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To tone or not to tone, Always these trick questions !

Bruce7789Bruce7789 Posts: 397 ✭✭✭✭
edited March 8, 2021 1:16PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Yesterday on inspired70's forum on "My new toner for collection", I made the comment that toning could be faked because I had once done it by accident and made the statement "I should dig out my Chemistry set and move into the bathroom" based on premiums being paid for toned coins. Zions called me on it and told me to show them the results.

Well, this morning, being bored all to heck, I decided to try and duplicate the accidental toning of a Canadian Silver quarter that happened a substantial number of years ago just to prove that I wasn't full of Fecal matter! To my surprise, i didn't have among all these Canadian Coins a Canadian Silver Quarter. Lots of Nickel, but not the same. Guess i should have let it rest right there! What I did have was a couple of Roosevelt Dimes that were part of what i was going to post later today, and while not the same, were silver, and mainly available, since I wasn't going to use one of my MS 63 Morgans.

I took two dimes and retired to the garage looking for something to use as a heat source for fairly high temperature heat. The only thing I had available was a propane weed killer. Originally i had a Acetylene torch with a fine brazing tip on it, but had sold it when being transferred across the country. Well it was sort of like using a 3 lb Sledge Hammer to drive a 4d finish nail, but was all I had.

Now am going to tell you, I 'm leaving out a step in the process. Taking a pair of forceps, which I used when restoring weapons, I dipped the dimes in a common household item, and applied the heat. (I'm not going to say which item because i don't want any YN's reading this burning down their garage trying to duplicate this, besides with the premiums being paid for radically toned coins, I may have to go into business someday)

The results are as folllows: Ignore the photography, I only have my phone, and it's not real subtle.

The first coin, I think I overheated a bit.

the 2nd I did a little better with lower heat.

Because i had dipped them, the backs also got toned a bit:

2nd coin

However, the coins did get a little dark and it doesn't rub off!!.....lol

OK, these took all of about an hour to do, and I think with a pencil burner and some practice, it wouldn't take long before I could get the colors up and running.

So, guess I'm only partially full of .....Constipated. It worked, but not quite! If you happen to see some black, but toned coins, I don't think I'd buy them, but then I would'nt anyway!

Anybody want a couple of black dimes?.....LOL

Have a nice day!

Bruce

Comments

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    TomBTomB Posts: 20,985 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Of course toning can be intentionally accelerated (faked). Folks have been doing it for generations to cover other problems, to hide repairs, to give the appearance of a higher graded coin and to sell pieces for more money to folks who like the look.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
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    ctf_error_coinsctf_error_coins Posts: 15,433 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This thread may not turn out how you wanted :o

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    Bruce7789Bruce7789 Posts: 397 ✭✭✭✭

    @ErrorsOnCoins said:
    This thread may not turn out how you wanted :o

    Maybe not, may have created a monster with everyone running around trying to tone coins.

    Oh well!

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    The_Dinosaur_ManThe_Dinosaur_Man Posts: 888 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've been running a similar experiment on a 1961 proof Roosevelt since February 2020, except mine is just sitting by the window, undisturbed. It goes to show why dry and dark places are the best sites to keep coins for preservation.

    Custom album maker and numismatic photographer, see my portfolio here: (http://www.donahuenumismatics.com/).

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    Bruce7789Bruce7789 Posts: 397 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 7, 2021 5:59PM

    @The_Dinosaur_Man said:
    I've been running a similar experiment on a 1961 proof Roosevelt since February 2020, except mine is just sitting by the window, undisturbed. It goes to show why dry and dark places are the best sites to keep coins for preservation.

    Oh, I agree, natural toning is always the best, but I prefer my own coins to be Bright shiny silver! But then I only collect MS62+ Morgans and High grade wheats. BTW, washing copper coins in MEK (I think) will give them a nice purpelish rosy color. I don't remember for sure, but over about 30 years in coins, I've tried a lot of stuff to clean up some real horrors! Try getting tar off of a shiny 1924 Wheat without damaging the mint glaze sometime. I think PCGS should dip all toned silver in Acetone, a lot of what is used will float right off!

