Coin Collecting: How To Tone Coins Naturally And Increase Coin Value

John Tsang grew up in a town whose economy depended on valued metals. His investments include precious metals. Toned coins are widely admired by many for their beauty. While smasher is in the eye of the perceiver, throughout history old and beautifully toned coins can fetch a very high premium in price. silver is by and large considered to produce the most attractive tone, but early metals such as nickel and copper are besides possible. When the tone is unattractive, it ‘s referred to as tarnish.

There are many people who would like to own a beautifully toned coin. however, these coins may be expensive and out of reach for the average collector. The good news is that toning is a normal serve which occurs naturally over time. The bad newsworthiness is that it can it can take many decades for the tone process to yield a beautiful coin. however, precisely as person can help a fruit tree grow by adding fertilizer, so excessively can person help stimulate the tone action.

What is toning or tarnishing and what causes it?

tone is a chemical work where the airfoil of a alloy such as silver, reacts with the content in its surrounding environment or air. This can be described with the play along formula.

4Ag + 2H2S + O2 = 2Ag2S + 2H2O

The resultant role is a thin level of ash grey sulfide or Ag2S, which gradually forms on the mint surface. Like Oxygen or O2, the Hydrogen Sulfide or H2S is normally confront in the atmosphere in very little quantities. This explains why silver will constantly tone if left exposed to the air, although only after a very long clock. Heat and humidity will accelerate the thickening process.

The silver sulfide itself is bootleg and can often be seen on tarnish silverware. however, the thickening layer of silver sulfide will produce respective colors through what is known as the Thin-Film Interference Effect.

What is the Thin-Film Interference Effect?

The Thin-Film Interference Effect is familiar to anyone who has seen the bright colors in a soap bubble. The colors are created as follow :

  • A beam of light strikes the surface of a coin, containing a thin layer of silver sulfide, at an angle.
  • The beam is split in two, one is reflected immediately and the other penetrates the upper layer.
  • The light that goes through the layer is refracted or bent according to the type of material and the thickness it’s passing through.
  • This part of the beam is behind the first part and now in a different phase
  • The phase shift results in two light waves producing a new color to the naked eye.

Light that is visible to the human eye covers a spectrum of wavelengths, ranging from about 400 nanometers ( nanometer ) for violet to about 700 nm for deep red. Every color in the spectrum has a corresponding wavelength of light. The human eye has three types of cones that each perceive color and they are blue, green and red. Each cone is most sensible at a certain wavelength. A combination of these three cones is interpreted by the human genius as a certain light. For exercise, bluing + green + red = white.

Blue faint has the shortest wavelength of the three cones and is the first to be canceled out by the identical thin toning layer. The phase shift to cancel blue light is roughly 220 nm, which requires a toning layer of half that or about 110 nm. Without bluing, you have red and green, which turns into yellow. This is the reason why the first signs of toning will always be yellow.

however, it is potential for the tone process to occur so quickly and the toning layer to be so dense that the natural progress of colors is completely bypassed. You may then end up with a black mint in its final department of state. The mesa below gives the natural progress of tone .

Thin Film Thickness Color
100 Light Yellow
130 Burgundy
200 Cobal Blue
300 Yellow
350 orange
360 crimson
380 magenta
420 Blue
450 Light Blue
470 bluish green
520 green

How to tone coins naturally?

now that we know what causes toning, it is possible for anyone to tone coins naturally. Simply leaving your coins exposed to the tune for a very long fourth dimension will do the job. however, if you ‘re not volition to wait several decades, there is something you can do to speed up the summons.

The tempo of the toning march can be affected by a phone number of factors .

  • Different gasses in the air leads to different types of toning. One of them, Sulfur occurs naturally and will combine with the moisture in the air to accelerate toning. The amount of Sulfur in the air can be increased by nearby sources due to the presence of cigarette smoke or appliances than run on natural gas.
  • Surface contamination by certain substances that have come into contact with the surface of a coin can affect the toning process. Examples are water or oil from greasy hands.
  • The longer the surface of the coin is exposed, the more the colors will change.
  • Increased heat and humidity will also accelerate the toning process.
  • Since the atmosphere in the local environment differs from place to place, the toning process will also be different depending on location.

They key to accelerating the tone work is to increase the sum of hydrogen sulfide in close proximity to your coins. Any informant with a moderate sulfur content can accomplish this .

  • Storing coins in paper and cardboard holders.
  • Wrapping coins in white tissue paper.
  • Sealing coins in brown or manilla envelopes.
  • Storing in antique coin albums if you can find them.

