Old coins often have dirt, corrosion, oil, or other “gunk” on them. It can be tempting to clean them with powerful industrial cleaners, silver polish, Shine Brite, or other chemical cleaners.
However, this is a bad idea.
Over time, coins develop oxidation, discoloration, and a layer of grime. This is called a patina, or more commonly in numismatics, toning.
Natural Toning on a Mercury Dime.
Chemical cleaning agents will remove toning. A coin in its ...Read more
From 1999 to 2008 the United States Mint issued state-themed quarters. Five states were issued per year in the order in which they achieved statehood. After the state series was completed, quarters for the U.S. territories were issued in 2009. Each of the state quarters was issued from both the Denver and Philadelphia mints, making a total of 100 quarters in the full set.
Here is a list of the state quarters, with date ...Read more
The George Washington quarter first came into circulation in 1932. It was designed by John Flanagan, whose initials appear at the base of Washington's neck. They can be hard to spot, since they are one of the first things to wear off of the coin.
For silver coins before 1964, the mint mark appears just below the wreath on the reverse side. Coins with “D” are from Denver, with “S” are fron San Francisco ...Read more
The Jefferson Nickel first came into circulation in 1938. It was the first coin design ever chosen in an open competition and was created by the winner, Felix Schlag. His initials were not originally on the coin, but they were added in 1966.
The reverse shows Thomas Jefferson's home in Monticello.
During World War II, nickel was diverted to the war effort and the coins were made of an alloy that was 56% copper ...Read more
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