BEWARE of the color "hype."

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Insider, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    I work at ICG. Recently, a disgruntled :blackeye: dealer (with the highest possible grading credentials :bookworm::cigar: in the industry) has posted that ICG cannot grade toned silver eagles. NUTS!

    Colorful toning adds to a coin's eye appeal. In an attempt to show it also causes an increase in desirability - thus value - for many collectors; terrific toning can raise a coin's grade.

    Unfortunately, many folks :blackeye: let colorful toning totally obscure the actual condition of the coin's surface with regard to ACTUAL DAMAGE o_O :( and other marks more commonly associated with these coins. The most egregious example of this phenomenon I've seen occurred with a US Gold coin. :eek:

    So once again, I'll warn you: TONING CAN HIDE SURFACE PROBLEMS.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    Just like tanning beds! ~ Chris
    Tater, fireguy83, ldhair and 6 others like this.
  4. Pete Gabriele

    Pete Gabriele Member

    I can tell. Your posts are very colorful! :hilarious:
    eddiespin and TypeCoin971793 like this.
  5. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you OP. I have been preaching this here for a decade. Toning was looked down upon for decades BECAUSE it can hide surface imperfections. That is why so many coins were dipped, to prove the surface is fine. In fact, toning by definition, if it progresses will damage a coin. The trick to a nice toned coin is to STOP IT.

    Now, myself, I loved original surface coins. For older coins this usually led me to buy toned coins when I collected US, but I was after the original luster, not the "color" per se. Its hard, though, making sure the toning is not negatively affecting the surfaces.

    "Color" can be accelerated. Its not rocket science. It was done for decades to hide surface imperfections in fact.However, original luster cannot. THAT is what people should desire, rich creamy original luster on a coin. Btw, I know if the coin has lost its luster it will not tone the same as a lustrous coin, but most people back in the day didn't know the difference. Both lustrous and non-lustrous coins can be forced to tone, they will just tone slightly differently. Like I said, toned coins, for a few very good reasons, used to immediately be worrisome and worth further looks.

    You would know more of the subject that I would OP, but those are my thoughts.
  6. Pete Gabriele

    Pete Gabriele Member

    True or False: A toned coin is a coin that "Mother Nature" is taking back.

    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
    Tater, TypeCoin971793 and yakpoo like this.
  7. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I have an American Silver Eagle that a club gave to me many years ago as a thank you for speaking to their group. It came in a little folder. Over time one side developed very attractive toning. Hoping for a repeat performance, I flipped it over in the holder, but the other side did not tone.
    Insider likes this.
  8. yakpoo

    yakpoo Member

    I bought an 1825 half dollar on eBay maybe 15 years ago now. It was nearly black with oxidation. However, I could see some nice detail and luster under the tarnish so I took a chance. When I received the coin, it still looked nearly black, but nice. Later, I used some vinegar and water to gently remove the dark oxidation.

    Much to my surprise, this was a borderline Unc coin that had been HARSHLY cleaned. Even in hand, I didn't notice all the scratches under the oxidation. I had waited too long to I was stuck with it.
    Tater likes this.
  9. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    You also altered the coin so even if it had been a short time the dealer would have been justified in refusing a refund.
    TypeCoin971793 and NSP like this.
  10. yakpoo

    yakpoo Member

    That, too...but he purposely altered it to hide the harsh cleaning. It was obviously stored in a box of kitchen matches for a while.

    Bottomline...tarnish/toning can hide severe condition issues.
  11. BlackberryPie

    BlackberryPie I like pie

    Would ICG have graded this experiment with a napkin?
  12. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    BlackberryPie, asked: Would ICG have graded this experiment with a napkin?

    I'm not the grading finalizer. I would have straight graded it and sent it on to the next grader.
  13. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    And how do you know the person you bought it from did the artificial toning? Could it have been the person he bought it from? Or some other previous owner? How many people have owned it between 1825 and when you bought it? And which one toned it?
  14. coin dog

    coin dog Active Member


    What about the color on this one? I bought it many years ago for whatever silver was going for at the time. I say it is AT. The guy who sold it to me said it may have toned in a Majestic coin holder. Would this one grade? Sorry, not very good at taking pictures.

    Thank you sir!


    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  15. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    I refer to that kind of toning as Smurf Vomit.:vomit:

    You say correctly, BTW.
  16. yakpoo

    yakpoo Member

    The point the OP pointed out...toning can hide blemishes.
  17. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    No. Although I have personally seen coins that have toned naturally with this color and I am 100% sure because they were in a bucket of silver rounds with a spider's web completely across the top; This color is not market acceptable.
    coin dog likes this.
  18. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    Hate to interrupt this toning hater party, but rainbow toning is often what separates the wheat from the chaff when dealing with premium gem coins in 20th century US Silver coins.

    And my favorite toned ASEs are from the old PCI holders.

    BadThad and baseball21 like this.
  19. ksparrow

    ksparrow Coin Hoarder

    Do the PCI holder toned ASE's generally straight grade at PCGS or NGC?
  20. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    They should, I’ve seen some in PCGS plastic, but I have no idea if any have ever been bagged!
  21. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    I'm sure some have especially at NGC who seems to just details any modern toner no matter what (unless they've changed recently) but yea for the most part they'll grade
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page