i was wondering if anyone knows how i can get glue off the back of a 1904 indian head penny without damaging it. I don't think this coin ever went into circulation and if it did, it wasn't in very long because someone put it in a necklace but used glue to keep it there. The coin is in amazing shape except a little glue on the back but I don't want to damage the coin.
Hello dhblair62, welcome to the forum
I understand this is a bronze coin?
The most secure manner would be to bring it into a jeweler's shop and have it removed professionally, but if you are unwilling to do so I could suggest the old plain water and soap method (put in a cup of water with soap, swirl around a while and rinse, while making sure afterwards you dry the coin completely).
If this doesn't work you could try the olive-oil method
Do not clean your coin and do not take it to a jeweler. Take it to a professional coin dealer. Most methods of coin cleaning will cut the value of a coin by at least half, probably much more. Mint state coins, if cleaned, can easily drop from several thousands of dollars in value to $25.
Because it's in jewelry, the Indian head cent described in the question was probably already cleaned. If it has not, your coin dealer might apply Xylol to it to remove the glue. Xylol treatment can somtimes clean a coin without damaging it, but it is bad for mint state coins and can leave circulated coins looking very dull. In any case this particular coin is probably not worth more and a couple of dollars.
Coin Guy - I'm going back through old posts to bring accurate information to the fore. If you want to clean a coin that has been circulated, but you don't want anybody to know that you've cleaned it, the best way is to use creamy peanut butter. Then when you've gently scrubbed it in the peanut butter with only your fingers, rinse it off with cold water using your fingers and dry it off with a soft non abrasive rag. This would remove any stickyness, but will not remove any toning.
Do NOT Clean your coins like that and NEVER rub them with any cloth, or q-tip or anything. It destroys the value of the coin by up to 90 percent or MORE. Cloths of all sorts leave microscopic (and sometimes not microscopic) scratches that will NEVER be able to be reversed. Any coin dealer will know it's been harshly cleaned and will not want it.
Hello NEVER CLEAN A COIN - We're not talking about cleaning a coin with any numismatic value. We're talking about a coin that has been used in jewelry that for years has been touched, improperly cleaned probably numerous times etc. Now somehow it has gotten sticky with glue. There is no problem cleaning it as I suggested or how Coin Guy suggested cleaning. At this point in the coins life, it needs to continue serving as jewelry without a sticky surface.