Coin collecting is hobby many people enjoy. As the value of silver and gold continues to rise, collecting can be very lucrative as well. Coins that are well kept often fetch a better price when sold. If you have a coin that is scratched, it is best to consult an expert who can properly repair the coin. However, there are some things you can do at home that will not only help, but will also prevent future scratches.
Make a mixture of warm water mixed with dishwashing detergent; make enough to submerge the coins in. You can also sprinkle a sparse amount of baking soda in the water. Do not use harsh chemicals like ammonia, lemon juice or vinegar.
Let the coins sit in the water for five to 10 minutes. Examine the scratches. If they still appear harsh, soak the coins for five to 10 more minutes, then remove the coins from the water. Allow the coins to air dry or gently pat them with a soft towel. Do not rub the coins with a paper towel or rag, because this will scratch the surface.
Use a new toothbrush to remove ground-in dirt. Tap the toothbrush on the surface of each coin. Do not scrub the coins, as this could cause light scratches in the surface, which will depreciate the coins' value. Rinse the coins in fresh water and pat dry.
If you have coins that are dark and corroded, you can use harsher chemicals like vinegar and ammonia on them and scrub them. The colouring of these coins indicates they have already been tarnished, so it will not depreciate their value. Avoid cleaning coins if you do not know their value. Metal polishes can tarnish coins and depreciate their value. Some collectors will refuse to purchase coins that have been altered by cleaning.
When dealing with silver coins, especially if you are a serious collector, you might want to consult a professional before you clean them so you can be sure you are not depreciating the coins' value.