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Coin errors, unlike real-life errors, can actually earn you money. Want to hear one of the most valuable silver coin tips? Some common defects can tank silver coin values. Here are some we've encountered.
* Crystallization--the surface is grainy crystals. Can become brittle, devaluing ancient and old silver coins.
* Encrustations--crusts that form over the patina and are difficult to remove, decreasing the coin's grade.
* Heavy or thick patina--obscures the detail of the coin.
* Pitting--Indentations caused by corrosion.
* Scratch--Normally caused by rough handling.
* Scuff marks--Normally caused by circulation and handling.
While you're tempted to try cleaning or doctoring your coin, do so with care. Most coin experts recommend against cleaning coins, and doctored coins can look unnatural. Some collectors will refuse doctored coins.
Besides, some coin defects may be attractive to collectors--an ancient silver Indian coin shouldn't look like a 2005 statehood quarter. But if your old silver coin is damaged and silver coin values dropped, retire it to your personal collection. Everyone makes mistakes, but you don't want yours to cost you in a coin deal.