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Can someone educate me on spotting a cleaned coin?
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15 posts in this topic

Here is an example. What gives it away. Some are obvious, but I run across a lot that I can't see the reason.

 

Cleaned NGC Morgan

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Another one I can't tell has been cleaned, but I'd guess the reverse gives it away? I can see no evidence of cleaning on the obverse.

 

CLeaned Morgan Dollar

Edited by the_Thing ®

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Another one I can't tell has been cleaned, but I'd guess the reverse gives it away? I can see no evidence of cleaning on the obverse.

 

CLeaned Morgan Dollar

 

Often, a coin needs to be examined in hand and tilted and rotated under a light, in order to detect cleaning. Don't assume that the coin in question has been cleaned on the reverse and not the obverse.

 

Also, the determination of cleaning can be subjective and inconsistent. Some coins are labeled "cleaned", but later cracked out, resubmitted and graded without the notation of cleaning. Others might not be labeled as cleaned when initially graded, but later cracked out, resubmitted and labeled "cleaned".

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Trying to use photos to learn about cleaning is just about impossible, especially when so many photos of cleaned coins are taken in such a manner as to intentionally minimize the symptoms of cleaning.

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I think your best bet is to hit a coin show and bring a loupe and check out a bunch of slabbed straight graded coins for hairlines. You will find some hairlines on the lower MS grades. The key is to get a sense for how many hairlines are tolerated at each grade level. Any more than that and you are looking at a "cleaned" coin.

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"....on spotting a cleaned coin?"

 

Well --- there's good advice in the other posts. But, I'd like to know why you want to put spots on a coin that has already been cleaned....? Maybe on one of those NCLT leopard coins, or even parts of a giraffe....or, lady bugs...?

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I think your best bet is to hit a coin show and bring a loupe and check out a bunch of slabbed straight graded coins for hairlines. You will find some hairlines on the lower MS grades. The key is to get a sense for how many hairlines are tolerated at each grade level. Any more than that and you are looking at a "cleaned" coin.

 

Not all cleaning results in hairlines. And hairlines can be found on high grade coins, not just lower grade ones. Additionally, most Proof coins display hairlining to some extent, even if they haven't been cleaned.

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Can someone educate me on spotting a cleaned coin?

 

I suspect that you want a little more detail than has been provided so far. Check out an article that I wrote, here: http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=4855769

 

If you want more information, check out my book, "The Art and Science of Grading Coins."

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Mark:

 

Other than cleaning, what is the most common way for proofs to acquire hairlines? For 19th century proofs, was it perhaps their storage by collectors?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Mark

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Mark:

 

Other than cleaning, what is the most common way for proofs to acquire hairlines? For 19th century proofs, was it perhaps their storage by collectors?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Mark

 

Most likely, moving around in envelopes, sliding around in trays or mishandling in albums.

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You have to find out what is missing in terms of luster, original surfaces, etc. at a particular grade level. Especially with the first example, the 78cc Morgan in Unc. that bids around $370 in 60; the coin has to be all there to straight grade with AU examples selling for a lot less. The first coin cited looks to lack luster on the obverse lower part of coin. Look for halos around stars, and lack of luster.

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Below is a photo of a coin that I bought raw on eBay about 3 years ago from a seller that hyped the coin as problem free. I sent the coin into NGC for grading. The coin displays hairlines from cleaning in the fields that can be seen when viewing under light. It was still an attractive cleaned coin that I ended up selling.

167759.jpg.fe6a58c0291d2ed45a3ee435e7f8730a.jpg

167760.jpg.e7244eefd12cd0cca8103d3ffdee47c0.jpg

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Well --- there's good advice in the other posts. But, I'd like to know why you want to put spots on a coin that has already been cleaned....?

So they will think it's dirty not cleaned and they'll straight grade it. :)

Edited by Conder101

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,,,in 100 years, some of those DETAILS surfaces will be hidden under a nice patina, so don't sweat the small stuff.

 

One thing Thing, you have to trust the grading company that assigned the grade, raw coins now days is a shoot. Sometimes you win, sometimes you loose.

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Sometimes you have no choice but to re-submit--but not to the same service. This coin was rejected by NGC as "improperly cleaned". I showed it to a long time dealer who does a lot of submissions to both NGC and PCGS and he had no idea what they were thinking. http://i.imgur.com/12c7neU.jpg

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