TIP OF THE WEEK: Rainbowed Peace Dollars

Beware if you see offered on Proxibid or receive in a consignment a Peace dollar with so-called “monster” rainbow colors. Almost always these are artificially toned.

Here is a recent example of a Proxibid auction offering a Peace dollar with “colorful toning.” (Click to expand photo.)


This is clearly a chemically colored Peace dollar.

The silver in Peace dollars has different metal properties than Morgan dollars or even Silver Eagles and therefore doesn’t easily tone. Some Peace dollars do have magnificent toning because they were slabbed by green-labeled PCI [whose holder reacts with silver], kept for decades in envelopes, or exposed to environments containing sulfur.

This is how a toned Peace dollar should look:


Note the blue, magenta and gold colors fading seamlessly into each other at the rim. Even relatively common grades like this in toned Peace dollars can be worth hundreds. Our advice is to offer or bid on rainbowed Peace dollars slabbed by reputable companies.

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.


2 thoughts on “TIP OF THE WEEK: Rainbowed Peace Dollars

  1. Great Tip Dr. Bugeja,

    You have given some great examples of what to look for.

    There are a ton of fakes out there buyers. So, arm yourself with knowledge. If it doesn’t feel right and it doesn’t look right, it’s probably not right!

    Naturally toned Peace Dollars with any bright colors are generally pretty difficult to come by and usually go for very high premiums. Because of their rarity and stunning beauty, rainbow coin collectors tend to hold them forever.

    Some experts believe by 1921 when Peace Dollars were first minted, the metals used were substantially more refined and “clean” than dollars minted before then. Which seems to be a big factor in the toning or lack there of, on a Peace Dollar or even a 1921 Morgan Dollar. How many bright rainbow toned 1921 Morgan Dollars do you see available? Not many, possibly because of these more refined metals just like in Peace Dollars. Believe or not, one expert even says it was possibly the advent of air conditioning in Bank Vaults. Modern air conditioning was invented in 1902 but took some years later to be utilized commercially. An interesting hypothesis. He believes the combination of humidity and sulfur bags accelerated rainbow toning.

    For over 15 years, we have studied numismatic rainbow toning and specialize in the acquisition and sale of Rainbow Toned Coins. Mainly Morgan Dollars. Once you have seen enough Natural Rainbow Toned coins you will eventually be able to spot a fake from a mile away. You will immediately get a sense that something just doesn’t look right and move on. Until then, to avoid getting burned, we highly recommend buying only Rainbow toned coins that are graded by one of the top three grading companies.

    We will be listing a couple of stunning rainbow toned Peace Dollars in our next auction in mid March.

    We are very passionate about Rainbow Toned Coins at Certified Rare Coin Auctions and love take the opportunity to discuss this passion whenever we get the chance. Thank you for the forum.

    “Add a little color to your life”

    Certified Rare Coin Auctions, Inc.

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