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Do you know if your cents are cleaned? If not than it is important to learn a few key facts on cleaned coins. I created a checklist and a video guide on how to tell if you pennies are cleaned.

1. Does your coin look pink or faded orange? If a cent looks pinkish or a faded orange then it is more than likely cleaned. Lincoln and Indian Cent coins come in three states of preservation and can vary within these states or “colors”, and these are red (RD), red/brown (RB) and brown (BN). Being able to recognize these and how they look naturally is very important in determining if a copper coin has been cleaned or not. Please watch video for examples on these.


2. Does your coin have uneven toning and halo effect around the design borders? Often after a coin is cleaned it begins to retone and it can take a long time before a coin gains a more natural patina. The problem is the original luster layer has been removed so the toning is not going to look natural and often you can still see some of the pinkish or faded orange color. So if the toning looks off or uneven then the cent is cleaned.


3. Does your coin have any lines on the surface? You should always turn your cent in the light with some magnification so you can look at it in every angle. You want to look for fine lines which is a sign of cleaning. It can be a small area, all over the coin, or sometimes they can’t be seen but at a certain angle. If you see lines into the coin’s surface then the coin is possibly cleaned.

If you think your coin is cleaned then post it in a help group or forum online with details images of the front and back of your coin. You can also look for a coin show or local dealer in your area and let them look at your coin in hand.

For more information please watch our video tutorial on how to identify cleaned coins.

red Red brown Lincoln Cent Chart - How to tell if your penny cent is cleaned.

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