Home U.S. Coin Forum

Blue toned Jefferson Nickels from the early 1960's.

MWallaceMWallace Posts: 3,705 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited December 20, 2021 3:33PM in U.S. Coin Forum

I have several blue toned Jeffersons from the early 1960's. It seems to me that there was some controversy about them at one time. Anyone remember?


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

    Yes, I think most are considered AT now.

  • TennesseeDaveTennesseeDave Posts: 4,673 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have some proofs that I personally removed from the cellophane that are as blue as can be. Not sure what caused it, but they are all natural.

    Trade $'s
  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 3,981 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The problem is that it’s easy to AT nickels blue so even the ones that toned blue naturally are considered to be “questionable color”


  • airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,757 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When the controversy came along, there were three main shades: a rich blue, purple, or red/burgundy (and maybe a very rich yellow, too, but I don’t quite remember). While a lot are (were? Perhaps there was an effort by pcgs and ngc to buy them back) slabbed, I think they’re all considered AT now and you won’t get one in plastic. Sometimes you’ll see lighter shades, particularly an icy blue, and I’m not sure how the grading companies treat those today.

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
  • Type2Type2 Posts: 13,985 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes some real cool one I have two or three that looks like they have lights on at night with a cool glow to them.

    Hoard the keys.
  • streeterstreeter Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1962 proof sets OGP, must have been something in the plastic.

    Have a nice day
  • bolivarshagnastybolivarshagnasty Posts: 7,343 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I tried to contact MadMarty who some here said had successfully at’d some early proof Jeffies. Did not respond. Not sure what to think about this one, but it glows under a lamp.

  • U1chicagoU1chicago Posts: 5,338 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 20, 2021 7:33PM

    There still does not seem to be a clear answer as the TPGs straight grade some but QC others to this day. Below are just a few of many examples.

    Two different PR 67


    Two different QC

  • davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,471 ✭✭✭✭✭

    entirely blue or partly?

  • U1chicagoU1chicago Posts: 5,338 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 20, 2021 7:39PM

    @davewesen said:
    entirely blue or partly?

    I've seen both entirely and partly blue straight grade.

  • MWallaceMWallace Posts: 3,705 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I ask because I have several I want to sell, but I don't want to sell under false pretenses. Thank you everyone for your remembrances and opinions.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ah the Mad Marty hoard..... Shaking the cobwebs of my memory... Thanks Al, I do recall the wild story and the resulting furor. Cheers, RickO

  • cmerlo1cmerlo1 Posts: 7,855 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2021 8:55AM

    Here's one I used to own. It came directly from mint packaging. The sections had separated and there was a small hole in the cellophane. The silver coins had a reddish brown toning. This is definitely a product of the environment it was in. I have seen this before almost always in the same conditions with the packaging, and the nickels, besides the pastel pink/blue toning almost always have spots:

    You Suck! Awarded 6/2008- 1901-O Micro O Morgan, 8/2008- 1878 VAM-123 Morgan, 9/2022 1888-O VAM-1B3 H8 Morgan | Senior Regional Representative- ANACS Coin Grading. Posted opinions on coins are my own, and are not an official ANACS opinion.
  • CryptoCrypto Posts: 3,120 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Tone guys are often able to suspend logic for pretty, I sure you will find some one on EBAY willing to do the mental gymnastics to pay a premium for painted coins. List them high with a BIN and see what offers come in.

  • SPalladinoSPalladino Posts: 802 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have straight graded blue toned Jeffersons with dates '61, '62, '63 and '64, a couple of which I pulled from OGP cello and submitted myself.

    Steve Palladino
    - Ike Group member
    - DIVa (Designated Ike Varieties) Project co-lead and attributor
  • johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,021 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @bolivarshagnasty said:
    I tried to contact MadMarty who some here said had successfully at’d some early proof Jeffies. Did not respond. Not sure what to think about this one, but it glows under a lamp.

    i love the looks of this one

  • ElcontadorElcontador Posts: 7,377 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Slightly off topic, but I have a 38 D Buff with ice blue devices and gold toned rims. That is unusual, but not super rare. The toned ones of this date I've seen are usually golden.

    "Vou invadir o Nordeste,
    "Seu cabra da peste,
    "Sou Mangueira......."
  • moursundmoursund Posts: 3,207 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @johnny9434 said:

    @bolivarshagnasty said:
    I tried to contact MadMarty who some here said had successfully at’d some early proof Jeffies. Did not respond. Not sure what to think about this one, but it glows under a lamp.

    i love the looks of this one

    In that color, Jefferson somehow reminds me of the scarecrow from The wizard of Oz...🙂

    100th pint of blood donated 7/19/2022 B) . Transactions with WilliamF, Relaxn, LukeMarshal, jclovescoins, braddick, JWP, Weather11am, Fairlaneman, Dscoins, lordmarcovan, Collectorcoins, SurfinxHI, JimW. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that who so believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • DRUNNERDRUNNER Posts: 3,776 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well . . . deep enough down in the thread that only one or two will see it . . . exactly as I like it.

    The answers to the above questions and suppositions are actually quite simple. I won't attempt to overplay my hand with details of my history or expertise . . . . but I have spent an inordinate time studying the JeffNick, proofs, and keys. Let's dig into it . . .

    The key aspect here is the pliofilm 'flexible' proof set holder from basically 1958-1963. Keep in mind that the JeffNick has a unique metallic form from the other coins in the set. When the proof set was exposed to heat and or humidity (sitting on a B&M shelf for years), the pliofilm of those years would 'offgas' . . . causing the JeffNick to start a color change in the blue and violet spectrum. Length of time in the conditions would determine the vividness of the color change.

