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Untoned Vs. Original Skin: Pros And Cons Please

 
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United States
312 Posts
 Posted 10/23/2018  9:14 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Sharkman to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Last year I read a book by Q. David Bowers that was written in 2005 on how to collect and invest in rare coins. He advised avoiding heavily toned or dark coins. So I avoided those coins without really looking at them and bought only shiny or steel gray coins.
About a week ago, I posted a question about commercially acceptable cleaning as related to a straight graded Liberty Seated dollars. In the intriguing and informative thread that followed, I learned about dipping, retoning, and other aspects of cleaning older coins. I also was surprised by the number of posters advocating for "original skin." These people seemed to like the very coins I thought I should be avoiding. So I began looking at the "original" coins I had been avoiding as heavily toned or too dark, and I saw a beauty in them I had never taken the time to appreciate. I began contemplating a significant purchase of an original skin coin I found particularly attractive.
Then, today I got confused. In a poll asking which of two Trade dollars was preferred between a heavily toned and apparently original Trade dollar and an untoned Trade dollar, I was surprised to find about 80% preferred the untoned coin although it clearly had been dipped. This was much different than I expected given the views expressed in the thread I started.
I know tastes and fashions always change, but I am really confused about which is currently, at least, considered more desirable. At a simple level, it seems to me that original coins are undoubtedly real, but that untoned and even dipped coins look more like they did when fresh from the mint.
I am sure a lot of people have opinions on this, and I would be happy to hear any you care to share, as your thoughts will help my frame my own decisions.
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United States
8714 Posts
 Posted 10/23/2018  9:57 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SilverDollar2017 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I prefer original coins most of the time especially when it comes to certain series like Seated coinage. But original skin isn't always the best option...sometimes a coin may have very dark toning that may progress into black toning outside of a near airtight environment like a slab, which is undesirable for some series. Therefore I preferred the less toned Trade dollar example in the other thread.

But in general, I usually prefer coins with original surfaces more than dipped coins. I am one of the 'toning' and 'crusty patina' fans here...I know some others are not.
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United States
1249 Posts
 Posted 10/23/2018  10:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add chesterb to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There are dark coins and then there are dark coins. I prefer nicely toned coins myself. You need to start studying the types of coins that CAC stickers. CAC looks at only the top 20% or so for the grade in eye appeal, quality, and originality. Those coins are seeing a premium in the marketplace. There are so many factors to look for in acquiring a coin. I'm at the point where I only purchase original coins, with good strikes, minimally marked surfaces, clean cheeks, no hairlines, etc. Because I like Early Type Coins, I can probably count on one hand the number of white coins in my collection and I'm fine with that.
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United States
12771 Posts
 Posted 10/23/2018  10:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Bowers was right in general, heavily toned dark coins generally have a smaller market and sometimes much smaller. Coins get dipped and have been dipped for decades because the majority like the lighter better luster look. Dark doesn't always mean original nor does untoned always mean unoriginal.

The thing that drives prices and liquidity a lot is quite simply eye appeal. You can see strong evidence of that in prices realized, and you can also see colorful toning that does the same, but when things get to dark and services luster becomes muted you lose buyers.

Grade level plays a role as well. There's no one this is always true rule with coins other than eye appealing coins are the most popular
Fire A.J. Preller
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United States
3479 Posts
 Posted 10/23/2018  11:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MikeF to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Then, today I got confused. In a poll asking which of two Trade dollars was preferred between a heavily toned and apparently original Trade dollar and an untoned Trade dollar, I was surprised to find about 80% preferred the untoned coin although it clearly had been dipped. This was much different than I expected given the views expressed in the thread I started.


I think I remember the post you are referring to.

Please post a link to refresh my memory.
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United States
3479 Posts
 Posted 10/23/2018  11:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MikeF to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Is this the post? http://goccf.com/t/326575
Bedrock of the Community
United States
12771 Posts
 Posted 10/23/2018  11:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Is this the post? http://goccf.com/t/326575


If so it seems to need to be explained more. That's two toned Trade dollars where people where for the most part people were saying to keep the nicer one slabbed

The "lighter one" actually appears to have a darker reverse being that was a scan and the first one was just a low light picture.
Fire A.J. Preller
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United States
8714 Posts
 Posted 10/23/2018  11:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SilverDollar2017 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yeah, pretty sure that's the topic the OP is referring to.
Edited by SilverDollar2017
10/23/2018 11:29 pm
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Canada
1190 Posts
 Posted 10/23/2018  11:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hadleydog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I believe that the question posed in that thread was which coin would you choose to crack out of its slab to be placed in an album. The majority chose the lighter coin (most likely dipped) since placing either in an album would rekindle the toning process, and the already heavily toned piece would eventually become terminal.

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United States
312 Posts
 Posted 10/24/2018  12:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sharkman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, you folks correctly found the thread referred to in the op.
As to increasing toning, I can understand how "album toning" could continue indefinitely. How likely is a dark toned coin to get darker if slabbed and kept in a dry environment like the Arizona desert?
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Canada
1190 Posts
 Posted 10/24/2018  12:41 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hadleydog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
How likely is a dark toned coin to get darker if slabbed and kept in a dry environment like the Arizona desert?


That really depends on how close to terminal toning the darkly toned piece is. The silver oxide layer that begins to form on every silver coin from the moment it was struck at first acts as a layer of protection for the original surface. Over time, this silver oxide layer (thick skinned, or toned depending on how light refracts through it) will no longer protect the coins surface, and the natural degradation process will continue.
Dipping will not return it to its original condition, as dipping removes a thin layer of the surface.....eventually leading to diminished luster.
Unless stored in a vacuum, there is no way to stop this process.....original skin will slow it, but not stop it.
I have seen heavily toned pieces (not dark) remain unchanged for decades. My avatar is one.


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United States
30369 Posts
 Posted 10/24/2018  04:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
IMHO,I think it boils down to eye appeal and if you like toned coins. Here is a link to eye appeal I thought was a good read https://www.PCGS.com/eyeappeal
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 5+ Million Cents Since 1971
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Australia
16077 Posts
 Posted 10/24/2018  07:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
When it comes to mint state silver coins,
I prefer blast white to any sort of toning.
That way, the mint luster can be fully displayed.

In other words, as if it just left the minting press.
That is about as original as you can get.

Nevertheless, any toning should never be disturbed.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
18725 Posts
 Posted 10/24/2018  08:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just remember there are different types of coin collectors. Some like toned coins, some like old coins, some like newer ones, etc. Some like US coins and some hate them. So many different types of coins, so many different types of collectors.
just carl
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United States
79171 Posts
 Posted 10/24/2018  09:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The thing that drives prices and liquidity a lot is quite simply eye appeal
This is true.

You should like what you like. If you find one coin more attractive than another then who cares what others think? You buy the attractive coin!

If you collect based on polls and popularity you are probably not going to enjoy it for long.
Pillar of the Community
United States
2431 Posts
 Posted 10/24/2018  10:53 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slider23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The key to buying coins with orginal skin is eye appeal. Ugly dark toned coins with orginal skin are typically not wanted by most collectors. The attractive original skin toned is sought after by many collectors and will command a premium to purchase. I recall the Trade dollar choice of the two coins and the toned Trade dollar was on the strange side of toning. I started out collecting classic coins that look like they were just minted, and my taste changed to classic coins with orginal skin and eye appeal. I do like my Half Cents and large cents with orginal skin dark chocolate toning.
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