they wouldn't get lost!
Look at the coins in your pocket. Are they all 2015? Nope. Some may be new, but many will go back ten, twenty, thirty, or more years. I find 1965 quarters in change all the time. The same was true in 1926. Pocket change would have included not only buffalo nickels, but also a few V nickels. Pennies would be Lincolns, but also a few Indians. There would be a few Peace dollars, but probably more Barber. The same holds true for dimes, quarters, and halves. Coins typically circulate for several decades. Just last week I found a wheat penny (pre-1959) in some change. To be historically more accurate, I'd show a typical pocketful of change that would have been in circulation in 1926 rather than just the coins that were made that year. For something specific to the year, how about some newspaper pages from the date of your car's serial number? Most libraries have the local papers on microfilm, and you can get copies.
I'd only add one thing to what you suggest Steve,....I find the old Model "T" period Popular Mechanics Magazines to be very interesting,.......from magazine cover, all thru' the articles and also (an maybe "especially") the pages in the back with all of the ads,......just a thought,........harold
Just another possible idea - If you could locate (even on E-Bay?) a Dykes Automotive manual, there is a section containing just Model T info. I stumbled upon my '26 edition at a 'garage sale', and was surprised to find about 80 pages of technical Model T stuff. (Not only helpful to me, but 'Goes Good' to haul out with our '26 TT and '25 coupe!) You won't know if it's out there unless you look!
If they are uncirculated leave them alone. If they are in individual coin cases leave them alone.
Jim I am an active coin collector and hopefully can add something to the discussion of coin cleaning. An uncirculated coin should never be harshly cleaned as even a careful cleaning leaves hairline scratches. Coins can however be dipped in a good quality silver cleaner to remove unwanted toning. I use a product called " Connoisseurs" jewelry cleaner for silver, it is available at Wal Mart in the jewelry department I first very gently clean the coin with acetone with a q-tip to remove finger prints and oils then dip the coin in the silver cleaner for a few seconds and rinse immediately with warm water and pat (don't rub) dry it is a tried and true method used by coin dealers -- All of the 1926 coins are readily available in uncirculated condition from the one cent to silver dollar, the walking liberty half dollar was not minted in 1926. There were however 2 commemorative half dollars minted in 1926, The OREGON TRAIL MEMORIAL, and the SESQUICENTENNIAL, Both of these can get pricy in uncirculated condition. Hope this helps. When I was installing patch panels on the coupe I am presently restoring for my sister I found a very rust in-capsulated coin in one of the side panels it was a 1924S buffalo nickel. I broke my own rule on cleaning to restore the coin sothat it at least looked like a nickel and it turned out ok. Harv
Question: Would a Model owner in "the day" have any money in his pocket? An Owner of a Packard maybe, but a T owner? They were just as broke then as now!
Should say Model T Owner in "the day".
The economy in 1926 wasn't so bad. Model T owners should have at least had some small change. Harv.
Harvey: good advice.
Since I metal detect, all my coins look like that nickel did (except the silver) when I find 'em, but don't clean up near as nice!
The silver I leave "as found".