Three Ways To Clean Treasure
By Ross Clarke
Unearthing coins from Mother Nature’s grasp is pretty rewarding but most of the coins and relics we dig up are in a pretty poor state. Coins that have been in the ground or in the sand under constant saltwater conditions for a long time can be particularly cruddy.
If you’re a serious treasure hunter you should at least have a coin tumbler. Mine is made of four inch diameter PVC pipe about one foot long with one end cap glued on solid and the other end a screw cap. Cut down bolts and lock nuts are fixed to the end cap centres and rest on support brackets when tumbling. The motor is a 12-volt DC pole machine motor that revolves at 13rpm. They are a bit hard to find these days but I suggest a trip to the auto wrecker where you can pick up a 12-volt windscreen wiper motor instead.
Add a handful of sand and a decent squirt of washing up detergent to the tumbler and you are ready for action. I would suggest you only half fill the tumbler with coins so as not to put too much strain on the motor. I find 24 hours is usually enough time for them to come out clean.