ALL ABOUT TONED MORGANS
If you ‘ve ever wanted to learn about or better your cognition regarding toned Morgan Dollars, you ‘ve come to the right place. Rainbow toned Morgans have been admired for years by a broad kind of unlike numismatists, and for good argue. Beautifully toned Morgan Dollars are a shape of art—art created by Mother Nature herself. many collectors not entirely appreciate the smasher of these coins, but they besides value the huge sum of history and unique stories behind them .
Toned Morgan Dollars are frequently coins that a collector keeps after selling about everything else from his or her solicitation because they are extremely beautiful and frequently irreplaceable. No two toned Morgans are precisely alike, and if you ever find yourself in monomania of one, you ‘ll probably find that it ‘s unmanageable to put down. There are millions of blast white Morgan Dollars in being, but only a few hundred toned Morgans with the exceptionally beautiful colors that collectors cherish. unfortunately, back in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s, dealers used to dip these coins to remove the tone because the market had n’t however recognized their beauty. Most of the remaining high-end examples are not entirely outstanding, but they have amazing histories and pedigrees of past collections that they have been a part of. It seems natural that an avid numismatist besides has a bent for history, and the history behind toned Morgans is amazing. Just think tracing a Morgan back through by owners to the very person who in the first place discovered it in a bank bag !
many of the high-end coins are so recognizable that they are known by names given to them by their owners. It is much easier to reference “ The Moose ” than to reference “ the 1881 S Rainbow Toned Morgan in an MS68+ holder. ” On this page you can learn about the history behind how these alone coins toned in the ways that they did, how to distinguish between natural tone and tone produced by artificial methods, how to price toned Morgans, the physics behind tone, the respective types of tone Morgans, and much more. To navigate this page, feel free to jump to certain sections or to read the stallion article in one go. If you have any questions or suggestions, do n’t hesitate to contact us here. history of Toned Morgan Silver Dollars
Designed by George T. Morgan, the U.S. Mint first began producing Morgan Dollars in 1878 under the Bland-Allison Act, which required that the U.S. Treasury buy a certain amount of flatware and release it into circulation. After the Mint began production, they continued to produce Morgan Dollars until 1904, after which they took a 17-year hiatus until 1921 when the silver dollars were minted for one final year. Morgans dwell of 90 % silver and 10 % bull, a standard proportion the U.S. Mint had been using for silver neologism since 1794, and the same proportion that continued to be used until 1964 .
Morgan Dollars were struck at respective different mints, including San Francisco, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Carson City, and Denver ( only in 1921 ). A mint mark found on the binding of a Morgan denotes which mint it came from—S for San Francisco, no mint mark for Philadelphia, O for New Orleans, CC for Carson City, and D for Denver. At the time of production, far more silver dollars were produced than were needed for circulation, so overindulgence coins were stored in $ 1,000 U.S. Treasury canvass bags, and many of these sat untouched for decades. In the early on 1960s, the U.S. Treasury began selling off some of these bags to the public to clear out their vaults, and the remaining bags finally became property of the General Services Administration ( GSA ), which were sold to the public in the 1970s .
What people didn ’ t understand until these bags were opened, however, was that some of the coins that sat near the fabric of the bags had toned beautifully over the decades that they had sat undisturbed. These deposit bags had been laced with trace amounts of sulfur in order to prevent rats from ripping into them, and it was this sulphur that reacted with the silver surfaces of coins and caused a thin silver-sulfide film to form. This film refracts light and is what causes us to see beautiful colors—a phenomenon known as thin-film hindrance. The specific colors we see depend on the thickness of the silver-sulfide film, as certain colors get reflected and others get absorbed when light hits the coin. The variation in thickness was caused by the way coins sat in the bags—many sat at an angle, causing the sulfur to reach certain portions of a mint ’ s surface with differing concentrations . Incoming light Reflected fall Interpreted by our eyes and brain as “ Blue ” Silver-Sulfide Film Silver Coin A park misconception is that toning is similar to the corrode of iron as a solution of oxygen exposure, but that international relations and security network ’ t the case. The sparse film that develops on silver coins and reflects beautiful colors is lone caused by exposure to sulfur, while silver-oxide actually appears as a grey haze on the mint and typically makes a toned Morgan appear dull .
( To read more about the physics behind tone, toned Morgan collector Doug Kurz wrote a fantastic article about thin-film interference, and dealer Brandon Kelley compiled the information onto a web page, which you can find here. ) other Ways Morgans Toned
Beyond canvass bags, some Morgan Dollars were stored in tissue paper, envelopes, albums, and pill booklets, all of which besides caused coins to tone. Back in the day, most composition and cardboard had trace amounts of sulfur within them, so coins stored in envelopes or albums ( particularly Wayte Raymond albums ), much developed toning that advance in from the rims in a bullseye/target model. Some coins—especially those stored in envelopes—toned on both sides, although these examples typically have a bunch of haze on them and are difficult to find with graphic colors .
other Morgans, particularly those with Prooflike or Deep Mirror Prooflike qualities ( firm reflection in the fields due to being some of the first coins struck on impertinently polished dies ) were stored in tissue paper to preserve their delicate surfaces. Old tissue paper besides used to contain sulfur, and this sometimes caused beautiful patterns to form on coins ‘ surfaces that mimicked the tissue paper they were wrapped in .
