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Silver Pre-Decimal Coin Tarnish, Eye Appeal - Impact On Value.

 
 
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Valued Member
Australia
246 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2019  06:24 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CoinOS to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Here is a currently available and rare 1914h florin but this example has an unusual amount of gunk on it.

The seller is honest and knowledgeable and it's authenticity is not in question.
The asking price is fair and it was passed over at auction,
- probably because it has no eye appeal.

(basically it looks disgusting..)
If there were an ugly coin contest - I'd enter this.



Is that a case of every bacterial culture on Earth calling this coin home?
- or is it just silver sulphide buildup?
- or has it been in salt water?
- a damp environment?
- many grubby fingers?

If it's toning is environmental, at what point is 'too much' and should the process be chemically halted or slowed? Reagent grade Acetone or ultrasonic cleaning are both safe.

I've seen black coins (toned far beyond this) that are close to damaged coins,
& the widely held opinion that any degree of sulphide buildup is okay - is certainly arguable.

The chemical progression of tarnishing on silver coins is complex and not as simple as it seems.

Apart from the well known Silver sulphide layer we see, there is also typically an extremely thin copper sulphide layer. [George V florins are 7.5% copper]

Silver coins do not tarnish away to nothing and magically vanish one day.

The reaction rate decreases non-linearly as the silver sulphide thickness [Ag2S] increases.
The diffusion of Hydrogen Sulphide [H2S] through the tarnish film layers slows as the layer thickness grows.

Anyway - The price is good but it's an ugly duckling and
as always any opinions or other input are very much appreciated.

Cheers #
Bedrock of the Community
United States
28071 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2019  07:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
IMHO,it has nice eye appeal.
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 5+ Million Cents Since 1971
Bedrock of the Community
Australia
15566 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2019  08:33 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Some like it some don't.
That's OK, either way.
Each to his own.

The black on the OP's coin is a silver oxide / sulfide combination. I agree: a reasonably ugly coin, and most probably why it was passed in at auction.
Proof that bad toning does, in fact, affect the value.

My order of preference:
1. A white silver coin, provided that hasn't obviously been cleaned.
2. A dark patinated silver coin.
3. A silver coin that HAS obviously been cleaned to the point that PMD has to be considered.
4. A dark silver coin that has been cleaned, and with subsequent horrible patination.

All may still be collectible.
My general rule, (for me), across the whole of numismatics.

Edited by sel_69l
06/14/2019 08:58 am
Valued Member
Australia
246 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2019  4:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CoinOS to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The black on the OP's coin is a silver oxide / sulfide combination


Probably, yes.
Silver in humid air will slowly have all sorts of things going on depending on what is in the air.

Carbonyl sulfide if present will also react with silver and if Hydrogen Sulphide is notably present - it will revert silver oxide to elemental silver by reduction.


Quote:
4. A dark silver coin that has been cleaned, and with subsequent horrible patination.


If I suspect a coin has been egged or similar I won't buy it - depends on lots of things. I do consider repatination in Earth, or a window sill fair play though.

I very nearly spent 600 dollars on a cleaned but very high grade 1914h florin last year. I have bought cleaned coins for over 500 dollars on several occasions - all because the coins were in superb condition and throwing them in my herb garden for a few years does wonders - assuming I remember where I bury them.

That 14h (if uncleaned) would have been a contender for something like MS62 - with hindsight I probably should have bought it. Rare coins are rare coins whether cleaned or not.

Almost all of Victoria museum's old Australian silver coins exhibit a russet patina which looks just fine to me:



That is a superb coin and it doesn't have the awful black gunk that my above image of the 14h does - but there is something going on in the area between the Emu head, star, and shield which I cannot identify.

#
Pillar of the Community
United States
646 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2019  5:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add chipjones to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I see the spot you are looking at.
To me it looks like minor pitting.
True it is a ugly coin. But rare date.
I would give it a good soaking in acetone.
Bedrock of the Community
Australia
15566 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2019  7:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would have preferred to see that '15 Florin from the Victoria Museum in blast white.

Way back when that coin was struck, hard acrylic air tight coin protection was not available. Preservation may be far superior,
but from a museum presentation point of view, acrylic capsules are horrible. Same applies to slabbed coins.

Old wood museum coin cabinets often used animal glue in their construction. As this glue ages, sulfur based gassing over a century or more can affect museum coins, giving them an old 'museum tone'.
Some collectors prefer completely pristine blast white silver coins, some prefer 'museum toned' coins.
Pillar of the Community
Australia
522 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2019  10:08 pm  Show Profile   Check ryurazu's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add ryurazu to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
too me if the coin has even toning or a good rainbow tone I don't mind it, what I don't like is if they are blacked or have glue on them/rust.
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