When I first started to collect coins, I found several articles talking about cleaning coins. I found out that there was a special vocabulary when it comes to this area. Here’s some of the words that you will run across quite a bit:
Slider—this is a term meaning the coin simulates a higher grade than it really is. Often, a slider has been cleaned, treated, or whizzed to give it the appearance of being uncirculated or even Mint State. This type of coin is worth less than the coin that has not been cleaned.
Whizzed—this is a coin that has been buffed or polished to give it the appearance of the luster found on a mint coin. More often than not, whizzing is done on a slightly lower-grade coin to try to sell the coin at a higher grade than it really is. This is sometimes done by using a fine brush attachment on a high-speed drill. Doing this may hurt the value of a coin rather than help it. This is because it causes wear to the surface of the coin. See buffing.
Brushed—this is a coin that has been brushed with a wire brush or some other material. The surface will show fine lines, or hairline scratches from the cleaning.
Buffing—this is a polishing of a coin with an abrasive that leaves a finish that attempts to counterfeit mint luster. See whizzed.
Artificial toning—this is when you change the color or surface tone of a coin by applying chemicals, heat, or treating a coin with something. This is done to make the coin appear natural or unusual. It’s also done to cover up signs that the coin has been cleaned.
This is just a small list of what you will run across when it deals with cleaned coins. What have you heard?