Preventing silver coin tarnish is important to the growing number of historic and rare coin collectors.
Citing new statistics from the U.S. Mint’s coin collector statistics, Numismatic News reports collection of historic, commemorative and rare coins is on the rise. While the aftermarket for collectible coins can be tough to gauge (dealers aren’t required to report their sales), it is known there’s been an uptick in both the number of buyers and price-per-coin.
Tarnish, a chemical reaction spurred by silver’s interaction with hydrogen sulfide (a gas found in small quantities in the air), can significantly impact the value of any collectible. Pieces that are pristine and absent any significant tarnish, abrasion or wear are going to last the longest and command the highest prices at auction.
Silver coins in particular are at risk of tarnishing compared to other metals both because silver itself is soft and prone to tarnishing and because coins are more likely to be handled than other types of collectibles.