How to remove artificial toning on coins especially silver?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by AirborneReams, Oct 25, 2021.

  1. AirborneReams

    AirborneReams Supporter! Supporter

    Hey all!

    I’m getting ready to buy a few coins from a gentlemen and he tones his coins for some reason, even though I’ve preached the chore multiple times. It hasn’t bothered me much because I just got some coins to fill book spots nothing special or high dollar amount. He does have a high grade 1932-D I’d say mid MS but for the love of god he did that crazy toning in the obverse. I’ve had some garbage coins before that were toned liked this and I played with them by rubbing my fingers on them slightly and it would remove the color, I will not be attempting that on this quarter though. I can only imagine if the colors rubs off that easy is there any chance acetone baths or some other technique that would remove this without rubbing or causing it to get details if graded?

    thanks for any advice!
     
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  3. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Best Answer
    Yes it does, but only a very limited number of things.

    Sorry but you're wrong for this is physically impossible. You could leave a freshly minted coin with full mint luster in acetone for years - and it will not affect the luster in any way, shape, or form !


    You're correct, acetone will not remove tarnish/toning. The thing is though, we/you do not know that the coloration on this coin IS tarnish/toning. Many "artificially toned" coins are not toned at all - the color is nothing more than a liquid that is placed on the coin and when it dries it creates the color. Many times this dried liquid can even be removed by something as simple as distilled water. Other times it can be removed by acetone and or xylene. And other times it can only be removed by something stronger like a commercial coin dip.

    But even if it is actual tarnish/toning, a commercial coin dip can and will remove it. And it will remove it safely when it is used correctly !

    There is however always, stress always, a potential problem when removing any toning, artificial or real. And that is you can never know what is underneath that toning ! In other words, the toning can easily be covering up and hiding previous damage to the coin that only becomes visible if and when the toning is removed !

    So, when removing toning, or any other foreign substance from a coin, there is always, stress always, the risk that underlying and previous damage to the coin will be present. Simply put, there are no guarantees.

    At the same time one must also understand that removing tarnish/toning (and I write it that way because they are exactly the same thing), or any other foreign substance from a coin, can be greatly beneficial to a coin - if and when it is done correctly.
     
  4. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    Sometimes the toning will just fade off.
    or soak it in acetone.
     
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  5. AirborneReams

    AirborneReams Supporter! Supporter

    I’ll have to give that a go then, can’t believe some people do that especially to coins if that rarity!
     
  6. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Hey brother can you spare a half dime?

    I caution you on 2 accounts...1 dont buy problem coins to flip! A problem coin is a personal choice "something you can live with" , posting here that you buy,and try to fix...ah...not a good move! 2 Acetone works great!!!! However the time you may need to soak off any unwanted color...may also soak off any luster....left on its surface.
    A word to the wise......ya know
     
  7. cplradar

    cplradar Talmud Chuchum


    Not on tarnish
     
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  8. cplradar

    cplradar Talmud Chuchum


    Acetone will soak off the luster?
     
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  9. Oldhoopster

    Oldhoopster Member of the ANA since 1982

    Acetone is a solvent and does not react with the metal surfaces of a coin. It WILL NOT remove toning and it WILL NOT affect luster (caused by microscopic flow lines)

    You can remove tarnish by using one of the various types of chemical dips BUT unless you have a lot of of experience (and some chemistry and metallurgy background helps) you are almost guaranteed to screw it up reduce the value. Think of it this way, if your classic Corvette needs some body work and paint, do you want to do it yourself (there are some great videos on you tube that can teach you) or to you let an experienced professional do it
     
  10. John Burgess

    John Burgess Well-Known Member

    maybe it's a problem coin to begin with though and why he's toning them. No idea what he's done to artificially tone them but if you can get his method their might be a way to clear it without doing damage.

    heat, sulfur, anodization? what's his poison? if he tones and re-tones until he likes the result, it's almost a certainty the surfaces are damaged.
     
