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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Precious Metal Maintenance: Part 2. Cleaning Your Coins

Precious Metal Maintenance: Part 2. Cleaning Your Coins

Although you certainly shouldn’t clean your gold bullion or precious metal coins too frequently, there may come a time when you want to make sure they’re free of debris. Here is how to do it properly.

Numismatic coins should never be cleaned unless under very particular circumstances—cleaning coins in an attempt to remove tarnish will only devalue them in the long run, and once cleaned, coins can never be “uncleaned.” While it isn’t advisable to clean your gold or precious metal bullion on a regular basis, it is important to preserve them carefully and effectively. If you ever feel the need to clean your coins, make sure you follow these guidelines.

Only “clean” coins that have PVC residue. Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, used to be a component in plastic coin holders. Although PVC use has been largely discontinued, there are still some coins in circulation that have PVC deposits. PVC will corrode your coins, and must be carefully removed with acetone. In a well-ventilated room, pour ½ oz. of acetone in a glass container, and using protective gloves, carefully place the stained coins in the solution and allow to soak for approximately one minute. Remove the coins and gently blot dry thoroughly. 

Don’t attempt to aggressively clean your gold coins.  Gold is an inert metal, so it will never oxidize or discolor the way silver and copper will. You will likely never encounter a circumstance where you legitimately need to clean your unalloyed gold bullion coins. If they are covered with dust or some debris, simply brush them lightly with a microfiber cloth.
 
Do not simultaneously handle tarnished and pristine metals. Wiping tarnished and pristine metals with the same cloth could cause cross-contamination. Make sure you always handle them separately.
 
Never leave any moisture on your coins. Moisture can cause discoloration in silver or alloyed coins that cannot be removed without risk of serious damage. Even humidity and the moisture from your breath can stain them. 
 

If you are interested in purchasing gold bullion or other precious metals for your portfolio, please contact the specialists at Birch Gold Group for a consultation.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

5 Tips for Ensuring You Get the Most for Your Gold Coin Collection

5 Tips for Ensuring You Get the Most for Your Gold Coin Collection

If you’ve inherited a collection of gold coins with mint dates prior to 1933, you might not be fully aware of all of the factors that could affect their overall worth. Here are five issues you should take into consideration.

Coin collections are a rare and fun find. If you’ve stumbled upon a collection in a flea market, or if you’ve inherited a set from a relative, here’s how you can find out if their monetary value meets or exceeds their sentimental value.
  • Know their condition. If the coins were minted before 1933, the grade of the coins—which range from “good” to “mint”—are instrumental in determining their resale value. If your coins exhibit minimal wear and appear to have their original luster, you might want to investigate having your collection graded by a certified coin grading service.
  • Determine their rarity. Knowing how many of your coins were originally minted, and what their condition is compared to their counterparts, is essential to assessing their value. There are two classes of coin rarity: Grade and mintage. Grade rarity can be difficult to evaluate; basically it weighs the condition of your collection against what would be expected. Mintage rarity is the number of coins originally produced.
  • Research their demand. If collectors want your coins, their value is going to be high. Periodically check online coin auctions for selling prices.
  • Assess the coins’ design. Coins that are exquisitely designed are typically valued very highly. If your coins are exceptionally beautiful with a high quality strike, they could be worth more than some rarer coins.
  • The price of precious metals. Of course, if the price of gold is on the rise, the value of your gold coin collection will be affected. Even if your collection doesn’t have particularly high numismatic value, you could get the market bullion value.
While the satisfaction of having a beautiful collection of coins is often its own reward, it doesn’t hurt to take steps to ensuring their market value is equally high.