    ROFL, I've had 4 posts wondering what the missing step is......Well it involves milking a cat for it's urine and it's not an easy step cause the cat doesn't like it.....LOL. Cat urine being so high in Sulphur and Ammonia. Of course if you don't have a cat you can use horse urine, but waiting around for the horse to cooperate can be very time consuming, and if it isn't your horse, the owners kind of look at you askance. Even asking permission they think you are crazy. " YOU WANT TO DO WHAT, SO YOU CAN DO WHAT?"

    Oh well, good luck!..... :D

    Bruce

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    TurtleCatTurtleCat Posts: 4,598 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It’s an interesting attempt but still didn’t look right. I’d rather replicate some of the original/natural ways and let fate decide. I’ve experimented with putting some common stuff in old books. They usually get a nice golden tone. I’ve not had one that turned amazing but with time and luck you never know.

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    yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,297 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There are few ebay stores right now stealing your secrets.

    Though I have gotten better, still when I find a single coin in a proof set and I doubt the coin.

    BST: KindaNewish (3/21/21), WQuarterFreddie (3/30/21), Meltdown (4/6/21), DBSTrader2 (5/5/21) AKA- unclemonkey on Blow Out

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    yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,297 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TurtleCat said:
    It’s an interesting attempt but still didn’t look right. I’d rather replicate some of the original/natural ways and let fate decide. I’ve experimented with putting some common stuff in old books. They usually get a nice golden tone. I’ve not had one that turned amazing but with time and luck you never know.

    Wonder what continous UV lighting would do?

    BST: KindaNewish (3/21/21), WQuarterFreddie (3/30/21), Meltdown (4/6/21), DBSTrader2 (5/5/21) AKA- unclemonkey on Blow Out

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    Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,867 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here’s a few more coins I experimentally ATd about 15 years ago that I just recently found pictures of on an old Thumbdrive. I never tried silver coins, I value them too much to ruin them in AT experiments, I just stuck to pocket change at the time. I used to struggle to get reds, yellows and greens but eventually figured how to get those colors too rather than the easier to do blues and purples.





    Mr_Spud

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 34,113 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 7, 2021 4:48PM

    @Mr_Spud said:
    Here’s a few more coins I experimentally ATd about 15 years ago that I just recently found pictures of on an old Thumbdrive. I never tried silver coins, I value them too much to ruin them in AT experiments, I just stuck to pocket change at the time. I used to struggle to get reds, yellows and greens but eventually figured how to get those colors too rather than the easier to do blues and purples.
    ...

    That looks like a missing clad layer!

    Did you ever try on Morgans?

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    Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,867 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 7, 2021 4:56PM

    No, I never tried to AT any Morgan’s. Just pocket change to make educational AT vs NT coin displays for the Charlotte coin club when I was a member. I started doing it after I figured out how to heat nickels to get different colors and I showed them to people at a club meeting and even the old timers were amazed so I ended up making the educational displays.

    Mr_Spud

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    Bruce7789Bruce7789 Posts: 397 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 7, 2021 5:59PM

    @Mr_Spud said:
    Here’s a few more coins I experimentally ATd about 15 years ago that I just recently found pictures of on an old Thumbdrive. I never tried silver coins, I value them too much to ruin them in AT experiments, I just stuck to pocket change at the time. I used to struggle to get reds, yellows and greens but eventually figured how to get those colors too rather than the easier to do blues and purples.

    You came close wioth that Sacagawea dollar for being brass, Next time take a small paint brush and cover around the edges with denatured Alcohol, spread it around a little and drop the chemical into it with the point of a toothpick. After it dries, do the same thing with another color over a different part of the coin. Show us the result.

    I am appalled when I go on ebay and see what are obviously faked toning being offered for twice what the coin is worth, but then again, I am amused by people paying absurd prices for a graded bullion coin.

    Oh well, everyone has to collect something. Think I'll collect empty beer cans!

