Stephen L. writes: I submitted a 1915 uncirculated Lincoln Cent to ANACS for grading. It received a Net Grade Of AU50 CLEANED. What do you look for if a coin is cleaned. It is a brown coin.
The color of the copper is not an indication of whether the coin has been cleaned, only the amount of oxidation that has occurred. Graders look for surface disturbances such as circular polishing marks, large groups of parallel lines that cross over into the coin’s devices and subtle color differences that might indicate that a coin had been stripped and artificially colored.