A few Morgan Dollars were stored in booklets or albums that had a formative tab key holding them in position, and these booklets—surprise surprise—also contained sulfur and could cause toning to occur ( you might be noticing a radiation pattern here ). These alleged ‘tab toners ‘ are difficult to find with bright and beautiful colors, but they have a characteristic line of blank distance across the coin that mimics the check that sat over that area during storage .
other Morgan Dollars were taken out of deposit bags and stored in mint rolls, which could besides cause coins to tone. many people believe that these coin rolls came directly from the mint, but certain national and regional banks rolled the coins after the fact ( it is extremely difficult to find entire original rolls anymore, and closely all rolls available for sale today are not original, such as those on eBay ). Some people besides put Morgan Dollars into hand-rolled rolls, and the composition from these formed wild psychedelic patterns. however, the huge majority of these alleged end of Roll toned Morgans besides tend to have subdued colors. Distinguishing Natural Toning from Artificial Toning
It ’ s no hidden that in today ’ second market, toned coins much fetch substantial premiums. consequently, “ mint doctors ” are getting better and better at mimicking toning in a variety show of different ways, and passing those coins off as being naturally toned. unfortunately, this is making it more difficult for collectors to distinguish between lifelike tone ( NT ) that developed over decades of undisturbed storehouse, and artificial tone ( AT ), which is toning that has been accelerated or has developed on a mint in ways other than through long-run storage in savings bank bags, albums, envelopes, weave wallpaper, or coin rolls. artificial tone is achieved in far shorter periods of clock time than natural tone, and is considered extremely undesirable by seasoned collectors who value the natural creation of Mother Nature .
fortunately, there are certain ways to distinguish between a coin that is NT and one that is AT by looking at patterns exhibited by naturally toned coins. It can be very unmanageable to make these distinctions at first, but once you look at enough naturally toned Morgans, it becomes easier to develop an eye for them and to pick out the artificial examples. finally, they ‘ll stand out like a giant star crimson iris .
1. Color Progression
One of the best ways to tell if a coin is naturally toned is by looking at the tinge. This is something that is highly unmanageable to replicate because the levels of humidity NT coins were stored in and the amounts of sulphur they were exposed to were highly particular .
The most park discolor progression that bag-toned Morgans exhibit is :
Peach → Powder Blue → Bright Yellow → Magenta → Royal Blue → Emerald Green → Burgundy→ Deep Teal → Plum → Charcoal For a more accurate and scientific look at the color, Doug Kurz ( the collector who assembled the Sunnywood Collection of Toned Morgan Dollars ) created a color progress chart with colors normally seen on natural bag toners outlined in the typical order that the colors appear : 2. Pullaway
When Morgan Dollars were struck, the blank eloquent planchet was compressed between two dies on either end that pressed the alloy into the crevasses of the die, creating the mint ‘s design. In certain areas on Morgan Dollars—especially near the go steady and stars—the metallic was stretched as it fit into the crevasses that formed those designs on the coin. When the coins toned, the areas where the metallic element stretched were not as prone to the constitution of a silver-sulfide film, so these areas were left untoned creating a form that looks like the tone was pulled away from them . While not all naturally toned Morgans exhibit the pullaway effect, any that do are about surely natural because this phenomenon is extremely unmanageable to mimic. When coins are artificially toned, the chemical exposure is a lot greater than normal in order to get the tone to develop in a much shorter period of time, so the areas where metal was stretched during striking tend to get toned american samoa well. however, in holocene years coin doctors have become better at faking even this effect, specially when exposing coins to sulfur gas in control amounts ( known as ‘gassing ‘ a mint ). Because of this, it is important to pay care to not equitable pullaway or color progress as break factors, but to look at the mint in its entirety and consider multiple indicators of lifelike tone .
3. elevation Chromatics
This term, first coined by toned Morgan dealer Brandon Kelley, refers to how different colors sit at unlike elevations on a mint ’ s surface. Any given coin has high and depleted points within the design, and when toning happen naturally, the same demand colors don ’ triiodothyronine appear on both the high points and the gloomy points. On Morgan Dollars, one of the best places to look is at the news LIBERTY. If this area is toned, the tone will about constantly be a different tinge or shade of colors within the crevasses of LIBERTY as compared to the surrounding area : In addition to the word LIBERTY, the hair of lady liberty ( the bust you see on a Morgan Dollar ) has a draw of higher and lower points in it, so that is another place one can look to for this phenomenon. The same is truthful with the stars and date on a coin, and even the letter. Because those areas are elevated above the fields, a naturally toned Morgan Dollar will have different colors on those high points as compared to the surrounding area. It is very unmanageable to replicate this through artificial methods, and this is why AT coins typically exhibit the same color flowing across high and first gear points as if they weren ’ triiodothyronine there. Stand-out natural elevation chromatics are not only an indicator of natural tone, but are actually quite desirable by collectors because of how nice the colors look .
