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Iodine treated gold

lermishlermish Posts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭✭

I've heard of treating gold with iodine. I'm not sure if this is for AT or to cover other issues or both. I came across this coin and have never seen these kinds of purples on a coin other than AT on silver. I'm assuming it's iodine but would love some additional insight as to the uses and additional identification of iodine treated coins.

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  • MICHAELDIXONMICHAELDIXON Posts: 6,401 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've never heard of iodine treating gold.

    Spring National Battlefield Coin Show is April 12-13, 2024 at the Eisenhower Hotel in Gettysburg, PA. WWW.AmericasCoinShows.com
  • Clackamas1Clackamas1 Posts: 760 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would assume it would be applied as a liquid. That coin looks as if was toned in the air.

  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I always wondered what iodine treated gold looks like too, not sure if that is an example or not, but I’d like to know. Maybe someone should make one experimentally with some gold bullion just to see one we know for sure is iodine treated

    Mr_Spud

  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Could be leather pouch toning.

  • skier07skier07 Posts: 3,679 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The toning is certainly very different and I don’t particularly care for it. I’m going to assume JA wasn’t impressed with either the grade or the toning.

  • lermishlermish Posts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • zer0manzer0man Posts: 34 ✭✭✭

    The toning in the OP's post looks natural to me and falls into the "leather pouch toning" category. I have seen, and owned, multiple pieces of gold with similar colors and stickered by CAC.

    DOG acolyte

  • ProofmorganProofmorgan Posts: 715 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was watching that coin. Curious myself as to why it did it sticker.

    Collector of Original Early Gold with beginnings in Proof Morgan collecting.
  • jacrispiesjacrispies Posts: 711 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think it is natural. I see those colors on gold semi-frequently but the OP coin is to the extreme. I wonder if the metal content is minutely different to create such a vivid result.

    "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23. Young fellow suffering from Bust Half fever.

  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:
    There is a group of collectors who are really into "crusty gold." Since the real thing is sometimes hard to find, coin doctors have created it using iodine and probably other colorings.

    I got caught with a piece of iodine treated gold. I had my suspicions and ran the piece by a couple of expert, experienced dealers before I sent the coin to PCGS for a review. PCGS agreed that the piece had been treated. They offered to remove the iodine, lower the grade from MS-63 to 62 and pay me for the difference OR they offered to buy the piece back. I chose to sell the coin to PCGS.

    **PCGS was good on their word. They stood by their guarantee. **

    Here is the coin in question.


    I think that the coin in the OP may have been treated with iodine, but you really need to look at it with a strong glass. When I looked at the coin, which I posted above with a 10X glass, I saw "flakes of color" standing ABOVE THE SURFACE OF THE COIN. The color was not in the coin's surface.

    I can't say I can reliably determine if a coin has treated with iodine. That said, 1891-CC $5's are very frequently seen with splotchy toning just like on your coin, and I would guess that it perfectly natural. Unless, of course, someone accidentally spilled a bottle of iodine on a bag of 91-CC $5's long, long ago.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,471 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MrEureka said:

    @BillJones said:
    There is a group of collectors who are really into "crusty gold." Since the real thing is sometimes hard to find, coin doctors have created it using iodine and probably other colorings.

    I got caught with a piece of iodine treated gold. I had my suspicions and ran the piece by a couple of expert, experienced dealers before I sent the coin to PCGS for a review. PCGS agreed that the piece had been treated. They offered to remove the iodine, lower the grade from MS-63 to 62 and pay me for the difference OR they offered to buy the piece back. I chose to sell the coin to PCGS.

    **PCGS was good on their word. They stood by their guarantee. **

    Here is the coin in question.


    I think that the coin in the OP may have been treated with iodine, but you really need to look at it with a strong glass. When I looked at the coin, which I posted above with a 10X glass, I saw "flakes of color" standing ABOVE THE SURFACE OF THE COIN. The color was not in the coin's surface.

    I can't say I can reliably determine if a coin has treated with iodine. That said, 1891-CC $5's are very frequently seen with splotchy toning just like on your coin, and I would guess that it perfectly natural. Unless, of course, someone accidentally spilled a bottle of iodine on a bag of 91-CC $5's long, long ago.

    Toning is not something that is shaped like a flake attached by one corner on the surface and the other in the air. That’s what I saw with a 10X glass. I should have seen it before I bought it.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,930 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 1, 2024 8:33PM

    @BillJones said:

    @MrEureka said:

    @BillJones said:
    There is a group of collectors who are really into "crusty gold." Since the real thing is sometimes hard to find, coin doctors have created it using iodine and probably other colorings.

