Friday, June 26, 2020

Taiwnaese coin in the playground

I spent another hour at the playground today, it was hot and sunny and no kids around.  Once again a I removed lots of chain-link fence wire - possibly from an earlier playground?  This one was set up only recently. 

I found a large coin that at first I thought was a silver dollar but on closer inspection it had Chinese writing on it:

I looked it up and it is a 2013 Taiwanese 10 New Dollar coin.  Apparently the writing says: "The country flourishes and the people are living in peace".  It's worth less than $1US.  Here's what it looks like clean (thanks to

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Cleaning coins with Magic Tumble Clean

The photo above shows coins I have recovered over the last few months - mostly from playgrounds. I have experimented with various cleaning strategies using my small National Geographic tumbler with aquarium gravel with varied success until now. 
Since the tumbler has a timer that only works for DAYS - I built my own timer box (behind the tumbler) that lets me set 1,2,4 or 8 hours.  I rarely use more than 4 hours.

Using white vinegar with a little salt leaves clad coins clean but dull and I was never satisfied with coppers, they just never came out really clean.  Then I discovered Finch Products Magic Tumble Clean:

This stuff is literally MAGIC!   Pennies and clad come out shiny new - it's really impressive and works with all metals!  I have cleaned jewelry and relics like crotal bells and they come shiny and near mint condition.  Of course some items should not be cleaned since they lose value without the original patina.  By for modern coins this is a great way to clean them up so they will run through the Coinstar machine.

I always clean copper and clad separately and use only about 1 tablespoon of this stuff per run.  I typically run 20-30 coins at a time and could not be more impressed with this product.  Here are some pennies before and after:
Pennies take up to 1 hour to clean, and clad takes 2 to 4 hours depending on how bad they are.

This is a completely unsolicited testimonial.  You can order directly from Finch Products:

Monday, June 22, 2020

Digging for dollars in the playground

I got permission to dig in the playground in a nearby town today.  Apparently it is only about 2 years old.  But I have always had good luck finding free money in playgrounds and today was no exception!

In addition to $3.47 in coin I removed a bunch of hazardous scrap fencing wire and rust screws that could have hurt the kids. Also an earring and 2 zipper pulls. 

It was a hot windless day and I could only handle an hour or so, but will go back later so see what else I can find. 

I have not had much to report on in recent weeks, mostly because I have not gone out much.  But also what I did find was mostly trash.  That's how metal detecting goes sometimes.