Silly Bullion Question

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V2's picture
V2
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Joined: May 13 2010
Posts: 31
Silly Bullion Question

Hey all,

I just lost my PM virginity, as I have my first silver bullion in posession today. I quickly realized that I don't know if it's ok to handle the metal with my bare hands. Do the oils and dirt on your skin have any adverse effect on the quality/purity? This probably sounds silly to the seasoned vets here.

Thanks!

earthwise's picture
earthwise
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Posts: 848
Silly bullion answer
V2 wrote:

Hey all,

............. Do the oils and dirt on your skin have any adverse effect on the quality/purity? This probably sounds silly to the seasoned vets here.

Thanks!

Yes it does sound silly but that's okay ( Boy, I'm sure glad I never ask silly questions!!)Wink       Wouldn't think it would hurt. Silver has been used for centuries for coins, where they would be constantly handled, with no adverse effect. Go ahead and play with them all you want. I do!!!

aggrivated's picture
aggrivated
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Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 542
I would store it in a mylar

I would store it in a mylar pocket or  sleeve.  One report I heard of someone storing their bullion in PVC resulted in lots of corrosion.  Some of the old soft plastic coin pockets had PVC in them.  The 90% US coin silver does not corrode like the more pure silver bullion. 

V2's picture
V2
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Posts: 31
Thanks. I would have been

Thanks. I would have been disappointed if I couldn't play with them. Smile

V2's picture
V2
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Posts: 31
Yeah, I had also read

Yeah, I had also read elsewhere that PVC is a bad idea. Thanks!

Travlin's picture
Travlin
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Posts: 1322
You can always use a little

You can always use a little silver polish to make them shiny again.

Travlin 

ao's picture
ao
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Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
refrain
Travlin wrote:

You can always use a little silver polish to make them shiny again.

Travlin 

Aacckk!  Not a good idea.

Travlin's picture
Travlin
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Why?
ao wrote:
Travlin wrote:

You can always use a little silver polish to make them shiny again.

Travlin 

Aacckk!  Not a good idea.

Tell us why Ao.  It works for silverware.  What's the harm if it is non-abrasive and you use a soft cloth?  I'm sure you have a good reason.

Travlin 

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
Status: Peak Prosperity Co-founder (Offline)
Joined: May 26 2009
Posts: 3075
e*Z*est

Coin shops frequently use e*Z*est coin cleaner. I've used it to great success cleaning up tarnished silver coins and bars.

Most coin shops sell it for around $5, or you can order it off of Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/EST-Coin-Cleaner-5oz-jar/dp/B000YQ6GXU/ref=sr_1_1?...

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 2220
detectable
Travlin wrote:
ao wrote:
Travlin wrote:

You can always use a little silver polish to make them shiny again.

Travlin 

Aacckk!  Not a good idea.

Tell us why Ao.  It works for silverware.  What's the harm if it is non-abrasive and you use a soft cloth?  I'm sure you have a good reason.

Travlin 

Any coin dealer worth his salt can tell when a coin has been polished.  It detracts from its value.  By its very definition, every polish is abrashive.  Coin dealers will use a polish like Adam describes to gloss up a coin for the unknowing to buy.   It's certainly not critical for many coins but, to me, I'd rather have it in as pristine shape as possible.  Even handling them as described above is not a good idea since, if done repeatedly, it leaves its mark. 

doorwarrior's picture
doorwarrior
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2009
Posts: 166
coin cleaning and handling

Its true that cleaning a numismatic coin will cause it to lose value (a lot of value!). However if we are talking about 90% silver (junk) the value is all in the weight and cleaning will not cause it to lose weight. Handling will not cause any damage but it will, over the really long term, cause the coin to wear down and reduce the weight. If you take a stack of junk silver (using the same type of coin) and place it next to another stack they will almost always stack to a different height, quarters and dimes are really bad. This is from being in circulation and worn down. This does not affect the trade value in my experience. When you buy junk silver it usualy comes in bags and no one weighs them out one by one.  I do not play with any of my one once coins(silver eagles, maple leaf's, rounds etc.) I would not clean them either. If they show any toning just leave it. Basicly play with the 90% all you want and try to handle the others as little as possible ( as hard as that may beWink)

Rich

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
Status: Peak Prosperity Co-founder (Offline)
Joined: May 26 2009
Posts: 3075
Numismatic vs bullion

Agreed that you don't want to polish numismatic coins - since they are collectables, any slight wear or abrasions will reduce their value. But using cleaner to remove tarnish from bullion (bars, coins, rounds) should not pose any problems, IMO.

If you clean with care and infrequently, any concern about reducing the weight of your bullion is unwarranted.

While tarnish/condition shouldn't play a role in determining price, I have seen dealers use it to demand a discount when sellers come in the door (not large, but still). Something to keep in mind, especially if you think you may ever sell your bullion privately to a new buyer, who may place a higher premuim to how bullion "looks".

crazyaboutsilver's picture
crazyaboutsilver
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 28 2011
Posts: 1
Handling copper and silver coins

I purchased my silver and copper bullion through Provident Metals and this is what they recommend:

It's okay to handle the coins as long as you hold it by the reeded edges. Holding by the front or back will cause damage over time.

Keep your coins in the plastic flips PM uses to send to you...and change those out every 5-10 years. The petroleum in the plastics do eventually break down and cause visible corrosion. You can use  Jewel Luster to 'dip' the coins but don't leave coins in the solution for more than 15-20 seconds. 

Whatever you do - DO NOT use silver polish to clean your silver coins. Doing so will scratch the surface of your coin and detract from its value.But if you have junk 90% silver especially, it's not really necessary to clean, just make sure they don't corrode.

Jewel Luster - http://www.amazon.com/EST-Coin-Cleaner-5oz-jar/dp/B000YQ6GXU/ref=sr_1_1?...

Plastic Sleeves - http://www.providentmetals.com/supplies.html

 

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