Uncleaned Sterling coins

Swedish coins, properly cleaned

Slightly cleaned Swedish coins

Uncleaned Swedish coins

Discoloured Danish coins

Danish coins after being cleaned

Using the above method it may take several times to clean the coins properly, and bad quality ones will be removed during the process.For really dirty coins (such as the ones that have been through high-temperature incineration), workers need to use laundry detergent to clean them. All the coins must be cleaned using tap water after using laundry detergent, this is to make sure there is no chemical composition left on the coins. Chemical composition discolours the coins gradually.


For coins that are not very dirty people just use high pressure water-gun to clean as below

The little polishing stones rub off whatever is covering the surface of the coins - it can be dirt, rust, burnt plastic or a mixture.

Coins that have been through high-temperature incineration

Good quality coins, cleaned

Damaged uncleaned coins

          One of the local coin dealers just bought a quantity of scrap coins. Local coin dealers buy mixed uncleaned coins and sort them out by denomination, country and the quality of the coins. Good quality coins are cleaned and sold, badly damaged coins are melted down as scrap metal to recycle.

Workers sorting coins in a scrap metal recycling plant

The images below are of workers sorting out scrap metal pieces.

Below is a scrap metal plant in Asia unloading a shipment of shredded scrap metal that imported from UK to recycle.

The black car in the photo above has been shredded into scrap metal in the photo below

Below is a scrap metal plant in Birmingham, UK. Scrap cars are being processed into scrap metal.

Please refer to the book  JUNKYARD  PLANET written by ADAM  MINTER.

               Developed countries have been sending scrap (here we mainly talk about shredded scrap metal) to developing countries in Asia, including China and many others, to recycle because of the availability of cheap labour and different environmental protection regulations. There are loose coins in the scrap metal, Euro coins, Sterling coins, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Australian and New Zealand coins and pre-Euro coins and all kinds of coins.

               In Asian developing countries, paper recycling factories import waste paper from Western countries and process into raw paper pulp to recycle, and there are coins found in the sedimentation tanks during the process. Scrap metal recycling factories import shredded scrap metal (mainly from scrap car plants) from Western countries to recycle and there are coins found in the shredded metals. There are also coins found in other scrap such as waste clothing (there are coins in the pockets of the clothes), scrap public washing machines (there are coins stuck inside the rollers) and scrap furniture (especially sofas).

               Workers work in scrap plants pick out the coins and clean them, sort them out by country, denomination and the condition of the coins. Good condition coins that are still fit for circulation are sold to people to bring them back to the countries of origin.

Coins From Scrap Metal Recycling Plants

There are damaged Banknotes found in imported scrap as well. Damaged banknotes are sold to people who go abroad to travel and are exchanged at local banks

Norwegian krona

Norwegian krona

Badly damaged USD coins

Damaged euro coins

Uncleaned Danish coins

Some photos of good condition and cleaned scrap coins

A local worker is cleaning some euro cent coins using a spinning machine, water and polishing stones (you can see little stones mixed in with coins)

Vibrating machines(on the left) and spinning machines(on the right):

To wash&clean coins:

Method 1: Use spinning/vibrating machine with special polishing stone and water.

Method 2: Use high pressure water-gun.

Coins that have been through high-temperature incineration - Damaged

Coins that have been through high-temperature incineration

Good quality uncleaned coins

Some coins photos below

The coin dealer’s workers are sorting coins by quality, denomination and country

Coins in scrap metal

          Local workers sort out scrap metal pieces by hand. Scrap metal pieces are sorted into types (copper, brass, aluminium, zinc, nickel etc) and during the process any valuable items such as coins and silver/gold items are picked out and stored separately.

There are rare and old coins found as well.

Uncleaned  Euro coins

Global Metals & Coin Recovery (HK) Co., Limited

Tel:  +852 3115 9115        E-mail: admin@globalmetalsandcoinrecovery.com

Counterfeit, tokens and unwanted coins:

All the coins need to be inspected before selling.For example for sterling coins, counterfeit and Channel Island coins must be removed

Cleaned Euro coins

Sterling coins, cleaned

Australian Dollar          Damaged and Good quality