Dave Weaver of Weaver Auction uses the correct word in describing the 1881 Morgan dollar above: “retoning.” That has specific meaning in numismatics. It depicts a coin that has been cleaned and then retoned over several years. Do not call a coin like this “toned.” You would be misrepresenting the lot if you did.
Genuine rainbow toning is not washed out like the Weaver example. Colors that retone typically come in shades of dull blues, reds and purples that have a bleached look to them. Colors blend rather than bleed into each other or seem painted on artificially, as in this silver eagle below:
A true toned coin features glossy colors that blend into each other in a rainbow array, as in this lot:
Auctioneers and bidders alike need to distinguish among these three examples. Retoned and artificially toned coins can possess beauty and may be worth bidding on. But naturally toned coins that develop patina overtime without cleaning really are spectacular and demand premiums.
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.