Metal Detecting - Cleaning Old Coins

When kids are let alone to pursue their interests amazing things can happen. My husband brought my son on one metal detecting outing with co-workers and he was hooked. This new interest is already combining reading, history and science. He talks about it non-stop, read an entire adult book on metal detecting from cover-to-cover and has done plenty of internet research on great finds.

I was so excited for him when he brought home this coin after his second outing. His next challenge was figuring out how to clean it. Coins are made out of a variety of different metals. Some cleaners and methods work well with certain types of coins, but can ruin others.

So he did some more research on cleaning coins.

First he tried a toothbrush, soap, water and hydrogen peroxide. The coin looked much better than when it came out of the ground.

Next he tried glue.
He covered the coin with glue and wrapped it in wax paper.

When the glue dried he opened it and peeled off the glue.

This process was repeated several times and the coin did look better.

Then he tried to freeze it with a little water. Some of the gunk was supposed to come off when the ice was knocked off. It also worked to improve the coin.

Some more experienced metal detectors took a look at the coin and said it probably wasn't very old and likely not a valuable coin. Maybe he will be luckier next time.

This post is linked to: 
Relentlessly Fun


  1. That is so neat!

    I got your game, Speed. We love it. I blogged about it in my Sp. blog,


  2. metal detecting! woah sounds like fun. As for cleaning the coing I would be interested to know in what you all found out about "Some cleaners and methods work well with certain types of coins, but can ruin others."

    We did some coin work too from cleaning to sorting some old coins my husband had collected long time ago. You can check out our posts here

    Cleaning :

    Sorting by Nation:


    Hope you enjoy our posts too.

  3. You better keep it and save it for the future.

  4. Thanks for dropping by my blog... I realized I forgot to share these two links... Your son will particularly enjoy the Experimenting with copper

    and Penny Polishing

  5. I like linking this with history, that could be really fun. You tried some methods for cleaning that I hadn't seen before.

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!

  6. How fun! It is great when kids get excited about learning something =) Thanks for sharing this with us at Trivium Tuesdays!

  7. I love these investigations and experiments! Thanks for linking up!

  8. How interesting - I've never heard of glue and wax approach until now. Is your son still interested in metal detecting?

    1. Yes! His interest has only grown since writing this post. He often brings his metal detector to the park. A few weeks ago he found a small coin labeled war money with the name of a nearby city. It appears, during WWI, local areas issued their own money. It was constructed of aluminum and today is worth about $1, but is so cool to have.


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