With grading companies like PCGS and NGC imaging more and more of their coins and even keeping auction records of past sales, it is highly advisable to look up the documentation number on a mint you may be considering even though the coin may be graded ( AT coins do get by the rate companies sometimes, particularly the very deceptive examples ). not only do most AT coins continue to tone once they are already in a holder because the tone was created through unstable methods, but mint doctors are now able to gas coins already in license holders and toned them in that way. This is particularly true of older slab, which tend to be even less air-proof than more modern versions. Simply looking up the certification number of a coin and/or searching auction archives on Heritage Auctions or Great Collections for the coin can reveal a lot… Cert # entered into Cert Verification Sold in 2019 Sold in 2004 ( This is a mint that popped up for sale in 2019 that appeared to have barely red-orange toning on the obverse. however, a quick search of past auction records revealed that this lapp exact coin sold at auction respective years anterior as fire blank ! hark back that it took the presence of sulphur to tone a Morgan Dollar, and sulfur is not present in any credit card certified slab. This is a blatant case of a mint that has been exposed to sulfur accelerator in order to cause the artificial tone, even though the coin was already in a holder ) .
5. other Problems
Many coins that have been artificially toned by an amateur much have other issues, such as clean. The easiest direction to tell if a coin has been cleaned is to look close at the fields for humble hairlines, or to look around the stars and date for a deviation in the coat of the coin as these areas are typically excessively humble to clean. clean can besides be a problem with NT coins, but it is far more common on AT examples and by looking for signs of clean, you besides avoid buying a mint that wo n’t be graded by a third base party authentication company ascribable to improper clean ( angstrom well as questionable color ) .
Another thing to look for is the condition of the coin. If it is very well careworn and has tone, you can be certain that it didn ’ thyroxine note in a deposit bag because all of those coins were uncirculated. Nice album tone is still a hypothesis with lower rate coins, but it ‘s rare. What Contributes to a Toned Morgan ’ s Value ?
As with determining whether a mint is naturally or artificially toned, it is important to consider many factors together when determining a toned Morgan ‘s value. overall center appeal is the most all-important divisor, but what influences eye appeal can be broken down into respective categories :
Of course, this is one of the most authoritative factors to consider. not only does the overall search of the color matter, but certain specific colors are considered rare and desirable to collectors because they are identical rarely seen ascribable to the specific levels of humidity that were required for them to develop. Emerald or Bright Green, Pumpkin Orange, Magenta, Fuchsia, Red, Royal Blue, and Turquoise are all considered desirable. The boastful money comes when these colors are present in large amounts on a mint ( and they don ’ t have to all be present on the same coin at once ) .
2. Luster/Surface Type
This is one of the biggest elements that affects how a lot pop a coin ’ second color has. Luster can come in several types, but when a coin has liquid luster, it can make all the deviation for how vibrant the tinge is .
silver dollar : This type of luster looks like a wheel of luster-bands rolling around the coin when it is tilted around in the unhorse. This is most abundant on coins made by the San Francisco ( S ) batch, specially from 1879 to 1882. even within this class of coins, the luster can vary. Certain coins that have absolutely incredible luster are known as “ shininess bomb calorimeter, ” and a tone Morgan with that measure of shininess is extremely beautiful and desirable .
velvet : This type of luster is more low-key, and is quite typical of Morgans minted by the New Orleans ( O ) mint and the Philadelphia mint, particularly from 1880 to 1887. It tends to make the color on a coin appear less vivid than those with cartwheel shininess, but some examples exhibit deep color that is very marked. Most coins from the Battle Creek Collection are of this luster type because most coins in the roll up were from 1885, 1886, or 1887, and these coins have some of the best and brightest colors to be found on Morgans with velvet shininess .
Prooflike and Deep Mirror Prooflike : technically speaking, this actually international relations and security network ’ metric ton a type of luster but rather a product of certain coins being some of the first strike by newly polished mint dies. These coins don ’ t have much luster in the distinctive sense, but rather they have incredible mirrors in the fields that resulted from the mint heavily polishing the dies that stuck the coins. only the first respective twelve coins stuck tended to have mirrors, and when these coins besides happen to be toned, the mirrors add a level of depth that is fabulously desirable by collectors. The fields make the color freshness, and Deep Mirror Prooflike examples are particularly rare to find with color but are spectacularly beautiful .
bowl : This shininess type is very scarce and highly desirable. On Morgans, the luster ( and mirrors, which tend to besides be give ) curve up toward the rims creating a bowl-like effect. This combination of blazing curved shininess with swerve mirrors makes the color pop off the coin by a factor of ten, making them striking in appearance. This impression seems to be more park on 1882 S Morgan dollars, but there are a few 1880 S and 1881 S Morgans with bowl luster that are besides amazing. cartwheel Prooflike velvet bowl 3. haze
A big number of tone Morgans have more than equitable a silver-sulfide film on them. On top of that film, many coins besides developed a silver-oxide layer, which clouds the color on the coin. Recall that silver-sulfide and silver-oxide are two wholly different things. Silver-oxide is a semi-translucent layer on lead of the film of silver-sulfide that produces the color we see on tone coins. This silver-oxide film tends to mute the light reflected by the silver-sulfide film, diminishing the pop gene of a coin importantly. Be leery of some images of coins, because they can easy hide this haze. In hand, you can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate miss it .
4. Which side of the Coin is Toned
Each coin has two sides, the obverse ( the slope with the date ) and the reverse ( the back ). With any mint, obverse toners are considered far more desirable than reverse toners, and reverse toners sell for less than half the price that similarly toned obverse toners would go for. The argue for this is chiefly because the reverse of most coins, specially on Morgan Dollars, is flatter overall than the obverse, which makes it a lot easier for coins to tone on the turn back. This is why there are far more reverse toned Morgans with incredible colors on them than there are obverse toners, and this is what contributes to the higher value placed on obverse toners when they do have those colors. There is besides something to be said about the aesthetics of having color be give on the side of the coin people most much look at—the side with the date and the break .