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  11. Revello

    Revello Supporter! Supporter

    Out of curiosity, was the seller Central Florida Coin Auctions out of Casselberry, FL? That auction house sells what appear to be fairly high grade coins in NNC slabs, but often with what appears to be fake album toning on the obverse side of coins. The seller also mixes in some PCGS slabbed high quality coins, too, so I follow the seller's auctions. Link to one of seller's past auctions: https://centralfloridacoinauctions....-200-classic-gold--silver-dollars--and-more-/
     
    AirborneReams likes this.
  12. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Best Answer
    Yes it does, but only a very limited number of things.

    Sorry but you're wrong for this is physically impossible. You could leave a freshly minted coin with full mint luster in acetone for years - and it will not affect the luster in any way, shape, or form !


    You're correct, acetone will not remove tarnish/toning. The thing is though, we/you do not know that the coloration on this coin IS tarnish/toning. Many "artificially toned" coins are not toned at all - the color is nothing more than a liquid that is placed on the coin and when it dries it creates the color. Many times this dried liquid can even be removed by something as simple as distilled water. Other times it can be removed by acetone and or xylene. And other times it can only be removed by something stronger like a commercial coin dip.

    But even if it is actual tarnish/toning, a commercial coin dip can and will remove it. And it will remove it safely when it is used correctly !

    There is however always, stress always, a potential problem when removing any toning, artificial or real. And that is you can never know what is underneath that toning ! In other words, the toning can easily be covering up and hiding previous damage to the coin that only becomes visible if and when the toning is removed !

    So, when removing toning, or any other foreign substance from a coin, there is always, stress always, the risk that underlying and previous damage to the coin will be present. Simply put, there are no guarantees.

    At the same time one must also understand that removing tarnish/toning (and I write it that way because they are exactly the same thing), or any other foreign substance from a coin, can be greatly beneficial to a coin - if and when it is done correctly.
     
  13. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    Sigh.....
     
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  14. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    Doubtful. It will be detected.
     
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  15. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    The real solution is not to by coins from this person.
     
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  16. John Burgess

    John Burgess Well-Known Member

    just saying if it's the 1932 D that's got your interest, and you get it for a serious steal well lower than Mint state cost, might be worth messing with it, but just know, you are very likely buying a details coin, not a straight grade MS coin regardless of what you do or don't do to it.

    Personally, no mater how it might appear with the artificial toning, I'd consider it as an AU coin, and then Details and work it down from there. No different than a polished 1932 D. it's a problem coin and going to be a tough sell for you down the road, so why pay retail or even wholesale for it? I wouldn't be a buyer for it, too many details coins out there to choose from already for cheap prices and I certainly wouldn't pay a toning premium from someone known to me to artificially tone stuff.

    You should also be very certain it's not a fake as the starting point though. there's a lot of counterfeits out there also, a problem in and of itself that affects the selling price of raw 1932 Ds.
     
  17. 1865King

    1865King Well-Known Member

    Artificial toning is usually done to hide something. If the guy just does it to make his coins look pretty there has to be more to the story.
     
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  18. Evan Saltis

    Evan Saltis College Dorm Collector Supporter

    Why not wait for another 1932-D?
    I wish I had photos because my mind is bringing me to an absurd blue coin.

    be safe and buy from reliable people when you can. However - even dealers I hate sometimes have goodies I consider purchasing.
     
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  19. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    If the toning is done by torch or fire, it will most likely not come off. It could deteriorate with time but unfortunately the damage has already been done!
     
    AirborneReams likes this.
  20. AirborneReams

    AirborneReams Supporter! Supporter

    I’ve never done anything more then acetone on silver coins so I don’t ever try to fix a coin unless it can be fixed with this method.
     
    Paddy54 likes this.
  21. AirborneReams

    AirborneReams Supporter! Supporter

    I don’t think I’d ever do anything more then some acetone baths, I’ve heard of other techniques that I will never attempt myself but if there’s any other easy trucks like acetone I wouldn’t mind trying it on a junk coin first before trying it elsewhere.
     
  22. AirborneReams

    AirborneReams Supporter! Supporter

    He does it with chemicals I guess just like the goofy bright colored ones you see on eBay being sold that are definitely not natural.
     
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