What is this purple blackish stuff?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Gam3rBlake, May 14, 2021.

  1. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    I circled it in red.

    Is that some kind of toning?

    Or is it some kind of environmental damage? Or acid damage?

    fretboard and potty dollar 1878 like this.
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  3. potty dollar 1878

    potty dollar 1878 Well-Known Member

    Its ancient so my best guess is it was just in the ground for a while and that remains.
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  4. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    Ah well that's a bummer.

    That makes it seem more like damage than something like toning which is more natural.

    Now I'm curious how it got an MS grade with damage xD
  5. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    It's horn silver (AgCl). With NGC Ancients, the grade considers wear only. The horn silver is likely the primary reason for the 4/5 surface rating, which is considered separately. [edited]
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
    Gam3rBlake likes this.
  6. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member

    What is horn silver ?
  7. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    Ah ok thanks for the info!

    I've never heard of "horn silver" before.

    Is it common on ancient coins?
  8. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

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    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    The coin has been dipped and the dark coloration that can still be seen, not only what you circled but all of it, are the remains of what the dip did not remove. None of it is anything to worry about.
  10. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    I don’t think it’s been dipped though because there is no reason to dip a coin that already has full luster.

    I think it’s horn silver like dltrsq was talking about since it’s the only thing that makes sense.

    Usually people dip coins to give them a more lustery appearance but I can’t imagine someone doing that to a coin that isn’t missing any luster in the first place.
  11. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Very much so
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  12. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    "Chemically cleaned" might be more accurate than 'dipped'. Surely you don't think your coin came out of the ground after two and a half millennia looking as it does today?
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  13. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    Well sure why not?

    Ive seen dozens of Athenian Tetradrachms with full mint luster.

    However I admit it could be something from being buried that caused the discoloration.

    I just don’t think it’s dipped since usually NGC marked coins as “brushed”, “improperly cleaned” etc.,

    Even Ancient coins get those labels.

    So if it was dipped it would say “brushed” or “improperly cleaned” since dipping a coin correctly wouldn’t leave residue behind.
  14. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Yeah, and every single one of them has been dipped ! Just like the one you posted.

    You need to understand something Blake - every coin there is, or ever was, begins to tone the very moment it is struck ! And toning doesn't ever stop !

    With silver coins the toning starts out as a subtle color change just slightly darker than freshly minted silver. And as time progresses so does the toning with the coin getting darker and darker. And eventually it turns black. Now the original luster may still be there, under that black layer that you see. Now what dipping does is to strip that black layer revealing that shiny silver color underneath, making the coin "look" new again.

    Pretty much every older coin you've ever seen has been dipped, some of them more than once. And I'm defining older as anything 50 years old or older. Every coin expert there is will tell you that 80% or more of all older coins have been dipped. People have been dipping coins to remove the toning for over 200 years ! And it's a dang good thing they have been because it has protected those coins from certain and absolute destruction. That's because toning at its terminal stage literally eats the metal up. Toning is nothing more than corrosion, and as you know corrosion eats metal up, literally destroys it.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
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