When a choice number of coins toned, they sat right up against the bank bag they were in and the fabric convention of the bag was mirrored by the tone. textile toned Morgans are extremely desirable in virtually any mark and with about any color. While some lower-end examples can still be found for fair prices, monster toned Morgans with fabric toning can fetch astronomic figures because this form is thus desirable .
even more scarce are coins that sat in folds in the trust bags or astir against the places where the bulge was sewn in concert. These coins not lone have textile patterns, but some even have imprints of thread on their surfaces . 6. Special/Unique Patterns
There are some coins that equitable have something particular about their tone that adds fantastic eye solicitation and value in the eye of a collector. Some examples include album toners with a perfective bullseye/target effect, double crescent toners with a “ Cat ’ s eye ” pattern that resulted from how other coins were positioned on the surface of the coin, and barbarian end of roll toners with kaleidoscope-like tone. still others may have even more singular patterns, such as an arch or a cross supreme headquarters allied powers europe in the tone .
In some cases, textbook can even be imprinted onto the come on of the coin. This can result from a coin sitting up against text from an album page for a long menstruation of time, or even up against something inked onto a bank base . As the history goes, this Morgan Dollar sat up against the fabric of a bank pocket labeled “ The Bank of South Dakota, ” and it happened to be sitting right on the letter ‘ hydrogen ’ in the discussion ‘ South. ’ This letter got imprinted into the toning convention from the inside of the bag, and you can even see the cross of the letter ‘ deoxythymidine monophosphate ’ on the rim of the mint next to the ‘ henry. ‘ Something like this is signally desirable—I have never seen another exercise of a bag toner with a letter imprinted in the tone like this one, and it is undoubtedly what led to it selling for a strong four figures .
7. Strike/Toning Breaks
This tends not to be the most significant factor when it comes to a toned Morgan ’ s value, but to serious toning enthusiasts, a good assume plays a major role in overall eye appeal. strike is measured by how sharp the detail on a coin is, which is most apparent on the high points in Liberty ’ s hair on the obverse of a Morgan Dollar, and on the eagle ’ s breast feathers on the turn back. A good strike can go a hanker way in increasing a toned Morgan ’ s value, specially when it comes to higher-end examples. Smooth color that has about no break in it is constantly considered more desirable than the lapp tone with splotchy breaks. We see breaks in toning most frequently on those lapp senior high school points of a coin. Coins that were stored in albums and envelopes tend to have this splotchy type of toning. Unless the color is highly vibrant, this can hurt a coin ‘s overall value .
Because of the mint process in certain years and in certain mints equally well as the overall coinage numbers in those years and mints, certain dates are unmanageable to find with attractive color. The curio of the date itself due to a low mintage and the rarity of attractive tone in general can together create a very valuable and desirable mint. New Orleans and Philadelphia minted coins from 1879 to 1882 are unmanageable to find with tone, and the lapp is true of most coins minted after 1890 ( including San Francisco and Carson City mints ). The year 1921 is besides unmanageable to find with nice toning regardless of the mint mark, as is the class 1878 . 9. Grade/Surface Preservation
Although color tends to be the primary factor that determines a tone coin ’ second value, grade can have an impact american samoa well. It is surely possible for an MS63 toned Morgan to be worth more than an MS67 Morgan because of color, but when comparing a freak toned MS63 or MS64 Morgan to a monster toned MS67 or MS68, the grade can make a massive difference in value. This is frequently because higher grade Morgans have army for the liberation of rwanda fewer distracting marks than an MS63 or MS64, they tend to have more luster than lower degree coins, and the hit tends to be much sharper. The most expensive price paid for an MS64 Morgan ? I know of one that sold for $ 10,000 via a secret softwood. The most expensive price paid for an MS68+ Morgan ? The current auction record is $ 60,000, but I would n’t be surprised if that number was far higher via a collector-to-collector sale .
