Should You Clean a Buffalo Nickel?
The answer, of course, is yes. The question is whether or not you should – long answer short: yes. However, the level of cleanliness that you achieve depends entirely upon the degree of care you take in caring for your buffalo nickels.
First and foremost, it’s important to note that cleaning your buffalo nickel will not make it look any better. It doesn’t do anything for the artistry (unless you have a Buffalo Nickel with an extremely high level of artistry).
It’s possible – in fact, there are Buffalo Nickels (of a certain type) where cleaning made them look worse. If you’re going to clean your buffalo nickel, know that there’ll be a price to pay for the cleanliness you achieve in its absence. The other thing to remember is that the care required isn’t only about cleaning it.
When you handle your buffalo nickels you’re actually manipulating their surface and altering their appearance considerably, which will have consequences for how much consideration should be put into how they are handled and displayed.
Buffalo Nickels won’t get everything off of them if you use solvents – a quick wipe with a soft towel will do just fine (or distilled water). You’re not supposed to use solvents on collectible Buffalo Nickels – at least not in any significant quantity.
How to clean a buffalo nickel?
You may be wondering: why should I clean my buffalo nickel? Cleaning your buffalo nickel is important because it prevents corrosion and preserves the original look of the coin.
If you want to look after your coins and keep them looking as new as possible, then this article will show you how.
Firstly, gather a few supplies that you’ll need for the job; these include a soft cotton cloth or piece of clothing made from natural fibers, an eyeglass cleaning solution (or similarly gentle cleansing agent), distilled water, a small bowl or dish for storage purposes, and of course your precious buffalo nickels!
Try not to touch any other coins with these hands in order to avoid transferring dirt onto them. Keep the buffalo nickel in a cloth bag or cloth-lined container when not in use. Cleaning the Buffalo Nickel
- Gather your supplies and set them aside. If you keep your buffalo nickels in a dish or other storage vessel, place that on the countertop and proceed to step 2.
- Next, remove the buffalo nickel from its bag or container and place it face down on a soft cotton cloth or piece of clothing that you’ll use for cleaning purposes. Pour some distilled water through it to moisten the cloth (not too much). Rub your hand over it to loosen any dirt stuck to it. Next, dip the cloth in your eyeglass solution or other cleansing agent and rub it gently over the buffalo nickel. Next, rinse the cloth thoroughly with distilled water. Next, wring/squeeze it out and carefully wipe dry.
- Now that you’ve done all of that, place your buffalo nickel into a small bowl or dish for storing purposes. If you’re storing multiple Buffalo Nickels together (which is good practice!), lay a piece of toilet paper on top of each coin as a protective barrier between them and move on to step 4.
- Now to wrap your buffalo nickel; for this, you’ll need a soft cotton cloth or piece of clothing made of natural fibers (ideally a thin, tissue-type fabric). Place the coin on the cloth with its face up and wrinkle the cloth around it. Finally, wrap the cloth tightly around the coin so that all four sides are touching it.
- Securely wrap another piece of soft cotton cloth around your wrapped buffalo nickel and close off any gaps between it and the first layer with masking tape (or other strong adhesive tapes). Leave a little bit of room between its edge and the tape, as you’re going to place the third piece of soft material around it later on.
- Finally, place your wrapped buffalo nickel in a well-sealed plastic bag or container for safekeeping.
- Repeat steps 1-6 for each and every buffalo nickel that you own.
If you follow these steps to the letter, then I guarantee that your Buffalo Nickels will be clean and ready for display in no time! It’ll take a little bit of work but it’s worth the effort. Happy cleaning!
Julie comes from a long line of metal detectors. Her family has been in the hobby for over 45 years and has recovered large amounts of civil war artifacts as well as a fair number of bottle caps. Lately she has been focusing on metal detecting in the Rocky Mountains.