How to Store and Clean Your Silver Coins Safely

How to Store and Clean Your Silver Coins Safely

When you first buy a recently-minted, bullion-grade silver coin, the lustre of the metal is mesmerizing. It’s hard not to admire a bullion-grade metal and not appreciate the beauty and durability of a precious metal that’s been valued by human civilization for millennia. It’s no wonder that silver became a vehicle for wealth second only to gold throughout much of human history.

Silver owners do have to keep in mind storing, caring for, and maintaining their silver if they want to keep it in good condition. It’s a very durable metal, and in fact, some of the oldest coins still in existence are over 2500 years old. By and large, the metal is not very reactive to other substances. The chief concern most owners have is tarnish.

But why buy silver if you need to worry about keeping it clean and securely stored? Taking care of silver isn’t that complicated. The benefits of owning bullion directly far outweigh any inconveniences. If you’re still worried, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about storing and caring for your precious metals.

How to Keep Silver Coins from Tarnishing

Silver doesn’t react to oxygen, meaning it doesn’t rust. However, it does react with sulphur in the air, resulting in silver sulphide – the tarnish that will form on the surface when it’s exposed. There’s nothing terrible about a bit of tarnish, and it will likely form on your collection over time no matter what you do, but properly storing them will significantly slow down the process.

Properly storing bullion in the first place is going to cut down on any risks of damaging the product. Once you buy silver coins, you want to protect your investment. If you want to know how to keep silver coins from tarnishing, start with proper storage.

Invest in a safe: First, you want to keep your bullion secure. Buy a combination safe and only share that combination with one other trusted person (in case something happens to you). As your collection grows, you might want to invest in a wall safe or false wall. Make sure it’s in a controlled environment, with a moderate temperature and low humidity.

Consider a safety deposit box: If you’re uncomfortable with the thought of keeping wealth in the house like that, you may also want to rent a safety deposit box from the bank instead.

Use plastic tubes or sleeves: In order to keep clean silver coins in good condition, use plastic tubes or sleeves to protect them from the air.

Protect your Silver Coins

Credit: yanukit via Freepik

Should You Clean Silver Coins?

Whether or not you should clean a silver coin depends on the specimen. Junk silver or bullion coins are generally safe to keep clean if you love the brilliant sheen of pure silver. It’s largely a matter of personal preference. The tarnish or toning that naturally forms on coins over time isn’t harmful and won’t negatively impact the value of your piece, if its value is in the precious metals only.

However, do not clean numismatic coins. You can wind up destroying the value of rare and collectible coins. When it comes to older and rarer coins, collectors often want to see the patina, which is the layer of verdigris or tarnish that builds up and is removed by cleaning. Leave these coins be. If you’re not sure, have them evaluated by a professional numismatist.

How to Clean Silver Coins Without Damaging Them

You’ve done your research and you know you’re fine to clean your silver coins. You still want to make sure you don’t scratch, dent,  otherwise damage or decrease their value in the process.

This is how to clean silver coins without damaging them.

#1 Get Everything You Need

Before you start, you’ll need some basic cleaning equipment and supplies. Fortunately, you probably already have everything you need lying around, or you can pick it up at the store. You’ll need:

  • Latex gloves
  • Aluminum foil
  • Two containers that can get dirty
  • Paper towels or a cloth towel
  • Two cups of warm water
  • Baking soda (a new container works best)

#2 Wrap Container with Aluminum Foil

Wrap the aluminum foil all the way around your bowl or container. The aluminum foil uses electrolysis to convert silver sulphide back into silver rather than scrubbing it off. In other words, you’re reversing the chemical process that creates tarnish in the first place. Learning how to clean silver coins with baking soda will help you restore your bullion while minimizing the risk of damage.

#3 Clean Silver Coins One at a Time

Add a base of baking soda directly onto the aluminum foil. Place your tarnished coin on top and pour boiling water on top. Add some more baking soda directly over the metal. Let sit for two minutes for the water to cool down. Then, gently rub the baking soda into the face with gloves on. The toning will slowly come off. You can repeat the process if the item is heavily toned.

#4 Rinse Off the Coin

Next, rinse the piece off under running water or in a second bath of cold water. You should now have a beautiful, lustrous coin.

It’s Easy to Buy and Own Silver

Don’t feel intimidated by the prospect of owning physical bullion. It’s easy to learn how to buy silver in Canada – you can do all of your research and order products online. Physical bullion offers investors direct control over the asset. It’s the real thing, not digital, and there are no intermediaries standing between you and your investments.

Bullion offers a degree of autonomy and privacy with your wealth that few other assets can match. All you need is a reliable supplier that offers competitive prices, safe delivery, great customer service, and a wide selection of products that fit your tastes. All you have to do is book a Free Bullion Consultation with Global Bullion Suppliers to get started in the bullion market. We’ll make sure you find the right products for your goals. It’s never been easier to invest in the bullion market, so take advantage of industry experts and begin your investment today!

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