    I got caught with a piece of iodine treated gold. I had my suspicions and ran the piece by a couple of expert, experienced dealers before I sent the coin to PCGS for a review. PCGS agreed that the piece had been treated. They offered to remove the iodine, lower the grade from MS-63 to 62 and pay me for the difference OR they offered to buy the piece back. I chose to sell the coin to PCGS.

    **PCGS was good on their word. They stood by their guarantee. **

    Here is the coin in question.


    I think that the coin in the OP may have been treated with iodine, but you really need to look at it with a strong glass. When I looked at the coin, which I posted above with a 10X glass, I saw "flakes of color" standing ABOVE THE SURFACE OF THE COIN. The color was not in the coin's surface.

    I can't say I can reliably determine if a coin has treated with iodine. That said, 1891-CC $5's are very frequently seen with splotchy toning just like on your coin, and I would guess that it perfectly natural. Unless, of course, someone accidentally spilled a bottle of iodine on a bag of 91-CC $5's long, long ago.

    Toning is not something that is shaped like a flake attached by one corner on the surface and the other in the air. That’s what I saw with a 10X glass. I should have seen it before I bought it.

    Interesting. I wonder if the splotchy coppery "toning" of so many 91-CC's is caused by impurities in the alloy - which seems likely - and if those impurities sometimes flake outwards from the coin, sort of like a very minor planchet lamination. Bill, next time you see one, take a look under a high power glass and see if it looks like your coin.

    And FWIW:


    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,471 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You seem to be determined to make the point that I gave up on a perfectly good coin, @MrEureka. PCGS and a couple of reliable dealers agreed with me.

    I was trying to provide the OP with an example of an iodine treated gold coin. That was all.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • tcollectstcollects Posts: 825 ✭✭✭✭

    how long does it take
    for the iodine to flake?

  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looks original to me. In those days the main heat source was firewood..

  • lermishlermish Posts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mr_Spud said:
    I went ahead and ordered some iodine tincture off of Amazon yesterday.

    I plan on treating a small 1 gram gold bar I have lying around with it just to see what it ends up looking like. I’ll post some pictures.

    That's awesome, thanks, eagerly awaiting your results!

    How do you plan on treating? A drop and then rinse off after X seconds/minutes? A dip? Brush it on?

  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not quite sure how to apply it, probably just place a couple of drops on one side of the bar and let it dry and see what happens. Depending on what happens, I might try something different on the other side.

    Mr_Spud

  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,992 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jwitten said:
    Love those purples on gold. I’ve got quite a few myself.. always looking to pick up more.



    <3


    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • spacehaydukespacehayduke Posts: 5,468 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mr_Spud said:
    I went ahead and ordered some iodine tincture off of Amazon yesterday.

    I plan on treating a small 1 gram gold bar I have lying around with it just to see what it ends up looking like. I’ll post some pictures.

    That won't necessarily mimic what would happen to a pre-WWII US minted gold coin - they have about 90% gold, plus copper and silver in different proportions depending.........


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  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭✭✭

    True, it’s not 90%, but I’ll know it’s real iodine treated gold for sure. I’m not willing to ruin a real gold coin, but want to know what it looks like. I read some things saying you can test gold jewelry with iodine and if it turns black it’s real, so it may not need the 10% other metals. Not sure though

    Mr_Spud

  • Married2CoinsMarried2Coins Posts: 211 ✭✭✭

    @Mr_Spud said:
    True, it’s not 90%, but I’ll know it’s real iodine treated gold for sure. I’m not willing to ruin a real gold coin, but want to know what it looks like. I read some things saying you can test gold jewelry with iodine and if it turns black it’s real, so it may not need the 10% other metals. Not sure though

    Iodine should dip off after your experiment, right? One thing I learned about color on a coin is that it does not "flow." The 1891-CC at the top looks like the color was applied.

  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’m not sure if it dips off, but I’ll probably end up finding out

    Mr_Spud

  • HillbillyCollectorHillbillyCollector Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 3, 2024 1:44AM

    So, the OP coin looks like it was stored in a leather pouch to me, as several have stated.
    >
    But what causes the ‘Cheeto’s orange toning,’ occasionally occurring on gold, especially HEs?
    I’ve talked to a dealer in the past, a couple of times, and this is how he described it. He said gold never tones this color naturally, and it’s always AT. Iodine?
    Thoughts, opinions, etc?

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,370 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I went to one of the major coin shows in downtown Baltimore back in the early 1990's. In one of the dealer's cases, I saw an Indian gold half eagle in a PCGS slab with the most beautiful uniform orange color that I've ever seen. I never saw a gold coin like it before. Since I just got to the show, I decided to keep looking. Eventually, I went back to buy it but it was gone. I regretted letting that one get away. A couple of years later, I read about using iodine on gold coins and I immediately remembered that coin. I'm convinced that it was iodine treated and that it must have gotten past the graders at PCGS.