10. The holder
Believe it or not, the holder a coin is in can actually contribute to the mint ’ s value. This concept is slightly controversial, as many collectors swear by the mantra “ buy the coin, not the holder. ” Nevertheless, the market has spoken, and it is clear that the curio of a high-quality toned Morgan Dollar combined with the curio of a particular mint holder does in fact add to a coin ’ s value . Take this coin for example. It is housed in a PCGS rattlesnake holder, and has a aureate CAC poser to boot ( meaning it is of identical eminent quality for the degree and would however earn a green CAC gummed label at the next highest mark ). If this coin were in an MS65 or even MS66 even holder, it would likely still sell for less than in this freight train holder with the gold CAC spine, to the right collector of naturally ( yes, even the poser adds frightful respect because very few Morgans earn the gold ). This same phenomenon is dependable for coins housed in early NGC holders, known as fatties. A Closer Look At Color Progression
The main color progression of bag-toned Morgan dollars has five main cycles that the tone goes through, which help to group certain toned Morgans together . Color Progression of Bag Toned Morgans
( Compiled by Brandon Kelley ) Thin-Film Interference Rendition of Bag Toned Morgans
( Created by Doug Kurz ) 1st cycle 2nd cycle 3rd cycle 4th cycle 5th cycle The thin-film intervention coloring material progression can be broken down into three main spectrum groups : pastel, neon, and black . Pastel Spectrum
The pastel spectrum represents the earlier stages of color progression—typically stages one and two. pastel toners tend to have luminosity and delicate colors, and many examples are quite lustrous because the silver-sulfide film is so thin. many of these coins have a sunset look to them, and certain examples with gain colors and a fortune of luster can be very beautiful . Neon Spectrum
The neon spectrum represents the middle parcel of the tinge spectrum, and it tends to be very thin on most tone Morgans. Examples with a wide ring of neon tone are highly desirable and nothing short-change of spectacular. Some coins in this spectrum group have a vibrant greenish blue color that is rightfully beautiful and very unmanageable to find in any come, like the example above . Black Spectrum
The blacken spectrum represents the concluding section of the color spectrum ( stages four and five ). These coins begin with the greens of the neon spectrum and increasingly darken until they reach a charcoal color. Examples with decent luster and a good spread of colors are striking in appearance, specially when they are besides prooflike due to the level of depth that the mirrors add. Types of Toned Morgans BAG TONED Sunset/Pastel
These coins exhibit the pastel spectrum about entirely on their surface. The colors tend to be identical ignite and delicate, but with the right luster, this group of coins looks like a beautiful sunset is being displayed over their surfaces. These coins tend not to extend into the monster floor because the colors are excessively idle, but however they can be very pretty toners that collectors cherish . Banded rainbow
This practice of toning appears as bands of color pass through the color progress on the surface of the coin. Although this type of tone is relatively coarse for batch bag toners, not very many examples have toning that covers the integral open of the coin and most only exhibit a modest part of the semblance spectrum. however, when the color in full covers a coin ‘s surface and the luster is abundant, the mint looks amazing . textile
This is one of the most desirable types of tone, characterized by an impress of the fabric radiation pattern of the mint bag that the coin was stored in. Although these can be found for reasonable prices, when the fabric radiation pattern is abundantly portray and is paired with intense colors, these coins can fetch astronomic prices. These are some of the most exceptional toned Morgans out there, and all are considered desirable . Double-Sided textile
now this is something you do n’t see every day. It is very rare for a bag-toned Morgan Dollar to tone wholly on both sides, merely because typically only one side sat against the fabric of a bag. however, if a udder was moved partway into the toning march a few coins may have flipped over, and while the already tone side continued to tone the other side began to develop tone ampere well. If both sides of the coin touched the bag because of this motion, or because the mint sat in a pocket fold, it would develop textile toning on both sides. This group of coins is incredibly rare—I have only always seen one such model . crescent
This is the most common type of toning to find on original mint bag toners. This practice is evocative of a crescent moon shape of color against the boundary of the mint, and it was caused by the presence of another mint on top of the one that toned. This other coin blocked a certain part of the Morgan from toning while the expose fortune developed its color. Although a great deal of these coins exist, coin ‘s with the properly colors are highly desirable. This is specially true of coins that had only a small assign of their surface blocked by another coin, while the rest was able to tone beautifully, like the one above . multiple Crescents
As the appoint implies, these coins have more than one crescent model on them due to the presence of multiple coins that covered certain portions of the coins’ surfaces. These are far more unmanageable to find than regular crescents ( particularly obverse tone examples ), and the design is highly desirable among collectors. Although most of these coins tend to only have two crescents, some have flush more. Above is a spectacular exercise of one with three crescents, dubbed “ Ninja Star ” for obvious reasons. I know of a couple coins that have not one, not two, not three, but four crescents !
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These types of coins can exhibit multiple crescents flowing across the coin one after another. They were formed but a moment mint shifting at multiple points during the multi-decade tone work, causing several crescents to form consecutively as the newly exposed area began toning. If the second mint wholly uncovered the first, one could end up with a fully-toned specimen such as the one pictured above . Crescent-Textile Combo
This is a very rare type of toning which features both a crescent blueprint and fabric where the second coin would have covered the beginning. This traffic pattern was formed by a second mint sitting atop the first base to make the crescent, and then subsequently sliding off to allow the canvas tent bank bag to lay on top of the first coin ‘s airfoil. Over many more years, the presence of the bank pocket would have imprinted the textile pattern where the other coin used to be. I have encountered less than half a twelve examples with this characteristic . Cat ‘s Eye
