Some PVC coins can be cleaned


PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, an additive to plastic that makes it pliable. Problem is, it poisons coins with a green tint that eventually eats away and destroys metal. PVC was used for decades in coin flips, and many Proxibid coins are contaminated. Some you can clean; others are beyond hope.

The Buffalo Nickel above has faint green spots indicating PVC. But this is an example of a coin that can be cleaned without harming the metal. (Caution: If you attempt to clean a coin, we bear no responsibility for any damage that might ensue; in other words, proceed at your own risk.)

Proxiblog uses a product known as MS70. Some coin dealers use acetone.

To clean, dip a soft Q-Tip in MS70 and roll the Q-Tip so that the swab part gently rolls on the surface of the coin. Then hold the coin by the rims under warm running water for a minute or two … and set on a cloth to air dry.

Click here for a YouTube video showing how to do this step by step.

Below is an example of what PVC can do to a coin. These Indian Head cents are beyond repair:


MS70 and acetone work well on silver that has minimal PVC damage. Copper brings mixed results.

This Morgan dollar below had PVC traces; it was cleaned with MS70, and it slabbed at PCGS.


Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.


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