So-Called Dollar Discussions

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So-Called Dollars with Great Eye Appeal

There are a lot of so-called dollars, but it's not always easy to find so-called dollars with amazing great eye appeal... so here's one great in hand... to me, the marks on it give it more character...

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  • HK-734b.jpeg

An attractive piece indeed.

Wow. Toned so-calleds are impressive.

Bill G, i've wondered about this as well. But... I have seen toning of all sorts on white metal pieces. The chemistry of this is usually oxidation in the presence of another substance (eg. Silver + Hydrogen Sulfide gas --> Silver Sulfide). What is important to note is that toning is a natural self-limiting process (unlike rust) that can be good since it only involves the surface of a coin and tends to seal the surface of a coin, preventing deeper layers from undergoing chemical reactions. This whole toning process can take several centuries. Attached is a trade token (Rulau Md-Ba 6D) from 1881 (part of the 1881-1882 Baltimore Festival / Oriole Celebration held in Baltimore, MD) that has blue toning. This piece is white metal, not silver to my knowledge. So, I would imagine that Rulau Md-Ba 6A, which is HK-592, could also be found toned. By the way, your HK-604 is really fantastic... glad you own it !

I have also never seen any white metal pieces(or aluminum) with attractive toning over the years. Anything is possible though I suppose. Atmospheric impacts on metals over long periods of time are not very well understood, even by advanced chemists. I once read an article on the chemistry of surface corrosion of bridges due to pollution over long periods of time. I got the feeling that engineers just factor in a certain amount of structural strength for things they do not entirely understand. Atmospheric impacts over long periods of time are complex, VERY complex. I once read that if you put a dime in a box car full of water, that it will eventually dissolve away - in about one hundred thousand years. I am sure there are theoretical explanations, but in the real world, would you ever have a dime subjected to pure water over that length of time? All I know about white metal medals is that they can sometimes acquire very unattractive black spots, and that when a white metal piece is slabbed by NGC they do not account for the fact that white metal(or aluminum) acquires no patina to hide Any imperfections. I am not complaining about NGC here(a lot of people like too. I think they are doing the best they can), but I think that sometimes white metal and aluminum medals are not given any breaks. Also I think that NGC graders may be a bit too influenced by HK222, which can be a real beauty due to its having been kept in rolls for decades.

The ghosting around the letters is something I associate with toning on white metal pieces. I don't understand how or why it forms in that manner, but I have it on several otherwise unc, lovely pieces.

Bob, since you brought up toning thought I'd ask a question of you and all others that has been bugging me for some time. I to am always impressed by the russeted tonings, rainbow tonings etc. I have probably looked at 15,000 tokens both pictures and in person in the last as many years. I can remember many silver and many copper pieces. I don't beleive I have ever seen a white metal or pewter piece with rainbow toning. My questions is regarding the picture of HK-604 on this site under photos. I happen to own it and it is even more vivid than the picture which actually shows quite well. Since I can't recall rainbow toning on white metal or pewter even on proof pieces I have always thought that possibly this HK-604 piece might be mislabeled and actually silver. Even the dark areas and reverse are remniscent of dark black silver tarnish toning than the start of tin pest when white metal starts darkening. I'm at the cross roads Bill H is often complaining of that its slabbed and can only check by breaking it out. Bill

Wow. Toned so-calleds are impressive.

Speaking of HK-592.....Thanks Jeff !

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  • HK-592.jpg

As a follow-up, I thought this Brian Boru piece had good eye appeal/flash for aluminum.... not sure who the lucky owner of this piece is...

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  • HK-392.jpg