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Why is cabinet toning accepted on ancients and older coins but not modern?

coinsarefuncoinsarefun Posts: 21,656 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 2, 2021 10:33AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I was reading a few of the auction descriptions coming up and it got me wondering........ why is it not acceptable (for most) modern coins and silver eagles to be placed in albums or cabinet trays?
Some will say “accelerated toning” therefore AT.


  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 3,963 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think it’s becaus too many modern ones were deliberately ATd that look too similar to them. It’s a shame when a naturally toned coin can’t get a straight grade because someone figured out how to mass produce the same look artificially and you can’t tell which are natural and which aren’t.


  • TurtleCatTurtleCat Posts: 4,583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think the standard is a bit higher for the moderns because people have intentionally toned them frequently whereas the older coins weren’t done with that in mind. It was the opposite problem, cleaning. I think the specific look of the modern that has toned gracefully over the years makes a difference in gradability. This Onza was toned naturally and entirely not of my design or plan. In fact, I had lost track of it for at least a decade or more. As you can see, it graded at PCGS.

  • 1Mike11Mike1 Posts: 4,414 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm guessing because we have a tendency to forgive or accept items that have been with us for a while. A small rust spot on a 59 Caddy is acceptable, something we can overlook. A rust spot on a 2015 Caddy, forget it. :D

    "May the silver waves that bear you heavenward be filled with love’s whisperings"

    "A dog breaks your heart only one time and that is when they pass on". Unknown
  • fathomfathom Posts: 1,434 ✭✭✭✭✭

    AT is acceptable to many buyers of moderns, the sales prices confirm.

    Aesthetics, eye appeal etc. has value to many regardless of AT.

  • keetskeets Posts: 25,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    why is it not acceptable (for most) modern coins and silver eagles to be placed in albums or cabinet trays?

    I wasn't aware that it "wasn't" acceptable. in fact, it's always been a main part of the Hobby. where exactly does it state this or is it a conclusion that you've arrived at independently??

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 44,829 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The problem with storing coins in cabinet trays is the coin can get what's called "cabinet friction" over a period of time as the coin slides around over the bottom of the tray when the tray is moved resulting in hairline scratches on the high points of the coin.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • keetskeets Posts: 25,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The problem with storing coins in cabinet trays

    I believe that is well known, the OP clearly states "cabinet toning" which is a term I have never heard used. for most coins, especially modern coins, the rims offer an element of protection from the hairlining, but that is a real problem with higher relief medals. to the OP's point of "cabinet toning" and album toning, any storage medium is going to cause toning, some are just better at minimizing it than others. perhaps the concern with modern issues is that they tend to be sold by the Mint in some kind of protective holder. coins are sort of exempt from that because they come to us loose, the same should apply for normal bullion ASE's which start out in a tube but are then generally sold individually and naked(in a flip).

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The artificial tarnish on moderns, at this time, appears to be a growing industry with significant profit margins. It is significant - and shocking - to me, that when a 'collector' pays multiple hundreds - or even thousands - for one of these tarnished coins, they are buying environmental damage, created for profit. Kudo's to those who are making a profitable enterprise out of this silly fad. Cheers, RickO

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 44,829 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @keets said:
    The problem with storing coins in cabinet trays

    I believe that is well known, ...

    I assumed that you and most experienced collectors knew this but we have many new collectors here that may not know this and I wanted to caution them as to the potential problems with storing raw coins in coin trays.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • keetskeets Posts: 25,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    that is a good point given the influx of new members. B)

  • cladkingcladking Posts: 28,123 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 3, 2021 6:43AM

    There are a higher percentage of moderns with nice pristine surfaces. Given a choice most buyers will simply opt for the coin with more eye appeal. "Toning" won't necessarily hurt a modern but it's less likely to help unless it's very attractive.

    Attractively toned moderns are much scarcer than attractive older coins so there can be a significant premium.

    Tempus fugit.
  • coinsarefuncoinsarefun Posts: 21,656 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • pursuitoflibertypursuitofliberty Posts: 6,346 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wouldn't it be neat if we could do forensics on the coins and know for sure?

    Oh, Johnny got this one from Uncle Dave, and he wrapped it in tissue and put it in his special box. We found it 15 years later while cleaning his room after he left for college, and sent it back to him.

    Or ...

    Floated around through several owners before Martin used a specially crafted low heat torch and low content sulphur sticks in a glass container.

    Or ...

    Had been dipped blast white, but still had decent luster ... was wrapped in a Taco Bell napkin, and put in an envelope ... hung in the attic over three summers.

    Ultimately, I think sometimes that's what we are trying to determine when we say Yea, or Nay

    “We are only their care-takers,” he posed, “if we take good care of them, then centuries from now they may still be here … ”

    Todd - BHNC #242

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