    Bruce

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is an excellent thread. If it serves to curb the unbelievable premiums being paid for tarnish, I will consider it good for the hobby. I have never understood paying for tarnish.... or why it is even considered in some grading. The market is flooded with accelerated tarnish... in varying degrees of competence. Cheers, RickO

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    AuldFartteAuldFartte Posts: 4,597 ✭✭✭✭

    I would never even attempt to AT any coin. Just my humble opinion, but I think it is usually a blatant attempt at falsifying a coin's value by either increasing the coin's eye appeal (for those of us who like toned coins) or covering up some kind of damage to the surfaces, or both. In any case, the motive is almost always to obtain a better price for the coin when selling it.

    Here's my only AT'd coin - a mistake I made early on in my collecting of U.S. Types. Live and learn, right?

    image

    My OmniCoin Collection
    My BankNoteBank Collection
    Tom, formerly in Albuquerque, NM.
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    JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think your work is very interesting!

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    ctf_error_coinsctf_error_coins Posts: 15,433 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 8, 2021 11:44AM

    It is extremely easy to change the color of almost any coin through either heat, sulfur, or both.

    Making the coin vibrant and yet subtle is an art.

    It IS being done every day all day long in almost every series :o

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    Bruce7789Bruce7789 Posts: 397 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 8, 2021 1:48PM

    When I look at the above photo from ErrorsOnCoins I see an absolutely beautiful coin, but am looking at the things that matter to me, such as strike, luster, absence of bag marks or scars. To me that would be an MS-70 coin. The color is nice and nicely done, not like some of the Neon Bar sign type colors I see on ebay, but not the main consideration, but overall is one very nice coin. While I might buy it just for the things that matter to me, The coloring would not be a major consideration in pricing, I would buy it without the color. But that is just me!

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    Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,867 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 8, 2021 1:34PM

    When I look at it I see a nickel that was heated. That purplish blue is the easiest color to make using heat. That one was heated unevenly so you have more than one color, here’s an old picture of a nickel being ATd with a picture taken every few seconds showing the progression of colors that are characteristic of AT from heat

    Mr_Spud

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    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,098 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The hard part isn’t ATing coins. The hard part is making market acceptable AT coins. Make something that PCGS will straight grade, and we will all be impressed (and anxious). Use a 90% Washington quarter BU so you can see if it stickers if it straight grades at all.

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    al410al410 Posts: 2,402 ✭✭✭✭

    Just my opinion of course and with out any way to be positive except the fact I have seen many many toned Morgans I am confident there are many AT coins in holders. Market acceptable is the key word .
    Al

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    Bruce7789Bruce7789 Posts: 397 ✭✭✭✭

    WOW! It may be that I only needed to heat the dimes, not dip them! Milking the cat may have not been neccessary after all and now if I ever do it again, won't get all scratched up!.......... :D

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    Bruce7789Bruce7789 Posts: 397 ✭✭✭✭

    Anybody want to buy a pair of torn up gauntlets?....... :D

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    ThreeCentSilverFLThreeCentSilverFL Posts: 1,672 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ErrorsOnCoins said:
    It is extremely easy to change the color of almost any coin through either heat, sulfur, or both.

    Making the coin vibrant and yet subtle is an art.

    It IS being done every day all day long in almost every series :o

    If true, that really sucks. I don’t specifically go after toned coins. If the toning on a coin that I am interested in pleases me, then I may pursue it further. Otherwise, I just feel it ancillary to the overall.

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    CoinscratchCoinscratch Posts: 8,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I used to put crank baits on the dashboard for weeks at a time, the sunlight will eventually fade the vibrant colors of a brand new one.
    Even bass know the difference between AT and NT. There might be a clue there.

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    Bruce7789Bruce7789 Posts: 397 ✭✭✭✭

    PCGS has a conservation service. Not sure if they can handle that problem, but they do explain, somewhat, what they can and cannot do on the site. Seems to be relatively Inexpensive for common coins! I think after conservation, they re-grade the coin, but not sure how pricing affects the upgrade on expensive coins. I only have one coin that can be considered expensive (5 figures) so really haven't faced that problem and don't know.

