For some time I have been meaning to write an article about cleaning silver coins. It wasn't high on my list because, in general, I don't recommend it except in a few special cases. Most dealers will tell you never to clean your silver coins (referred to as whizzing) as you may destroy any value it/they may have over and above the intrinsic value. Even if it doesn't have great value, you won't get a better price for a whizzed coin and, if you do it wrong, you may get less than if you just brought it in as is.
Another reason I have taken so long in writing this article is because I didn't have good pictures of coins before and after the cleaning process (actually I describe two different cleaning procedures in the article). I was able to find two good examples to work with which you can see in great detail along with an example of a really bad whizzed coin. You can read about it at Cleaning Silver Coins.
It appears that November's Silver Eagle totals are headed for the lowest amount so far of all months in 2011. There for a while it looked like the U.S. Mint wouldn't even reach 1,000,000 but as of today (11/28) the number stands at 1,284,000 with just two more days to go. Compare this with the next two lowest months of March (2,767,000) and April (2,819,000) versus January's 6,422,000 and September's 4,460,500 and you can see the numbers are all over the board. We'll have to see where December's total comes in at but I would be very surprised to see it go higher than 2,500,000.
Spot silver stands at $31.93 and can't seem to break the $32 mark for any length of time. That's down $3.36 in the last 30 days but still up $5.23 over the last year which is +19.59%. Time is running out for the rosy projections of a much higher silver price by year-end. But keep the faith since 2012 appears to be shaping up as a most interesting year.
Thanks for reading.