You can besides place them in the sunlight for faster toning due to the heat. You must monitor the process to make certain that the tone does not go excessively fast and become atrocious. Expect to wait at least 6 months before the first signs of toning starting signal to appear and credibly 12 to 24 months until you have something functional.

It is crucial that you only use low amounts of hydrogen sulfide. experiment with low value coins first to see what works best. silver quarters from 1964 would be a good choice. excessively much can actually turn a mint completely black and lose all value.

What is the difference between artificial and natural toning?

The remainder between the two is not distinctly defined and highly subjective. The above method is slightly in a gray area, but broadly not considered artificial tone by most. In general, anything that cursorily causes tone is considered artificial. A clear up case of artificial tone is to use large concentrations of chemicals in a testing ground to tone a mint. In these cases, it ‘s possible to get a toned mint in seconds. eminence that chemicals such as Hydrogen Sulfide are very toxic.

however, these coin are by and large different from coins that toned more gradually. They tend to exhibit sealed signs that are well known in the roll up community and relatively easily to detect. It is highly improbable to find any collector who is bequeath to pay any bounty for such coins. There is a very small find some extremely skilled person can produce a mint that can fool some experts, but that is extremely rare. Certain patterns and coloring material combinations can besides alone be achieved through natural tone and not through artificial tone.

What are the benefits of toned coins?

The basal benefit of a tone coin is its beauty. In addition, an beautifully tone coin can make it unique and rare compared to other coins. The tone can make it appeal to collectors who may be bequeath to acquire it from you. professional grading companies such as NGC will add a special signal such as a star to indicate its appeal from a physical point of view. This means that the coin is worth a batch more money than a regular mint. It is not rare for beautifully tone coins to be worth a multiple of a alike untoned coin.
Dave Feltner on September 18, 2017 : Can anyone tell me how a rate coin in its slab turns black from the gasses leaking out and people try to pawn it off as a tone coin, are these coins actually toned or are they damaged ? I think there atrocious ! And if it keeps its high grade after this affect happens ? Shop24ampm on February 03, 2017 : Hi, identical good article. Thank you for those tips and tricks on keeping the rare coins clean and tidy. we are into rare and age-old coin sales. please give us a inflict hypertext transfer protocol : // We deal with British India coins Doug West from Missouri on October 13, 2016 : good hub on toning. It does take quite a bite of time to get a natural look on coins. sometimes toning is despicable and it hurts the value of the mint. Brandon Spiegel from North Texas on July 07, 2016 : This is amazing ! Blackspaniel1 on October 10, 2014 : intervention causes colors when a certain semblance is re-enforced. The length of the path and the lights focal ratio causes a certain frequency to be in phase with both the glow reflected from the open and the radio beam that reflects from the metal. One curious effect is the angle the light passes helps determine the ocular length, which selects the color. so, the color should dpend on the angle viewed. John Tsang (author) on February 17, 2014 : Me besides, ever since I was a fiddling boy. Find them wholly fascinating. Thanks for commenting ! Sarah Forester from Australia on February 16, 2014 : very interesting Hub, my husband loves to collect coins. John Tsang (author) on December 30, 2012 : pat7755, thanks for commenting. smasher lies in the center of the perceiver. In general, people value things more that are pretty in their eyes. If they do n’t think it ‘s pretty, then they wo n’t assign extra prize to it. Value besides does not inevitably have to be in terms of money. Although prices for coins with beautiful tone does reflect how much a bunch of people value them. reasonably toning with sought after colors such as jaundiced, blue sky etc. normally does good, while despicable toning with less attractive colors such as brown and black gets rejected. Hence, why toning sometimes gets called tarnish, evening though they are technically the lapp thing. pat7755 from New York on December 25, 2012 : tone does n’t always increase a coins value. There is some debate on the topic as different collectors have their own opinions. A nicely toned coin may diminish the prize for one collector or raise it for another. zenpropix on December 23, 2012 :

Your attempt to explain the tone of silver coins from a scientific position is quite interest. Into a world of natural tone, that might occur over a century or two, and artificial tone, which quickly speeds up the action in a lab put, you introduce what might be termed ‘accelerated natural tone. ‘ One stated goal is to enhance the rate of coins toned in this way. Readers should be mindful that they may not achieve the attractive tone that they desire. Plus, if such coins are sold as ‘speed toned ‘, ticket. however, if they are misrepresented as coins that toned naturally since the date they were struck … well, put yourself in the shoes of the likely buyer of such a coin .

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