US Coins

Toning gives high-mintage 1955 dime a big price bump

Stack’s Bowers Galleries hosted the official auctions of the Whitman Expo in Baltimore, Nov. 3 to 6. Among the standouts were several high grade 20th century silver coins with beautiful rainbow toning.

A coin that has magnificent rich color can sell for many multiples of what a similarly graded untoned coin might bring. Collectors especially covet deep, rich jewel tones that lend an almost cloisonne effect to a coin’s surface. The presence of gorgeous color can give an otherwise common coin a “wow factor” that collectors will happily open their wallets for.

Here is one of three toned silver coins we're profiling in this week's Market Analysis. 

The Lot: 

1955-S Roosevelt Dime, PCGS MS-67+

The Price: 


The Story:

Certainly one of the most beautiful coins in various Stack’s Bowers Baltimore auctions was this 1955-S Roosevelt dime graded MS-67+ by PCGS with a Quality Assurance sticker on the slab. With a mintage of 18,510,000, the issue is common, and even MS-67 certified examples sell for $50 or so.

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PCGS has graded just five in MS-67+ with four in MS-68. One of those PCGS MS-68 examples sold for $999 at a February 2016 Heritage auction.

Roosevelt dime

Roosevelt dime: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's sudden death of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, 1945, compelled Treasury officials to recommend the late president's portrait to be immediately placed on a coin of regular issue. How much are Roosevelt dimes worth?

What made the subject coin special was the vivid rainbow toning on both the obverse and reverse. The cataloger observed, “Both sides are layered in blended pink, apricot, emerald green, rose-gray and cobalt blue toning that provides absolutely outstanding eye appeal.” The spectacular dime realized $1,645 on Nov. 4.

Keep reading this Market Analysis of toned silver coins:

Toned Franklin half dollarRich toning brings out the best in a high-grade 1954 Franklin half dollar: While many debate the attractiveness of John R. Sinnock’s Franklin half dollar, the design is perhaps showcased at its most effective on richly toned examples.

Toned Stone Mountain half dollarWhy this MS-66 Stone Mountain half dollar brought 10 times the typical price: A typical example certified MS-66 by PCGS or Numismatic Guaranty Corp. might sell for $250 to $300 at auction. This one sold for more than $3,000.

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