These coins are similar to doubling crescents in that they consist of two crescent patterns, but the arch are inverted creating an eye shape from the two arc. This was caused by the presence of one coin that formed one bow, and then a subsequent shift of that coin from a bag being moved or shaken, and the bowel movement of the like mint or a irregular one onto the reverse side, forming the irregular crescent . horseshoe
quite unmanageable to find, this group of coins is evocative of a crescent radiation pattern, but the horseshoe form is more narrow-minded than the arch caused by another coin sitting immediately on the tone coin ‘s surface. This traffic pattern was most likely the solution of the mint sitting at an angle with its rim against the pocket, and the bag fabric sat closer to the coin at the kernel of the horseshoe than at its edges, causing the tone to progress further at that center point . Variegated
This group of toners does n’t have any particular color or pattern on it, but rather the colors flow across the mint in baseless and irregular patterns that are typically the result of being in contact with scrunched up folds in a bank bag ( and occasionally with threads ). These coins are quite difficult to find with very nice colors, but the few examples that exist are quite amazing . Thread/Seam
This is an extremely desirable type of toning which features the mental picture of one or more threads in the tone. Bank bags were sown together down equitable two sides of the bag, which made for a very belittled area where coins could acquire this character of toning if stored in the correct conditions. The threads can besides be present in combination with early types of toning, such as crescent or variegated. I am mindful of less than a twelve examples . Prooflike
Because the U.S. Mint used to heavily polish the dies that struck coins, the first few twelve coins that were struck often had mirrors in the fields that were highly reflective. In order to protect the mirrors, some of these coins were stored in similar ways to proofs and were placed in weave composition, which happened to contain decipher amounts of sulphur back in the sidereal day. Others toned while inactive in the bank bag. When these coins toned, they created some of the most spectacular toners conceivable. Although prooflike coins have only moderate mirrors, they add a massive pop component to the coloring material. very few prooflike toners exist, so all are desirable and ones with thick colors are absolutely amazing . deep Mirror Prooflike
These coins are prooflike toners on steroids. Deep mirror prooflike Morgans were some of the very first coins struck by impertinently polished dies—so much so that the mirrors are brooding at over six inches away ( unlike prooflike coins which tend to reflect between two and four inches away ). This excess level of coefficient of reflection required to earn the DMPL or DPL appointment makes these Morgans far scarcer than prooflikes. The fact that toners on their own are rare combined with the scarcity of Morgans with deep mirrors makes DMPL toners extremely rare. With dear coverage and rainbow colors, these coins are nothing curtly of dramatic . Near-Monochromatic
Coins that are about monochromatic are toned a majority of one tinge, but besides have a belittled band of another color present. These are sometimes referred to as polychromatic toners, although the word polychromatic means the bearing of more than one color, so the term can be used to represent any motley mint. monochromatic This type of tone is characterized by a coin with uniform color covering its surface. The color itself can vary depending on how long a coin was exposed to trace amounts of sulfur, where precisely it toned ( bag/album/envelope ), and the charge of humidity that the mint was in during the time that it toned. Because of these variations, monochromatic tone is more of a blanket term, as there are several monochromatic Morgans that are themselves considered types of tone . fireball
This is an extremely rare and highly desirable form of monochromatic tone. Morgans with this type of toning have a fiery magenta color covering the entire obverse of the coin, sometimes mix in with spectacular pumpkin-orange hues. These needed very specific levels of humidity to tone this way, and there are very few examples out there. fireball coins are absolutely stunning, but I entirely know of approximately seven obverse toned examples that would qualify . Blueberry
As the name implies, these coins are toned a beautiful blue color and typically do n’t contain other colors, although they can sometimes be mix with a bourgogne or a bolshevik, depending on which part of the color progress cycle the toning stems from. Blueberry toners are considered desirable, but the huge majority are subdued and the tone is from the second cycle and consequently not as deep. however, if you can find examples with blazing shininess and a deep third gear bicycle blue, these coins can be quite outstanding . bluish green
even those who are toning veterans probable have n’t heard of this categorization of monochromatic tone before, but that ‘s because I ‘ve coined the terminus here for the first time. Cyan monochromatic toners are a mix of bluing and green tone and are highly rare. Often accompanied by magenta toning around the profile and date/stars, this group of coins is unusually beautiful. The particular shade of bluish green depends on whether the mint is more blue than green or more green than blue, but either way they are quite noteworthy. I ‘m alone aware of five such coins . Greenie
This is a very scarce and more desirable type of monochromatic tone, characterized by an emerald-green or forest-green color covering the integral side of the coin ( typically the obverse ). Morgans compulsory very specific levels of humidity in order to tone brilliant green colors, and they are consequently quite difficult to find. k tone is considered desirable in any total, so a Morgan fully toned green with great luster is always in demand among tone enthusiasts. paper TONED end of Roll ( EOR ) Toned
end of roll toners toned by sitting at the end of a coin peal against the folds of the newspaper rolls that had trace amounts of sulfur present in them. overtime, the sulphur reacted with the coin and because of the wallpaper folds on the open of the coin, it toned in raving mad psychedelic patterns that look about like a kaleidoscope in many cases. Most EOR toners tend to be bleary and the colors are normally not very intense, but examples that do have bright colors and blazing luster are stunning . envelope Toned
many of the Morgan Dollars stored in envelopes have toning that originated at the rims of the coin and traveled inbound to the center of the coin. These types of coins besides tended to tone on both sides due to contact with sulfur-infused paper touching the coin on either side. many examples tend to be splotchy and have subdued colors, but highly glistening coins with short or no silver-oxide daze can be quite attractive. album Target/Bullseye Toned
