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Polished silver

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What would be the signs that a silver coin or medal had been polished?

I was assuming that a cloth impregnated with some fine abrasive would be used

for this purpose perhaps leaving hairlines or uneven toning around the devices.

The medal below got me thinking about this.





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Hairlines are a given on most metals. Shows more on silver and gold due to them being a softer metal than most.

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It doesn't look like this medal has been "polished". Perhaps it was dipped and wiped and then retoned but it is an incredible looking medal! It it were polished then it could never look natural again.


I have a 1879 7 tail feather Morgan that my dad gave me as a kid. I used it in a belt buckle for awhile and polished it with Nev-R-Dull. It will never look natural but I'm keeping it for its sentimental value anyway.

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polishing is a very wierd thing with coins...i think.

there are so many ways to polish, so what impresses me is if the coin simply looks polished.

a lot of coins are polished and in peoples collections under various holders.

i lost significant money on a sight unseen purchase of a rare seated half dollar in an anacs holder that when I looked at it, just looked POLISHED. NGC and PCGS also thought so, and I was left with submitting it to ANACS for review, and they INSISTED it was OK. What a lie. Lessons learned.


Just look at the coin in question, and if it looks polished, it's probably polished.



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I want to addend this, because I'm thinking of some busties i've passed on in tpg holders that looked polished and toned over to me.


then i thought of a nice worn out half dollar, and in a sense, just wear can be a form of polishing, albeit natural and OK by any standard.


what IS polishing?


well...think of it...wearing out the surface, or melting down the surface.


e.g., if you have a mahogany table and the varnish has become pock marked and scratched over time, you can polish it with a solution of alcohol and shellac, which essentially creates a melt down on the surface (it's called French polish).




you can buff a good wax on something


but in terms of coins, the objective of the coin doctor could be just to imitate luster thru shine (which is NOT luster but to the untrained individual could be seen as such)




to smooth out a surface, hiding marks.


or a combination of the two.


then, tone that over, or give it a good haze, and you might fool people, including third party graders.

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