DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have been unable to find “one pie squash” in the local grocery stores. I can find “one pie pumpkin,” but not the squash filling.

I even looked online to see if I could order it. Someone on eBay is selling a 3-pack for $19.99 plus an additional $9.30 for shipping fees. While I love squash pie, that is too pricey!

Would anyone know where I might find this in the Oxford Hills or Lewiston-Auburn area? — No name, Oxford

ANSWER: I hope a reader spots some and lets us know where to find it.

Meanwhile, One Pie Canning Company has disconnected their phone number so I contacted Famous Foods, Inc., one of the product distributors. Although it’s listed on their website as out of stock, I was told a small stash is set aside for mail order to individual customers. You can call customer service at 1-866-646-4266.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Does anyone know what to use to polish coins or what product to purchase for that? I have tried everything with no luck. Jewelry cleaner does not work. Thank you for all your wonderful columns. You are truly an angel. — No name, Jay

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ANSWER: Before I explain how to polish your coins, I need to point out that it’s best not to clean/polish coins as removing the patina can significantly reduce their value to collectors. For this reason, most coin hobbyists almost never clean their coins. In fact, 99% of coins do not increase in value after you clean them, but many will be greatly devalued.

So only polish your coins if they are just of sentimental value and you don’t plan on selling them. If you’re planning on selling your coins in the future, get an appraisal and advice from a rare coin specialist before attempting to clean them.

However, if you’re positive these coins hold more sentimental value than monetary and you are keeping them, there are proper ways to clean and polish them. If you don’t do it right, though, it can cause irreparable damage.

Start with immersing your coins in warm sudsy water allowing them to soak for a bit then use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Be gentle.

If this doesn’t bring luster to your coins, try soaking them in a single layer (with the coins not touching each other) for 1 to 12 hours in a plastic or glass container filled with white vinegar or any brand of antiseptic mouthwash.

If you prefer, you can also use hydrogen peroxide. Soak the coins for up to 24 hours. After soaking in any of these solutions, use a soft toothbrush on them and rinse them.

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If your coins are really dirty or corroded, a paste made with baking soda and water can be used.

Please consult a coin specialist such as Compass Coin & Jewelry at 185 Webster St. in Lewiston. The number is 240-9558.

Another business where you can ask a specialist for advice is Republic Jewelry & Collectables at 212 Center St. in Auburn. Contact them at 784-4444.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


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