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Toning or Wear?

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:23 am
by Snyderart
I have a heap of well-preserved 1960 to 1999 Lincoln cents and I'm trying to figure out if they are circulated AU58 and below or uncirculated MS60 and above grade. I'm having a tough time identifying if the pink and purple coloration in the high spots is wear or the beginning of toning. When looking at the cents from one angle, the luster is not broken in the same areas that are colored when looking at the cents from another angle. The coloration and luster appear in the same areas.

The images below are of the same cent where I moved the camera around to get different lighting angles on it. This is a more extreme example from the heap to show the pink and purple areas I mentioned. There are many others where the coloration is more subtle than this and very difficult for me to judge. An article on PGCS's website titled "Examining Contact Marks on Coins" says, "With coin contact, as with incomplete striking, the luster may be slightly disturbed but it will still be present. With wear, the luster will be disturbed and lacking in this area." The second sentence leads me to believe that since there is still luster in the same area as the discoloration, it is not wear in those areas, correct?
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Here is the cent from another angle. The luster is in the same area as the coloration in the above images.
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Below is an image of a 1992 MS64RB from PCGS that has similar pink and purple coloration.
1992 MS64RB.jpg
Am I on the right track here? Thank you for any and all help!

Happy hunting!

Re: Toning or Wear?

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:06 pm
by Daniel
You're better of comparing your coins to other MS coins that are graded and you can look up auctions at Heritage there's some high-res images there.

Re: Toning or Wear?

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:07 pm
by Daniel
Also concentrate on the high points of the design.

Re: Toning or Wear?

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:39 am
by Snyderart
Daniel wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:07 pm Also concentrate on the high points of the design.
Thank you for your reply Daniel. In the high points, am I looking for flatness in the details, such as in Lincoln's hair, beard, and brow? In some of these cents, I only see a slight pink/purple coloration in those areas but no flatness of the surface. Or is the pink/purple coloration considered a disturbance of the surface? I have looked at hundreds of images on both PCGS and Heritage (I prefer the images on Heritage personally, especially the ones in the slabs. It seems the lighting is more natural on those). I wouldn't be so concerned, but these cents have been locked away in that glass bottle for so long, they look like they came out of a time capsule! They are in great shape compared to normal CRH finds. I don't want to make the mistake of tossing coins and find out that the coloration in the high points was not considered wear.

Again, thank you for your help!

Re: Toning or Wear?

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:41 pm
by Daniel
Can't obtain wear in a jar and toning on copper doesn't mean wear nor does flatness. You want to compare to circulated coins, they will be rubbed with missing metal. You're welcome.

Re: Toning or Wear?

Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:50 am
by Snyderart
Daniel wrote: Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:41 pm Can't obtain wear in a jar and toning on copper doesn't mean wear nor does flatness. You want to compare to circulated coins, they will be rubbed with missing metal. You're welcome.
Thank you. While examining thousands of these cents, I'm starting to see the difference between flatness from a weak strike (less detail) and wear (missing metal).