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Coin Toning

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What criteria does NGC follow when deciding whether a coin toning is artificial or natural? I recently had two Morgan Dollars, which had been in my family for over fifty years and toned very nicely over the years, sent back to me with no grades assigned for the reason of “art toning. Knowing that these coins have never been subjected to any kind of treatment makes me wonder how judgment is made on coin toning?

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I want to first state that off the top of my head do not have a technical, absolute system or list of criteria that is used to determine whether or not we consider a coin to be toned naturally or artificially. Our experience and literally viewing millions of coins are major factors. There are a large number of factors here, that without seeing the coins, could have been why we did not grade the two coins you are referring to.


Because the coins were in your family's possession for over 50 years doesn't necessarily mean that they could not have been cleaned or altered at some point, which can often produce colors and combinations of colors that are not considered market acceptable. A cleaning prior to your family's ownership is also a possibility, something that was widely accepted and practiced. I do know that there are certain circumstances where a coin has acquired toning that is considered not acceptable by the market and therefore result in a no grade.

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