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Milk spots on silver coins may be removable

 (Image courtesy

(Image courtesy

What is a milk spot?

Milk spots are unsightly milky-like discoloration appearing on silver coins, particularly well known on Morgan silver dollars, silver American Eagles, and silver-composition Kennedy half dollars. Milk spots may be caused by a problem with the planchet or due to the coin having been exposed to Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC).

Can milk spots be removed from the surface of a coin?

It is my understanding that PVC damage may be reversible; however, if the milk spot was caused by a planchet manufacturing problem, the discoloration is permanent.

Are the average values for silver American Eagles in Coins Magazine’s “Market Watch” based on Uncirculated and/or Proof grades?

Prices posted are for average uncertified Uncirculated or Proof examples, not for those certified by a third-party service to be in an a sufficiently high grade to be worthy of an additional premium. The same is true for the First Spouse gold coin series.

I was recently on the receiving end of a squirting nickel. I know it’s a novelty item, but what can you tell me about it?

Squirting nickels and other squirting coins are made by cutting the coin in half, putting a pin hole in the side to be kept, then attaching a brass bladder. The squirting nickels of which I am aware are sold by a company called Adams’.

Does anyone collect play money coins?

If there is something to collect, there is likely someone interested in collecting it. I was surprised to find there were very few vintage play money coins available online.

The Great Seal of the United States has a side featuring a pyramid. Has this pyramid (or its motto, Novus Ordo Seclorum) ever been the subject of a coin proposal that never made it into pattern form?

The Eye of Providence, which is the formal name of this pyramid symbol, has appeared on jewelry and in the facade on buildings, as well as on all $1 bank notes since Series 1935. While it has not appeared on any coin pattern, it may have been considered, but this would take a search of mint records to be confirmed. A modern one-ounce gold-clad medal backdated to 1882 is available through I am unaware of the use of the motto without being accompanied by the eye.

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This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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