    In the 90s, a B&M shop here in SLC undertook a long-standing effort to break up proof sets for cams and Dcams, literally cutting up 58-63 sets at a rate of 3000-5000 sets per month. All of the toned Jeffnicks went into a wicker basket on the counter and you could buy any of them for $3 each. The intensity of color varied. The most common was the pastel blue-purple,. but some went deeper into the spectrum, developing a neon look. We would plow through the hundreds of them looking for the more intense colorations. No one had any trouble certifying them with PCGS as they (PCGS) knew exactly how and why the coloration took place. They are similar to the Canadian Commem dollar from the early 70s that always goes to an intense rainbow (Mike Kittle can tell you more -- a one-time holder liner that offgasses)) for just one year. They ALWAYS certify . . . since PCGS is not stupid and is aware of the reason.

    I bought a pair of screaming intense blues at Long Beach in or around 2010. $175 each and in time I sold them for (a lot) more. Just PF66 and PF67s. But . . . I have one now that is in an AT PCGS holder. Same coins . . . same process . . . .entirely due to Mint packaging.

    I have no idea what other processes may be used for toning JeffNick Proofs. Perhaps there exists something. But . . after seeing a few hundred of them from 1990-2000 all still sealed in Mint packaging, I can guarantee that THAT is the reason we are discussing this . . . someone (perhaps?) is capitalizing on a very simple and well-known aspect of proof set holder mechanics.

    Isn't this how all the toning discrepancies start, anyway???? Make something artificial have a '

  • DRUNNERDRUNNER Posts: 3,776 ✭✭✭✭✭

    . . . natural reason' or excuse to have toned . . .and exploit it.

    Easy. Simple discussion.


  • seanqseanq Posts: 8,532 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I found this one in the wild after being turned onto them by others in the Forum, I think I still have it somewhere. The combination of the blue tone and the cameo contrast made it one of the prettiest Jeffs I have ever held.

    Sean Reynolds

    Incomplete planchets wanted, especially Lincoln Cents & type coins.

    "Keep in mind that most of what passes as numismatic information is no more than tested opinion at best, and marketing blather at worst. However, I try to choose my words carefully, since I know that you guys are always watching." - Joe O'Connor
  • bolivarshagnastybolivarshagnasty Posts: 7,343 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DRUNNER @keets
    I think the last time we had this conversation was when I reached out to @MadMarty to get his take on this and shed some light on how all of this went down. Drunner, your recollection of seeing these nickels makes sense to me as I have seen plio film packs on ebay even now with color. Keets, what do you remember about this story that makes you believe all those neon colored nickels were at'd? Do you remember any details that were discussed around how MM might have done this? Is it that far fetched that he did have a large group in the attic heat? And just because Drunner witnessed all of these toner Jeffs back in the day, doesn't preclude MM from finding a way to quickly create a bunch.

  • ernie11ernie11 Posts: 1,879 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A little off-topic, but I had some business strike Jeffs attain a slightly bluish tone simply due to long-term storage in a Whitman deluxe album that I had bought in the 1970's.

  • johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,021 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @moursund said:

    @johnny9434 said:

    @bolivarshagnasty said:
    I tried to contact MadMarty who some here said had successfully at’d some early proof Jeffies. Did not respond. Not sure what to think about this one, but it glows under a lamp.

    i love the looks of this one

    In that color, Jefferson somehow reminds me of the scarecrow from The wizard of Oz...🙂

    I'll agree with that now that you mention it

  • keetskeets Posts: 25,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    the question of AT/NT doesn't really apply to average toned Nickels, they do tone, especially the Proof issues. it's really about a narrow time-window when these all appeared, where they came from and the fact that they were intensely neon toned shades with a glossy, almost liquid look not really replicated by any of the coins pictured so far in this thread. I've said all I'll say about where they came from and what I know, but it was established back then that they were almost 100% AT.

    to the cello packs posted by shag, I see nothing out of the ordinary, nothing I haven't seen dozens of times while searching proof sets. the silver coins will tone like that from small holes in the cello or when the seal between coins is broken, the nickels will tone as I said above and the cents take on weird shades from green to purple. it is almost exclusively from 1961-1964 where I have found them like that.

  • stmanstman Posts: 11,352 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I recall one of the so-called toned dealers would tell folks on our BST just let him know what color you want.
    😂 those were the days eh?
    Heh heh

    Please... Save The Stories, Just Answer My Questions, And Tell Me How Much!!!!!
  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 3,981 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’ll bury this in here too for people who are curious enough to read this thread again.

    Nickels tone easily, both from natural causes and artificial. That’s the problem, because for nickels sometimes the natural ones look just like the AT ones.

    Here’s a few of my old AT educational coins from when I used to make AT vs NT displays for the Charlotte Coin club. All the ones I ATd were business strikes from bank rolls, I never did it to proofs because I didn’t want to damage any really collectable coins (and to me Proofs are collectable, whereas business strike coins from bank rolls aren’t anything more than pocket change).

    This one is the same coin with a picture taken every few seconds as it went through the AT process. You can stop at any color you want, or you can let it progress.

    And here’s a picture I just took of some that I put in a capital holder back in 2005 as part of an educational AT vs NT display. I have them at my office at work. They are still as vibrant as when I first ATd them. I have them in order showing the progression of colors as you go through the AT process. First is yellow, then gold, then reddish purple, then purplish blue, then sky blue and then they start to fade to pale blue as the thin film interference layer gets thicker


Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file