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Even though Congress used the official name,
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? Did the public use the names of the official denominations of the gold coins?
Congress used the official ?Eagle? as the denomination. Judging from what evidence is available, the general public ignored the official name and called the coins by their numerical denomination ? $10 gold, $5 gold, $2.50 gold, etc. The trend is running the other way with the modern versions. The pieces are being called silver Eagles rather than dollars.

? Some years ago one of your publications stated that PVC damage could be removed from a coin. Please explain how.
The quoted statement was incorrect. PVC slime can be removed from a coin, but the damage it causes cannot be removed. There is no way to restore the damaged surface of a coin, whether the damage was caused by PVC, acids or other agents. The moral is not to use anything that will damage a coin, including PVC.

? I have a nickel alloy coin that is green. Is there any way to remove the green?
If the green color is from storage in a PVC plastic, there are several products on the market that can safely remove the green scum. It will be impossible to reverse any damage already done to the coin, but it will prevent any further damage.

? Please describe a ?milling mark.?
The bigger the coin, the greater the chance of seeing a milling mark. It?s a mark made by the reeded edge of one coin being driven into the surface of another coin. The distinctive marks are frequently found on the Ike dollars and are often confused with planchet damage. The proper term is ?contact mark.? ?Bag mark? is reserved for damage caused by agents that have leaked through the cloth bag and left an imprint of the cloth.

? What is done with our coins to cancel them when they are taken out
of service?

Some countries use a stamping press that deforms or mutilates the pieces to make sure they don?t get back into circulation. The U.S. Mint sends obsolete, mutilated, worn or damaged coins directly to the melting furnace. More recently they have had some coins run through a machine that creates a waffle pattern.

Address questions to Coin Clinic, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Because of space limitations, we are unable to publish all questions. Include a loose 41-cent stamp for reply. Write first for specific mailing instructions before submitting numismatic material. We cannot accept unsolicited items. E-mail inquiries should be sent to