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I'm COMPELLED to ask a toning question

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WHY, in the name of ALLAH, do you Coinees put such significance and stress desireability on coins that have heavy toning?? Honest question, not kidding. Isn't this an imperfection. Wouldn't it be better for the coin to be devoid of ANY of the ravages of time?

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Hammer, what happens, over a period of collecting, the Collector seeks out that which is slightly unusual and/or difficult to get. Rainbow toning on some coin series is desireable because it allows the Collector to obtain those goals.

I don't know much about what it is you collect but I'd imagine some of the same attributes fit within that realm. It may not be "toning" per se, but some other variety to your collecting that narrows the field of available material.


"Heavy toning" is not as desireable. Pastel, light, yet attractive colorful toning is.

-Hope this info. helps.

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It does. Thank you. There was a silver coin that was imaged in one of the threads that had HEAVY, deep, blue and red coloration, to the point of virtually obscuring the color silver from the surface of the coin whatsoever. Everyone seemed to be admiring it with wildly positive comments, and although it WAS drastically different than what I'm used to seeing (admittedly, knowledgeable about coins somewhere between ZERO and novice), I couldn't help but think, "I can't believe it. To me, it appears to be a drastic defect (as a by-product of improper storage climate and age). In comics, I can honestly say that any type of toning or deviation from, as the day of manufacture (wear, loss of color, toning, discoloration, etc.) is NOT desireable in any way. The only exception to this rule I can think of is if a certain IMPORTANT pedigree collection of books, noted for it's superb condition, is marked on the cover..NEATLY). For instance, the finest collection of Golden Age books, grade and content, to date is the Edgar Church collection. Most of these, aside from each issue being the highest grade copy in existance in a large percentage of cases, were marked on the cover by the collector (Edgar Church) with an initial, letters, and/or a number, in these instances, this "defect" being a valueable identifying factor, and not a desireable attribute in itself.

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It is quite simple. It is all about eye appeal, an inherently subjective quality. And for those who find any given coin attractive, there will be strong prices for it. As for what people should prefer... whatever they want.


It would be the same argument to ask why anyone should collect die varieties, or coins by die pairs, or mint errors. We all know these are highly variable in price. And for what? manufacturing mistakes, small (sometimes barely discernible) changes in design, flukes? Some people find them desirable and worthy of a premium -- others do not. As for what people should prefer... whatever they want.



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I'd add that many prefer some toning as an indicator of originality. Finding a 150 year old silver coin that is untoned is uncommon, and some toning is considered a natural look. Interestingly enough, because silver is easy to dip, silver coins are prized with some toning as the toning implies originality. Copper, on the other hand is almost impossible to suitably dip, so copper coins are highly prized with little or no toning (Red or Red-Brown). I believe if silver were impossible to dip, blast white coins would be quite expensive. I greatly prefer the natural look toning imparts.



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Toning is a natural process, not unlike the pages of a comic slowly browning. However, the chemical reaction can cause the toned coin to show vivid and attractive colors versus darker and unattractive colors.


Coin collectors desire originality. If you have a coin that is 150 years old, it will have toned. Finding them untoned means that at some point, the coin was probably dipped to remove toning (ie. restoration).


Here are two examples to show what a coin can do. First is a half dime that toned into dark browns and is not real attractive linked.


Second one is part of my collection, a nice toned piece, but the scan leaves something to be desired linked.


In both cases, the coins grade AU-58, so they are the same level of surface preservation. One is just a little more attractive than the other.