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

  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Married2Coins said:
    One thing I learned about color on a coin is that it does not "flow." The 1891-CC at the top looks like the color was applied.

    Another possibility: The color is original and somebody unsuccessfully tried to dip it off.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mr_Spud said:
    True, it’s not 90%, but I’ll know it’s real iodine treated gold for sure. I’m not willing to ruin a real gold coin, but want to know what it looks like. I read some things saying you can test gold jewelry with iodine and if it turns black it’s real, so it may not need the 10% other metals. Not sure though

    If you have a sovereign or 20 franc coin with your bullion, it may be a more accurate test.

  • AngryTurtleAngryTurtle Posts: 1,553 ✭✭✭
    edited April 3, 2024 10:19AM

    I have gotten mixed opinions from knowledgeable dealers on the color of this one.

  • RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,992 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AngryTurtle said:
    I have gotten mixed opinions from knowledgeable dealers on the color of this one.

    Anyone who tells you that coin is iodine toned isn't a knowledgeable dealer.

    Without seeing it in hand, I can't speak to the bluish highlights on it, but the rest of the color is natural.


    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
  • AngryTurtleAngryTurtle Posts: 1,553 ✭✭✭

    @Regulated said:

    >

    Without seeing it in hand, I can't speak to the bluish highlights on it, but the rest of the color is natural.

    The comments I have gotten weren't specifically iodine, but that it was enough outside the norm that they weren't quite sure what to make of it.

  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,521 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mr_Spud said:
    I went ahead and ordered some iodine tincture off of Amazon yesterday.

    I plan on treating a small 1 gram gold bar I have lying around with it just to see what it ends up looking like. I’ll post some pictures.

    Ill join you in this experiment, I bought a rather large gold deal a couple months ago and theres alot of raw pre 33 that I can play with without any financial detriment.

    The op coin gave me pause when i first saw it, I have to admit. I was well aware that pioneer gold tones like that because of the improper alloy mixtures but I was always suspicious of regular issues that look like that. Glad the experts chimed in on this thread.

    And holy cow, @Regulated decided to grace us with his presence? Its a party now!

  • kruegerkrueger Posts: 805 ✭✭✭

    MS70 will turn coppers purple.
    Gold coin has copper in it.
    Just a thought maybe the purple toned gold was que tipped rolled on with MS 70??

  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I started the experiment just now. I got my 2% iodine tincture and placed a drop on the 1 gram gold bar. It spread out. I’m going to just let it dry like that for the first experiment and see what it looks like. I’ll keep taking pictures using the same lighting and setup when it dries. Depending on what happens, I’ll try wiping it off and/or dipping it after that and then might try a different technique either on the same side of the bar (if the iodine wipes or dips off) or turn it over and try something different.

    Mr_Spud

  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 7, 2024 3:57PM

    About 25 minutes later, it looks like it’s almost dry but now I can barely tell the iodine is on it except right next to the raised areas. Strange, I wasn’t expecting it to disappear like that. If it ends up completely invisible after it completely dries, I might try adding a couple more drops on top of what’s already on it.

    Mr_Spud

  • lermishlermish Posts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 7, 2024 3:57PM

    Thank you @MrSpud ! Enjoying this already and interested to see how it compares to @DeplorableDan 's pre33.

  • Married2CoinsMarried2Coins Posts: 211 ✭✭✭

    @MrEureka said:

    @Married2Coins said:
    One thing I learned about color on a coin is that it does not "flow." The 1891-CC at the top looks like the color was applied.

    Another possibility: The color is original and somebody unsuccessfully tried to dip it off.

    Yet the color did not come off? That was some weal dip. Or the coin retoned with the clues to unoriginality I mentioned?

  • Married2CoinsMarried2Coins Posts: 211 ✭✭✭

    @Mr_Spud said:
    I started the experiment just now. I got my 2% iodine tincture and placed a drop on the 1 gram gold bar. It spread out. I’m going to just let it dry like that for the first experiment and see what it looks like. I’ll keep taking pictures using the same lighting and setup when it dries. Depending on what happens, I’ll try wiping it off and/or dipping it after that and then might try a different technique either on the same side of the bar (if the iodine wipes or dips off) or turn it over and try something different.

    I think using 999 find gold bars rather than a gold coin will make your experiment unvalid.

  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Married2Coins said:

    I think using 999 find gold bars rather than a gold coin will make your experiment unvalid.

    Maybe. I’ll find out.

    Mr_Spud

  • HillbillyCollectorHillbillyCollector Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 7, 2024 4:18PM

    Yeah, I don’t think gold bullion will be affected by Iodine, or really anything because pure gold is stable ( not to include Aqua regia)
    >
    I was thinking it was the copper in the alloy that was reacting to it (Iodine)
    Am I looking at this wrong?

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