Toning on Silver Dollars (1887 & 1989)

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Coinismatics2000, Apr 11, 2024.

  1. Hi!

    My 1887 silver dollar seems to have a golden tone around almost all letters, Liberty and the Eagle. Why does this happen? does the effect the value? or the grade?

    The 1989 Walking Liberty also has toning though this is only on parts of the rim and is more of a golden brown colour rather than a brassy yellow seen on the across the face of the 1887.

    As I am writing this I am noticing slight toning on the 1885 O dollar too!

    I am reading about all different types of toning, artificial toning, collectability, value...

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  3. Dynoking

    Dynoking Well-Known Member

    Toning on an ASE is usually not desirable. The coin may benefit from conservation to prevent the occurrence of terminal toning. The Morgan dollar is probably best left alone. JMO
    charley and Coinismatics2000 like this.
  4. David Betts

    David Betts Elle Mae Clampett cruising with Dad

  5. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The sort of toning on both pieces does nothing to enhance the value. I would get some quality, non PVC flips, store them in those, and not dip those coins.
    Coinismatics2000 likes this.

  6. Yes correct the ASE is uncased. As this cant be aging, what may cause this toning?
    I think I need to go back to chemistry class!
  7. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Think of what happens to you sterling or silver plated utensils. They tarnish in the atmosphere. The same thing has happened to those coins.
  8. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    The Eagle looks to me to be environmental toning. The Morgan is more natural and even in toning, I like it. The dates and mint marks are the value not the toning at this point.
    Coinismatics2000 likes this.
  9. Spark1951

    Spark1951 Accomplishment, not Activity

    …and tarnish from atmospheric exposure is “oxidation”. Get it? Oxygen. Oxidation.
    Your protection was imperfect and air got to the coin over time, which is almost a perfect definition of aging. …imo…Spark
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  10. Barney McRae

    Barney McRae Supporter! Supporter

    Regarding the ASE, I've a few of them younger than that that have some minor toning. What's odd is that both tubes of 20 coins are 2000 ASEs, still sealed in the original US Mint airtight soft plastic tubes.
  11. My thought is theyve been exposed to sunlight or something like that... i cant see it being impure silver...?

    Very interesting!
  12. Barney McRae

    Barney McRae Supporter! Supporter

    These are kept sealed in the tubes in an air conditioned area. And dark enough to grow mushrooms. lol
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  13. GeorgeM

    GeorgeM Well-Known Member

    "Airtight" tube's aren't. Here's how several different types of plastic look at the microscopic level (image is from a quick Google search):
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  14. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Silver is silver in any form. When the air comes into contact with the silver it starts to tone. On the ASE it’s not really desirable but on the Morgan it would be to some people.
  15. Barney McRae

    Barney McRae Supporter! Supporter

    It really depends on how the toning turns out. Some of it is spectacular. Sometimes its just downright butt ugly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder though. I'm always amazed how badly toned coins sometimes bring a premium at auction.
  16. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    I agree. That’s why I said some people. Some of us like toning while others do not. Some like AT and other NT.
  17. eddiespin

    eddiespin Fast Eddie

    The ASE is coming along fine. That's "natural" perimeter toning. That Morgan is just cleaned. One can't always get the edges on the devices. Those toned out some, too. None of it on either of these would be considered "artificial."
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