    Go check it out!

    Bruce

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    Bruce7789Bruce7789 Posts: 397 ✭✭✭✭

    @Bruce7789 said:
    Anybody want to buy a pair of torn up gauntlets?....... :D

    Cheap!...... :D

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    YQQYQQ Posts: 3,295 ✭✭✭✭✭

    interesting subject.
    True story:
    An elderly lady offered me once a bag full of shiny silver coins. She was so proud that these are now all ever so shiny and metallic new looking with a light bluish slightly purple hew. ... then she proceeded to explain how she did it and that she knows that she now gets a lot more $$$ for these coins. She used a sudsy common kitchen liquid and good old H2O for rinsing them off.

    when I was younger... many, many, did I say many years ago, I experimented toning silver coins.
    boiled eggs in a plastic bag was ok. another way was this;
    find an oak tree, cut off a branch about 1-2" thick.
    with a thin saw blade cut thin slots into the branch and insert the silver coins. make sure there is still enough pressure to keep the coins in the slots. place the branch in a warm sunny place.
    and a week or 2 later..... YOU have toned coins.

    Today is the first day of the rest of my life
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    YQQYQQ Posts: 3,295 ✭✭✭✭✭

    here is a huge and sort of important question:
    when a TPG (cleans) preserves a coin, why do they NOT indicate afterward that they actually also cleaned the coin?
    IMO, it is rather unfair to all the coins designated as "cleaned" or polished, etc for a lack of knowing the real cause or issue.

    Today is the first day of the rest of my life
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    AercusAercus Posts: 381 ✭✭✭✭

    @cameonut2011 said:
    The hard part isn’t ATing coins. The hard part is making market acceptable AT coins. Make something that PCGS will straight grade, and we will all be impressed (and anxious). Use a 90% Washington quarter BU so you can see if it stickers if it straight grades at all.

    100% agree. It's easy to tone coins. Fooling the experts is not so easy (NOT to say it's never done, just that it's tougher).

    Aercus Numismatics - Certified coins for sale

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    WAYNEASWAYNEAS Posts: 6,468 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Deceit, greed and profit are very big motivators to many people to produce self manufacturing AT coins.
    Can't wait for China to catch on and show us what they can do.
    They are stupid enough to provide it because you are stupid enough to buy it.
    Wayne

    Kennedys are my quest...

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    Bruce7789Bruce7789 Posts: 397 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 11, 2021 9:05PM

    From what I see on Ebay, there is a lot of amateur toning going on and people must be buying them cause they keep on showing up. AND I have seen some coins from TPG's that there is no way those coins could have toned naturally that way, but they couldn't prove it wasn't natural so they went ahead and graded them. If in doubt, they shouldn't be graded.

    If the TPG's don't agree, I guess I could start spray painting my coins because they've acknowledged that the color is acceptable, and how it's applied is irrelevant! When I finish, i could have all MS-70's.

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    Bruce7789Bruce7789 Posts: 397 ✭✭✭✭

    Next week, we'll discuss how to restore mint glaze! Yes, it can be done!

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    crazyhounddogcrazyhounddog Posts: 13,921 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Is there a doctor in the house ?

    The bitterness of "Poor Quality" is remembered long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
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    blitzdudeblitzdude Posts: 5,643 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No need for a blow torch, just some taco bell napkins and sauce of if you prefer a ziplock bag with a cut up hard boiled egg. The kids will pay moon money for those monsters. Crazy world!

    The whole worlds off its rocker, buy Gold™.

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    Bruce7789Bruce7789 Posts: 397 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 12, 2021 3:25PM

    @HashTag said:

    Oh well, everyone has to collect something. Think I'll collect empty beer cans!

    Bruce

    How about we work a deal? You collect empty beer cans and ill collect the beer.

    I've got a better idea, you bring the unopened Beer over and we'll both contribute to my collection of empty Beer cans!....lol

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