Let us start with Morgan Dollars which have an abundant amount of coins available and some really beautiful toned examples. Bag toned Morgans are undeniably attractive and the toning patterns/color schemes are predictable. For the purposes of this discussion, I will focus on what are considered monster toned coins that provoke an emotional response when first seen. These coins are usually completely toned one side and have incredible vibrant colors. My first example is my avatar. This coin is an example from the Battle Creek collection and is graded 1886 NGC MS64*. We all understand that coin prices are based upon supply and demand. Morgan Dollars are very affordable due to the massive number of uncirculated examples available for the common dates. Even though this series is probably one of the most popular of all United States coinage, the number of uncirculated examples is so large it is able to satisfy the demand with relative ease. However, the monster toned example of the common date Morgan is not so common. I researched the last 500 1886 MS64 Morgans sold by Heritage in their permanent auction archives and could only find 5 examples that would fall into the class of a monster toned Morgan dollar like the coin pictured above. This simple process leads us to think that only 1% of all Morgans for this date are monster toned. Using this rationale, this coin is much more rare than the bright white counterpart that sells for $50. If the overall population of an 1886 MS64 Morgan is 69738/35474 then it stands to reason that the population of the monster toned 1886 MS64 Morgans is about 697/354. We now need to ask ourselves, if we would pay $50 for a coin with a population of 70K, what would we pay for a coin with a population of 700. Well, the 1886 Morgan in MS67 has a population of 779/11 and costs over $1,000. The problem with this theory is that although the supply has obviously changed, so has the demand, as not every collector is a fan of rainbow toning. So what is the coin really worth to a rainbow toned collector? There seems to be some unwritten rules in this regard. Monster toned coins with bid price under $100 usually retail for 10-20X bid depending on the appearance of the coin. In this case the coin should be between $500-$1,000 and infact I bought it for $600 (12X bid). The real answer is that there is no set price and that the individual collector must decide how much the coin is worth to him/her without the help of an established price guide. However, the higher the bid price, the less the rainbow toned coin will sell for in relation to the bid price. Let us now look at an 1886 NGC MS65* Battle Creek Morgan. The population of the 1886 MS65 is 29061/6413. Using the 1% model, the population of the monster toned 1886 MS65 Morgan is 290/64. The lower population raised the price which at auction was $1,380 (9X bid). Notice how the mulitple of the bid price has now fallen below the 10X bid price. With regards to these coins, you are really not paying for the grade of the coin, rather you are paying for the toning irregardless of grade. It is not uncommon for the MS64 & MS65's to sell at the same price levels. Before everyone thinks that paying these prices is crazy, think about some other areas where collectors pay huge premiums. Strike related features like FH on SLQ's and FB on Mercury Dimes are an example where huge premiums exist. A 1945 Mercury Dime MS65 goes for about $20 but the FB counterpart is over $10,000. That is a 500X premium. Why do collectors pay that premium, because the coin is rare and supply is low. This is the same condition that exists with rainbow toned coins, but instead of strike, it is in relation to eye appeal. The only real difference is that the rarity is estimated instead of documented leaving no official price guide to fall back on. I know this was long and I apologize, but I hope you found it either interesting or informative. If you agree or disagree with my philosophy, please don't hesitate to reply. I look forward to a good discussion.