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I have several short essays on my web site that I have written about what toning is and also about the toning premium. You are welcome to read them and give me any feedback at all about them. I hope you enjoy. smile.gif

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hi there hammer


wel, for me it is hard to comapir apples to oranges and comics which i know nothing about are quite different from coins in the way they are apprecaited and the nuiances of the hobby of numismatics


most collectors even like the collector john jay pittman fropm rochester ny hwere i also live and am from


find coins a journey and it takes a long time to fully apprecaite the hobby as it takes many many years of experiences to fully apprecaitt ethe toned toning aspects of coins

some coins are unique and actually great with toning an original thick skinned surface but it takes time and it is a journey now i am sure everyone will not apprecaite this but in the past even now all the great well most all of the great long tiem serious dedicated collecytors have apprecaited the toning of coins and their specific looks


but like anything else all restaurants are not good and all toned coins are not good or bad but some are much much bettere then others


also remember this imagine if you are a person that has no musical training and you go into amconcert hall and listen to a beautiful concert i am sure you appreacite the music


well now say you have years of musical training and advanced degrees in music tyen this concent you can even apprecaite more as you understand all the nuanices of it and can appreactie if everythnig and everyone is playing in tune harmoney and are at opeak performance


this is like with toned coins


if i see a rfeally momnster toned vibrant coloured neon coloured half dime in high grade mintstatre with a thick original skin that was pylled from a roll orthe bank back when thecoin was issued 145 years ago the collector that ha specialized in such tnigs can apprecaite the fact that it has booming l;ustre underneath the toning

maybe evne prooflike as many come and the co,ors are just right not too dark and is one of the best he has ever seen in 30 years of colledcting and specializing and talking to others aboyut such coins

then the toningb to him is amazing from his experiences


so it is a hgrreat coin fully original with a unique color scheme put on by mother natute over 100 or so years thewn THE TONING IS SUPERB

now most toned coins are drab and not good secondary toning ugly no fire underneath the tonihbg

too dark the list goes on and on


so for me your statement about xcoins compauirinb it to comics and just a general statement AND SINCE YOU HAVE not done this coin thing like a passion a hobby for many decades i can cettianly understand where you are coming from


i guess it takes lots more understanding and experience

i understand waht you are saying but it is just not that accurate or representative of the hobby of coins


i guess like being a famous surgeon in brainsurgery you cant really apprecaite a brain operation to the fullest unless you have an aptitude for it a long long life time of formal training and ezperience in the operations and learning


then if you have all this then you can certianly apprecaite the operation better


just like witrh coins or anything else


but for me this coin thing is fun but it takes a long journey to get to the point where you can look at a coin and apprecaite it for waht it is and for me agffter doing this for 35 years i am to the point where you can show me a coin in my respective speaialities and by looking at a great toned coin all the flood of my 35 years of experiences come into play and i can look at and talk about his coin if i like it for a couple of hours and actually do a paper research paper on it and quote many sourses and experiens that help me make an accessment of the coin


but it took my half of a lifetime to get here and lots of hard work and much time spent


your thread was great in that many ask this but just not on here i hope i havemade some things more clearer to you!


sincerely michael



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also therre is no such thing as a coinee


lol but hereis a scan of a coin and as with all TONED COINS THEY MUST BE EXAMINED SIGHT SEEN PHOTOS AND SCANS ARE NOT GOOD


but since this is all we gots on here let me shoe you a toned coin considered by those who saw it as the most eye appealling exceptional toned legend obverse half dime in ms that they have ever seen


the coin is fully prooflike with great lustre underneath the tonnig that really lighs up the coin monster lustre behind the toning is the major factor in a great toned coin!


also many halfdimes being so small in fact tiny are always heavy die polish so prooflike surfaces d from polishing the dies due to clashing


and then this coin has a thick original skin never dipped and the toning is just grea the way the colors sit on the coin ND IT almost mark free a superb gem and also a mintstate coin


all this suims up as a super rare coin as such and the first and only star coin in the legend obverse series minstatee little half sisters to their seated dime counterparts if you saw this coin in perason and werre a seated specialist or a half dime lover you would really get ezciteed over this coin

just a fun hobhy osmething to study and learn and keep your brain exersised so tospeak just as important as going to the gym to exersise your body


did you know that the most energy used in your body is used by your brain/


well here is this great! coin


sincerely michael


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oh i also forget thast this coin is haevely prooflike


so it also is cameoed and overall this coin has many many superlatives going for it in combination to make it a really unusual fantasit looking coin


sincerely michael



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