CheerioCoins's Blog

21 Jul 2022

Toning on Coins: What You Should Know

| CheerioCoins

Toned coins are coins with lustrous colors that make them worth an extra premium. Usually they make them look very nice but sometimes they can turn dark black colors that don’t add to the eye appeal of the coin. Lots of coins can tone but usually silver coins tone the best. Gold and copper don’t usually tone supper well but in some instances they can have really nice toning. Most collectors like toning since it adds color to the coin but some say it is distracting to the design or maybe it doesn’t look like very nice toning. Toning usually occurs over a period of time like around 20 years, although there are some exceptions. Toning is usually caused by sulfur or oxygen that reacts to the coins' metal therefore giving it colors, usually around the sides of coins. Other things like moisture or heat can also add to the toning or make it even more lustrous. Toning can also be caused by certain coin folders, albums, or holders because they have sulfur in them.

Although a coin may look like the toning is natural, coins like Morgan dollars that are expensive can have artificial toning. Artificial toning is when someone uses chemicals to artificially create rainbow toning on a coin so they can sell that coin and fetch a premium for it because it looks like it is toned. Artificially toned coins are bad and won’t sell for much if the buyer knows it is artificially toned. Before buying a coin with toning online, make sure it doesn’t have rainbow toning on the entire coin, especially if it is an expensive coin because it could be artificially toned. If you're not sure if a coin you have is artificially toned, you could send it to a grading service like PCGS, NGC, or ANACS because they will know if it is or not. You could also just ask an experienced collector at a coin club or coin show.

Different kinds of toning may be worth less or more than other coins. Some kinds of toning include: rainbow toning, sunset toning, monster toning, bull’s-eye toning, and Album toning. But be sure to know when toning is artificial or natural because you can get scammed. I will post a few pictures of toned coins, some will be artificially toned and some won’t be. You can test your toning knowledge on them and I will show the answers on my next blog.

Thanks for reading my blog and have a great day!



AC coin$

Level 6

Woooow ! Beatiful coin


Level 4

Cool coins and great blog. Thanks!

Kevin Leab

Level 4

Good blog.....a collector should know the difference between an AT coin and a NT coin before purchasing and sending it off to a TPG honestly. If you're not sure how to tell the difference and toned coins attract your attention then you should study the difference before you end up with an expensive coin that's been toned with a torch or chemicals. Just my two cents.

Long Beard

Level 5

The 1880 Morgan is a perfect reference for judging artificial from natural. Look at how the colors look almost metallic and change gradually from shade to shade. These are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to copy. All but the New Rochelle and NGC are artificial. For this reason I personally would not buy one sight unseen.


Level 6

Nice blog! Natural toned coins are a favorite of mine. These are some crazy ones that you show! haha ; )


Level 6

The ASE and Oregon looked doctored to me. Nice blog. Thanks. Great photos.


Level 7

I like very light toned coins. Not the head at one. I want to see everything on the coin. But that's just me. Many like them and that's fine. I like a nice hue on my coins. Like a little blue or gold. They come on matte coins sometimes. Thanks for taking time to write this. I appreciate it Mike


Level 4

I think toning can be quite beautiful, but absolutely has to be natural. I concur with your statement about the entire coin being toned is something to be Leary of. Often it is around the edge, or on one side of the coin, so similar spots on both sides. But if the entire coin is toned, usually it is artificial, or not stored properly. And at that point the toning probably isn’t attractive if it’s due to improper storage.


Level 4

It is each collector's preference on what the collect. Personally, I am not a fan of any un-natural or excessive natural toning on a coin. I prefer Blast White; except I do like a little gray on Silver Bust coins.


Level 5

The Oregon Quarter is AT.


Level 5

Maybe. Any guesses for the others?

We use cookies to provide users the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, we'll assume that you agree to receive all cookies on money.org. You may disable cookies at any time using your internet browser configuration. By continuing to use this website, you agree to our privacy policy and terms of use. To learn more about how we use cookies and to review our privacy policy, click here.