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Grading toned coins--some help please

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I would appreciate your help in the matter of how you view highly toned coins in order to grade them. I'll post an example not to grade but for someone to explain how they grade the coin and what areas do you try to focus on when most all is covered with toning. Sorry the pic is a little grainy, but the coin actually has lustre showing through the toning and is pleasant to look at inhand, but my concern is where do you view the coin to grade it and what do you use other than the naked eye? Thank you




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I grade them like most any other coin except for looking for marks. My eyes are not what they once were so I use a 6X loop and lots of light on dark coins. Toning can hide stuff and make it easy to miss. Eye appeal is important to me. I might bump the grade a point for great looking toning or down a point if it's ugly. Not really sure how the services view this.

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I have a total of 2 desk lamps i use to grade coins. One has a 75w GE reveal bulb which i use this one for white coins. The other uses a 100w GE reveal bulb which is for my toners. I simply just rotate the coins at various angles to see if i can find any ticks, scratches, basically any imperfections. After awhile you will get a feel of how to tilt the coin so you can see all areas and not miss anything.

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since the washington has lustre and it a toned biz strike




lets take a really choice au coin or higher toned

business strike


this is what i do



i first look at the coin under a PINPOINT HALIGON LAmp with just my eyes to see if i like the coin and eye appeal and i also rotate it under the light to see if there are any hairlines, rub or wear piints on the high spots (easy to determine the high points by grading books etc.) or other problens then i look at the coin under a regular light bulb 60w


if i think i see something that i notice on the coin then i take a loop to it and examine the area in questuion with my zeiss 3x6x9x glass



then i put the coin down for a day and look at it another day


i can usually come to a forgone conclusion on the coin


also i want the lustre to really pop behind the toning



then i assign my own grade on the coin and also eye appeal and any BUTS about the coin and also any extraspecial extraordinary qualities about the coin


then i assign my grade which usually is a price


this coin grades $,,,,,,,,,,,,,, dollars


i base this on a good remembering mind, a decent magnifying glass and 40+ years experience in my own tiny, little world of coinage



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