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Restore Toning On Seated Dime Love Token

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 Posted 05/28/2020  5:35 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Bump111 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Recently, I gave a love token to a lady. It's an 1891 Seated Liberty dime and has nice engraving and painted flowers. I had a local jeweler (reputable, old, family-owned business that's been here for more than 70 years) create a custom bezel for it so she can wear it. Went to pick it up today and the 100+ years of toning and paint was removed when they put in an ultrasonic bath.

Needless to say, we are both very upset with the results. My question is, is there ANY way to get the token toned in a similar way? She is heartbroken and I would sure like to get it "fixed." Suggestions or alternatives would be much appreciated.
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 Posted 05/28/2020  6:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That seems unlikely. Do you have pics of it in the original state?
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 Posted 05/28/2020  6:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bump111 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I dont have before pics, Frog. I was wishing I did. Suffice it to say it was your run of the mill beautiful circulation cameo dark silver toning
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 Posted 05/28/2020  11:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thq to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have retoned cleaned half dollars by lighting a match and letting it flare against the surface I want to tone. The soot and sulfur from the match blacken the silver fairly uniformly. Rubbing the surface makes the high points silvery again.
"Two minutes ago I would have sold my chances for a tired dime." Fred Astaire
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 Posted 05/29/2020  09:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bump111 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, thq. Is the toning permanent as far as you can tell?

The jeweler said they could "antique" the coin using chemicals, but it sounds like making a bad situation worse to me. Anyone have any experience with that process?
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 Posted 05/29/2020  09:52 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Oh my, that is terrible!

Sadly, I do not think any shortcut will yield the same results. If it were easy, we would have way fewer of discussions about questionable toning.
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 Posted 05/29/2020  09:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bump111 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My thoughts, too, JB.

If I can't recapture the old, dark toning in this lifetime, perhaps I could try one of the methods of AT that would yield some nice rainbows. Anyone adept at that process and can give me detailed instructions?
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 Posted 05/29/2020  11:36 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Could not agree more.
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 Posted 05/30/2020  2:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add suipakpaikungfu to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There's some stuff that will add "toning" on ebay.
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 Posted 06/01/2020  08:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Andrew99 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You will not be able to restore circ cameo. You can darken the coin, though, by putting it on a paper towel in a piece of sealed Tupperware with a crushed hard boiled egg for a couple of days. Turn the coin after a day or when the reverse (start there) darkens. This is best done when harsh cleaning is best covered up by any toning at all. It will not be the most attractive, but its better than a bright white cleaned coin.
The collection is in your mind. Dispose of your albums and free your mind from the tyranny of holes.
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 Posted 06/01/2020  08:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Gincoin43 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You could look in to antique restoration companies. They would probably have an easier time with a description but I think you would get a better result than eggs or matches. Especially considering it's jewelry now. They would probably have experience in both paint and "antiquing" metal.
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 Posted 06/01/2020  10:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bump111 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for all the replies and suggestions. I will get photos of the token in its current state. The jeweler offered to try the "antiquing" finish at no charge so I may give that a shot. I figure it probably can't be damaged any more than it is currently. I'll post after images for future reference.

The moral of the story (I suppose) is to make your expectations known very well before anything is done to one of these old tokens. I thought that when we discussed having a sterling silver bezel made in order for it to ultimately match the toning on the coin, they would understand that the toning was important - I wasn't clear enough obviously.
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 Posted 06/01/2020  11:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The jeweler offered to try the "antiquing" finish at no charge so I may give that a shot. I figure it probably can't be damaged any more than it is currently. I'll post after images for future reference.
I hope it works out.
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 Posted 06/03/2020  11:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TimNH to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
You can darken the coin, though, by putting it on a paper towel in a piece of sealed Tupperware with a crushed hard boiled egg for a couple of days. Turn the coin after a day or when the reverse (start there) darkens. This is best done when harsh cleaning is best covered up by any toning at all.


I read this, and tried it on a couple low-price silvers.. and wow does it work. It's a sort of metallic bronze with a faint rainbow. You don't need a couple of days, a couple of hours and the thing looks really nice. I'm sure it wouldn't fool PCGS , don't want to start a AT vs NT war, but sure better than bleach white. Cheers!
Edited by TimNH
06/04/2020 12:26 am
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 Posted 06/04/2020  1:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bump111 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I just returned from taking the token back to the jeweler. They applied some of their "antiquing" sauce to the coin and brought it back out to me. Certainly isn't as pretty as pre-disaster, but I must say it isn't half bad. We agreed to have them apply a real treatment and, while they're at it, I'm having three garnets mounted where the enamel paint used to be. There are mounting prongs on the token so I think there were stones there in the past that were removed and the holes painted in.

I'm sorry that I neglected to snap a "before" photo as promised, but just imagine what a shiny, cleaned 1891 seated Liberty would look like and you get the picture. Hope to get "after" photos if that'd be any consolation.
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 Posted 06/04/2020  4:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sounds like a decent ending.


Quote:
Hope to get "after" photos if that'd be any consolation.
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