How to Clean Gold Found in the Ocean


You are on the beach and you find a gold coin or artifact that is crusted with dirt and coral. How to clean it? Most gold collectors will tell you to leave it as it is. Cleaning the item can cause damage that will decrease its value. If you plan to sell the item to a collector, the buyer probably will do a better job cleaning it than you can. But if you want to keep the item, or just see what it looks like under all that crud, here are a few simple cleaning methods that are not likely to cause damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Distilled water
  • Soak the gold for several minutes in hot, soapy water. Make sure the soap contains no abrasives. Distilled water works best because it is better able to dissolve any mineral deposits on the gold.

  • Gently rub off any dirt with your hands. Do not use a cloth or brush, or you will scratch the surface of the artifact and decrease its value.

  • Rinse the gold with distilled water to remove any soap residue and allow it to air dry.

  • Remove any encrusted mineral or coral deposits by placing the coins in an ultrasonic cleaner. These cleaners use high frequency sound waves to break up mineral deposits. You can purchase a small model for under $100. Many jewelers and coin shops also may have one available for use.

  • Gently boil the gold in distilled water if you do not have access to an ultrasonic cleaner. The boiling action will help break up mineral deposits. Add a gentle soap or detergent to the water to help remove any dirt. Boil the gold as long as is necessary, but do not allow the water to boil off or you will end up with a black residue on the coins.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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