This type of toning flows around the mint in round patterns, creating a target-like radiation pattern on the coin. This is very characteristic of album toned Morgans because the sulphur diffused into the center of the coin from the rims that touched the cardboard of the album. Like most album toners, these tend to be more repress and splotchy in nature, but cleanly toned examples can be exceptionally beautiful, peculiarly when they besides have a acuate assume and a draw of luster . check Toned
These Morgan Dollars have an untoned band across the coin due to the coin ‘s storehouse in an album that had a yellow journalism holding the coin in topographic point. As you might imagine, the memory in an album besides meant that many of these coins developed a snatch of a daze on them equitable like the majority of album and envelope toners. The huge, huge majority of pill toners tend to be reverse toned because the tabs on most tab-booklets were placed on the back to allow the obverse to be displayed without a tab blocking any of the details. For this argue, obverse check toners are quite barely, and finding an obverse tab toner with non-hazy color is exceptionally unmanageable. Pricing Toned Morgan Dollars
Pricing for tone Morgans is highly subjective as one collector may like a certain color or pattern and find it appealing, while another collector may value it less. however, the auction grocery store is the primary indicator of a tone Morgan ’ s value based on the overall eye appeal of a mint. here is an outline of what toned Morgans of diverse qualities typically sell for, assuming they are park dates :
Low-end : $ 50 – $ 100
Low-mid : $ 75 – $ 175
Mid-end : $ 150 – $ 300
Mid-high : $ 300 – $ 1,000
High-end : $ 1,000 – $ 5,000
monster : $ 5,000 – $ 40,000
Godzilla : $ 40,000 – The flip ’ s the specify
( Godzillas are normally graded MS67 or MS68 to warrant the massive price, but there are lower-grade examples that could qualify ) . Low-End Low-End Low-End Low-End Low-Mid Low-Mid Low-Mid Low-Mid Mid-End Mid-End Mid-End Mid-End Mid-High Mid-High Mid-High Mid-High High-End High-End High-End High-End giant freak monster monster Godzilla Godzilla Godzilla Godzilla Famous Bank Bag Hoards Containing Toned Morgans
Although it is identical rare nowadays, a few major hoards of unopened U.S. Treasury bank bags have been discovered since the 70s, normally when their owner has passed aside and the collection is inherited by a beneficiary. In some cases, these bank bags secretly contain spectacularly toned Morgan Dollars that have remained undiscovered for decades .
Battle Creek Collection
Although not the largest hoard of Morgan Dollars ever discovered, this solicitation became celebrated for the incredible quantity and quality of toned Morgans that originated from it. The roll up itself consisted of 10,000 Morgan Dollars contained in ten $ 1,000 U.S. Treasury bags. Two bags consisted of Morgans from 1885, two bags were from 1886, six were from 1887, and one of the 1887 bags contained a small number of 1904 O Morgan Dollars that are believed to have been added to a overtone base of 1887 Morgans at the Detroit Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank in the 1920s. This is based on the fact that each bag had a tag on it from the Detroit Branch of the Chicago Federal Reserve, dated in the 20s .
When these coins were sold by the executor of the owner ‘s estate, buyers only knew that they contained Morgan Dollars. No one had any theme that inside where over 1,000 beautifully tone coins that would finally bring record prices at auction. Dennis Steinmetz, owner of Steinmetz Coin & Currency, successfully purchased the bags. soon after the purchase, he opened them to send the coins in for certificate and grade, probably hoping for nothing more than some high grades and possibly a few Prooflike/Deep Mirror Prooflike examples. rather, what he discovered were 1,606 Morgan Dollars with extraordinary eye invoke, the huge majority of which were beautifully toned .
This group of coins was sent to NGC for encapsulation where each was pedigreed under the name “ Battle Creek Collection ” as the coins were primitively discovered in Battle Creek, Michigan. Of the 1,606 coins that received this pedigree, 1,359 besides received an NGC star appointment for outstanding eye appeal ( either for beautiful tone or for prooflike surfaces on one side of the coin ). 247 of the coins still received the pedigree because they besides had original tone, but this group graded lower than MS63 so they were labeled as “ Brilliant Uncirculated ” and did n’t receive a star designation as the star was n’t assigned to lower grade coins at the fourth dimension. The remaining 8,394 coins from the roll up were besides graded but did not receive a pedigree or ace appellation. The highest grade Battle Creek toner at the time was a alone MS67 star Morgan, which presently resides in the Aurora Borealis Collection .
In 2005 and early 2006, the tone Morgans from the collection were sold in a series of four main auctions and one auxiliary auction by Superior Galleries, and many of the toners were so spectacular that they brought record-breaking prices for a coarse date toned Morgan Dollar at the time. The highest price paid for a Battle Creek Morgan in the Superior Galleries sale ? $ 12,650 for an 1887 MS66 star Morgan competently named “ Record Setter ” by its current owner, Aurora Borealis . “ Highest rate Battle Creek ” “ record compositor ” Continental-Illinois Bank Hoard
signally little is known about the Continental-Illinois Bank Hoard, specially considering it was one of the largest hoards of Morgan Dollars always discovered and contained some of the finest tone Morgans in universe. The Continental-Illinois Bank of Chicago had held much of its cash reserves in the form of silver dollars for many years until it was forced to liquidate them in the early on 1980s after falling upon hard times. This group of coins contained an estimated 1.5 million Morgan Dollars in 1,500 bank bags and was acquired by Ed Milas of Rarcoa. About 500,000 of the coins were AU and dated from 1878 to 1885, with the majority being 1879-O, 1880-O, 1881-O, and 1882-O mint coins. The remaining 1,000,000 examples were Brilliant Uncirculated and the dates spanned from 1878 to 1904. Such a massive amount of high-quality ash grey dollars, with BU examples most abundantly dated 1879-S, 1880-S, 1881-S, 1882-S, 1883-O, 1884-O, 1885, 1885-O, 1886, and 1887, would have drastically lowered prices for Morgans if they came on the market all at once, so naturally Milas chose to keep the hoard ‘s magnitude a mystery .
few people knew about the hoard at the time, but the coins were marketed over several years through Dr. George Vogt of Colonial Coins who handled approximately 500,000 BU specimens, and through Leon Hendrickson of Silver Towne who handled 350,000 BU coins and about all 500,000 AU examples. By 1984 much of the roll up had been sold off and preferably than harming the marketplace, the increased provide of gorgeous S-mint coins actually spurred investment into silver dollars and numismatics as a whole .
