Numismatics Question

Weather Man

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Wife dumped her Mom's old piggy bank on the table and I went through and sorted out anything interesting to me. Have a quart size bag of general circulation wheat pennies that are filthy and actually stink from where they were stored.

Question: Would it hurt anything to dump them in vinegar and clean them up to actually see what the coins look like and read the date?
 

CobraBob

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Yes, cleaning does hurt the value. I found an 1889 silver dollar that was very dirty. I (unknowingly) did the unthinkable and cleaned it up nicely. It's on display in a case in my office. But, as I learned after I did it, the valued dropped about 40%. Left as is, the value would be around $50 in fair condition. Now, it's worth around $30. I didn't keep it for value so I'm fine with the "harm" I did. I just like how it looks as a 19th century coin.
 

Weather Man

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How bad so they look like corroded or just stink? Once you clean copper it kills the value. Regular wheaties go for 2 2 3cents a pop

Most are just so dirty it is very difficult to read. Definitely some steel ones.

Maybe I will try and sort by date as best I can, I just wish they didn't stink.
 

COOL COBRA

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If these were super rare like '09 VDB or '55-D Double die, yeah I wouldn't clean. But run of the mill wheat pennies from circulation (which I think are cool as hell anyway), a good cleaning won't hurt the actual value.
 

Weather Man

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Not sure what the distribution curve means, but had plenty of copper by 1944 it seems and they made plenty in 1958 the last year.

1910 was the oldest.

None from 1911 to 1915, 1921 to 1924 and 1931 to 1933.

The little pile in the top right had corrosion and were newer duplicates.

coin.jpg
 

COOL COBRA

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Some years, less were minted in all U.S. coins. Early WW2 years, copper was needed for the war effort, hence the steel pennies. I see a couple stacks of steel in the pic. Cool find for you!
 

scott9050

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I've started collecting coins in 1980 when my dad gave me a Barber quarter, V nickel and Barber Dime as well as an old Witman album full of Indian cents and Wheaties.
You can look up current prices online with some of the official price guides or you can generalize more and pick up the Red Book of US Coins which will give you mintage figures and short backgrounds on the coins. You might have a few in there that are worth a buck or two but most are only worth a few cents each.

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Weather Man

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Yeah and a pile of Wheat Pennies are a treasure. It's history, it's tangible, and something you can pass on.

I'll just keep them and maybe get a penny sheet to put one of each year in. I always thought it fun whenever I got a wheat penny in my change and since these are from family the sentimental value far exceeds actual value.
 

Silverstrike

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This is what I found in a $5 roll over 2 years ago of nickles all Buffalo except for a 1988 one. Either someone did a big mistake or they thought they wasn't politically correct. Either way spent $5 and made a little over $7 a lot of them had the dates rubbed out but the ones that I could read had 1916 erliest to 1937 last year but most was late 20's to early 30's.

Icollect Nickles up to 1959 (self imposed cut off) since they really have not changed from 1938 to 2010 so I get all sort of old ones the WWII though are silver so 1942-45 and I have quite a few of them
 

4.698gt

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I collect Bicentennial quarters. Collect through work since it's retail and easy to search through new rolls from the bank. In my time I've amassed 35 rolls worth of Bicentennial quarters along with various silver coins(dimes and quarters) , a few buffalo head nickels, two Bicentennial half dollar and one Bicentennial dollar coin, a 1$ silver certificate and a 5$ silver certificate

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scott9050

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I used to collect certain series and once had a really nice Morgan dollar collection, but now I just collect random stuff. I have probably 100 proof sets, rolls of modern proof coins etc. Now I collect coins attached to history. Probably my most expensive items are the Eisenhower appreciation medals, I have 5 of them. The highest mintage is about 1200 pieces, the Portugal medal had a mintage of 250 and I am having it graded by NGC soon. Should be a high end MS coins and worth about $2000. The common ones are about $1000-$1400 each and each was given as a gift by Ike. The gold John II Hyperpyron is 1,000 years old and a few hundred pieces are known.
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AustinJ427

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Man those are cool.

I don't have anything that neat, a few mercury dimes, a ship wreck coin I bought at a shop and a handful of wheat pennies.
 

Mustang5L5

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I’ve got tons of wheats. I also collect a bunch of other stuff. Into Washington quarters and Morgan’s mostly, but I also have some unique stuff. I'm really into collecting worn, circulated coins than mint stuff. To me, a worn 150 year coin has a story to tell. It's been places. I do have some mint slabs though.

Happened to have this pic on my phone of one of my latest coins. 1787 Massachusetts cent. I bought it because of the wear. The stories this thing could tell if it could talk


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