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Tulley

Proof Union coins with no toning

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Tulley

I see that the a lot of the slabbed old proof union coins for sale here on BOB have no toning or patina.

So I presume they are cleaned or dipped before they are sent for grading.

What products are used for this purpose?

And what is the process?

Thanks.

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Jongleur
I see that the a lot of the slabbed old proof union coins for sale here on BOB have no toning or patina.

So I presume they are cleaned or dipped before they are sent for grading.

What products are used for this purpose?

And what is the process?

Thanks.

 

The practice of cleaning coins is frowned upon.

Having said that, and with due respect to the collectors, I have used toothpaste, coca - cola, salt and vinegar, baking

soda and tin foil. Wash them with Sunlight liquid afterwards.

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jwither
I see that the a lot of the slabbed old proof union coins for sale here on BOB have no toning or patina.

So I presume they are cleaned or dipped before they are sent for grading.

What products are used for this purpose?

And what is the process?

Thanks.

 

I believe that a lot of Union coins (proof or business strike) that are in NGC and PCGS holders have been "enhanced", typically under the false impression that it makes the coin "better". While Union coins are not that old and it's not unsuaul to find coins of this age untoned, I would still expect to see more of them toned than I have. I base this opinion on the lack of a collecting culture where it is likely that most of them would not have been stored properly because they were not worth much and few would have paid attention to them. The primary exception to this would likely have been KGV proofs from 1926-1936 and maybe the 1939.

 

I have owned quite a few of the more common proofs and I can tell you that in many instances, they are really mediocre looking coins even in grades of up to PR-66. Dull and lifeless is my description. I am not interested in these coins and definitely will not pay a premium price for them, regardless of the grade.

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Tulley

Thanks guys.

I automatically assumed that a proof union coin especially the ones minted before 1951 should have some toning.

So this isn't necessarily so.

Do proof coins with some toning have a higher collectable value than proof coins with no toning?

Or does it just depend on the individual coin collector ie, some collectors prefer bright shiny coins with no toning and others like their coins toned.

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jwither

I would not assign a specific cut-off date like 1951.

 

The primary factor that determines whether coins are natually toned or not is how they have been stored. The reason I believe the 1926-1936 KGV sets and the scarcer KGVI tend to look better (on average) without toning is because since they were worth more, the owners took better care of them.

 

I do not see them anymore, but until around 2006, I used to see 1940's and 1950's Union proof sets in a venue like Stack's sell ungraded regularly. I never saw them in person (only images) but these coins were not attractive at all and almost certainly due to poor storage. My assumption is that many of these sets were subsequently cleaned or dipped (or maybe conserved with NCS) and are now graded. Based upon the images I saw, I suspect that more than a few of these coins currently look lifeless or dull as I described in my last post.

 

To discriminating collectors, these coins are not going to be desirable, regardless of what grade is on the holder. Currently, collectors and "investors" in South Africa do not seem to consistently distinguish between quality coins and those which are not. Disproportionately, they only or at least mostly go by the grade on the holder which is a mistake.

 

Which ones have more value depends upon collector preference. For Union and ZAR, I will accept and like either. However, for other coins I collect such as Spanish colonial pillars, I prefer toned specimens since in my opinion, no coin dated 1772 and prior is ever naturally untoned today. If I could show you examples of each in person, you would see the distinction immediately.

 

In the United States, "original" coins can and do sell for substantial premiums to those which are not. An "original" coin can either be toned or untoned as I just described, the distinction being whether a prior owner altered its appearance. In other instances, toning which a group of collectors consider particularly attractive such as "rainbow" or "monster" toning sell for exorbitant or even absurd premiums.

Edited by jwither

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Tulley

Thanks, jwither.

One last question.

How do you store your coins?

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jwither
Thanks, jwither.

One last question.

How do you store your coins?

 

Ungraded coins first preferably in Safeflip 2X2 inch holders. This is a specific name brand which is manufactured to be chemically inert.

 

Graded coins by NGC, PCGS and presumably (for South Africa collectors) SANGS are sonically sealed in inert plastic slabs.

 

For the favorite coins in my collection or those that I particularly want to be sure of, I also use Intercept Shield holders which house the TPG holder. These are sold in boxes of 10 or 20 and are designed to provide additional protection with a life span of 10 years. They are the best available to my knowledge. They are also available for 2X2 holders but I have never bought any.

 

Examples of coins I store in Intercept Shield include my 1957 NGC PR-67 RD Penny and 1954 NGC PR-68 CAM 6D. These are not valuable coins but they are very high quality and sharp looking coins and I want to make sure they stay that way. I also store some of my Spanish colonial and Austrian Netherlands coins this way, toned and untoned. For the toned coins, I do so to better ensure that they do not tone any further. For copper or bronze, also to make sure that those graded RD do not change to RB. (I have yet to have a NGC or PCGS coin change color in the holder but you never know.) The reference book 'Coin Chemistry" details the different stages of toning on silver coins. "Yellow" and 'Grey" or Blue" are fine; "Black" you do not want to go there.

 

Lastly, all coins should be stored in a low humidity environment such as a typical bank safe deposit box or at home with air conditioning. I have never done so, but collectors who post on the NGC Message Boards also state that they place silica gel packets in their safety deposit boxes to absorb humidity and/or put the coin (in its holder) in a ziplog plastic bag for additional protection. Humidity is particularly a "killer' for the color of bronze and copper coins. As you can probably infer, the climate where each collector resides will be a factor.

Edited by jwither

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