In September of 1986, a little group of 80-S, 81-S, and 82-S coins from this roll up was auctioned through Superior Galleries, many of which were beautifully toned and possessed immaculate super-GEM surfaces. This offer was followed up by a larger offer of 211 pieces in the February 1987 L.W. Hoffecker Sale, besides by Superior. This group contained spectacular toned and fire white examples of 79-S, 80-S, 81-S, and 82-S Morgans which fetched staggering prices for the time. The quality was exceptional—several tone coins from this group have since been certified equally high as MS68+ .
As dealer Leon Hendrickson of Silver Towne recounted in an consultation Q. David Bowers, the learning and distribution of the hoard was “ one of the greatest numismatic events to always transpire. ” And to think that at the prison term, about no one even knew it existed . 1881 S PCGS MS68+ CAC “ Killer Tomato ”
Considered the finest tone Morgan Dollar to come out of the Continental Bank Hoard by both technical quality and eye appeal, and one of the absolute all right toned Morgans in being 1879 S PCGS MS67+ CAC “ Pizzazz ”
One of the coins from the 1987 L.W. Hoffecker Sale by Superior Galleries ( lot 1471 ) where it realized $ 1,540. Most recently this same coin brought $ 23,000 at auction in 2017 General Services Administration ( GSA ) Hoard
Unlike the Battle Creek Collection that was owned by a private collector, the GSA Hoard was a group of Morgan Dollars released by the U.S. Treasury in the 70s and early 80s. A major dowry of the hoard, which consisted primarily of Carson City ( CC ) Morgan dollars, was sold in a series of five sales by the Treasury from 1972 to 1974. Over those two years, 1.96 million coins were sold to the populace, significantly devaluing many of the common dates for higher grade CC Morgan dollars ( 1882-1884 in particular ). This was because many of these coins were fully uncirculated examples that had sat in depository financial institution vaults for decades on conclusion .
The uncirculated Carson City coins were placed in formative holders that read “ Carson City Uncirculated Silver Dollar, ” while the coins the government believed were not Brilliant Uncirculated ( BU ) were either placed in formative holders that merely read “ Carson City Silver Dollar ” or were sealed in soft packs. A few coins in the hoard were not Carson City dollars, so those were identified as “ United States Uncirculated Silver Dollar. ” In 1980, another million coins were sold in two more sales that the government had deemed as not BU .
Among this roll up, there were a large number of tone Morgan Dollars that were released to the public. Although Carson City Morgan Dollars typically toned in more splotchy patterns than dates like 1880 S or 1881 S, there were still some outstanding examples. ironically, one of the highest graded GSA dollars ( an MS68 ) was just marked “ Carson City Silver Dollar ” because the government thought that the toning on this particular coin classified it as a non-BU exercise. Pedigrees and birthplace
Something most collectors absolutely love is to know precisely where a coin they own came from and who owned that coin in the past over its history. This succession of past owners and cognition about where a certain coin came from is known as the mint ‘s birthplace. Many of the most noteworthy and rare coins have a history going back to about the year they were made, because evening back then certain collectors paid close up care to mintage numbers and overall scarcity of a certain date. While attaining a retentive birthplace is unmanageable for good about any common-date Morgan Dollar ( except for those with exceptionally high gear grades ), because toned Morgan Dollars are so unique they frequently have a considerable birthplace of by owners and collections that they have been a part of .
A pedigree is a direct manner to keep track of birthplace. major grading companies like PCGS and NGC frequently denote big or specially high-caliber collections with a pedigree, writing the diagnose of the collection on the mint holder. This is what NGC did for the Battle Creek Collection, and this has been done for several early collections of tone Morgan Dollars vitamin a well. Below is a list of some known pedigrees for toned Morgans in particular :
- Aurora Borealis
- Battle Creek Collection
- Northern Lights Collection
- Aurora Orban Collection
- T. Cork Estate
There are many early pedigrees that denote Morgan Dollar collections in cosmopolitan that besides contain some toned Morgans, such as the Binion Collection and Mapes Casino Hoard. Although many collections have a clear-cut pedigree, some major toned coin collectors never received a written pedigree on their coins but their names can calm add fantastic value to a coin in the toned Morgan world. These include respective legendary collectors and dealers :
- Lloyd Cowle
- Brian Sonnier
- Ron Sirna
- Brandon Kelley
- Mike DeFalco
- Andrew Kimmel
- Phil Flannagan
- David Hall
Below are the top 10 most expensive freak toned Morgans that have always sold at auction. Most of these are common dates, but a few coins are besides highly graded rugged date coins—something that contributed significantly to their values .
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