Why this MS-66 Stone Mountain half dollar brought 10 times the typical price

Market Analysis: Jewel toned coins surprise in Stack’s Bowers Baltimore Expo Auctions
By , Coin World
Published : 12/01/16
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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:

1925 Stone Mountain Memorial Commemorative Half Dollar, PCGS MS-66, CAC sticker

The Price:


The Story:

The 1925 Stone Mountain commemorative half dollar designed by Gutzon Borglum is one of the more common halves in the classic commemorative series of 1892 to 1954. A typical example certified MS-66 by PCGS or Numismatic Guaranty Corp. might sell for $250 to $300 at auction.

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Examples with beautiful toning can sell for multiples of a brilliant representative. The Baltimore auction included this 1925 Stone Mountain half dollar graded MS-66 by PCGS with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker that realized $3,055.

As Stack’s Bowers writes with florid language, “The fields bloom with rich crimson and amber hues, haloing Lee and Jackson as they glow in an aura of champagne and azure luster. A similarly incandescent display emblazons the reverse, on which the eagle imitates a Phoenix, rising from the magenta and tangerine flames of an untold Civil War skirmish erupting in the fields.”

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 Roosevelt dimeVivid rainbow toning gives high-mintage 1955-S Roosevelt dime a significant price bump: With a mintage of 18,510,000, the issue is common, and even in MS-67 certified examples sell for $50 or so. This one sold for more than $1,600.

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Older Comments (1)
Time for me to go sort through all my silver in storage now that I know this little titbit of news! I'm going to definitely be keeping my eyes out for anything with a little bit more colour on the surface from now on if the price differs that much for one that shows such characteristics!