Have you ever cleaned any of your collectible coins?
When I was mentally planning the image you see above, I had intended to use a Silver Eagle as the centerpiece from my very modest personal coin collection. (it barely appears below the Japanese Occupation banknote). But after moving 3 times over the past 3 years, finding the coin proved difficult to say the least. And when I did finally find it, it was tarnished quite badly along one edge. The toning was quite attractive to the naked eye…but not so much to the camera lens.
I bought the Silver Eagle about 10 years ago from Falcon Coin & Currency, of course. So, I had a decade of opportunities to purchase a proper protective enclosure from our variety of Coin Collecting Supplies. And I’ve also had plenty of advice on coin cleaning from the experts at Falcon Currency. That advice was simple; never clean your coins.
But short on time and off-site, I decided to clean it anyway. My reasoning was that I really have no intention of ever selling any of my coins. Nor do I display them. I collect coins because I find them interesting. And, in some cases, they remind me of the places to which I have traveled. So, in a way, I stand by my decision. But I still feel kind of dumb.
The header image above did not work out as I had planned. I guess I used too much of my time cleaning the coin to adequately set up my shot. The Silver Eagle is barely even visible. And to make matters worse, the yellowed looking coin didn’t appear discolored at all to my eye. (I believe that was a Cuban Convertible Peso). So, yeah. I feel dumb.
I thought I would have had an opportunity to re-shoot that photo by now. But since I haven’t feel compelled to explain…and to ask, have you ever cleaned any of your coins?