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Why are so many Columbian Half Dollars...

Guest Stujoe

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Why are so many Columbian Half Dollars so darkly toned? Was there some kind of storage or original holder that made them so dark or are they just so cheap that no one bothers to 'mess' with them?


I don't think it is my imagination that a much higher percentage or EF/AU/MS Columbian halves are very darkly toned compared to other commems or other US silver for that matter. I am talking in the dark brown to black range not just a dark grey.


I used to own one that was a slider and it was dark as all get out. Very fully dark brown to blackish tone on both sides. I see a lot of them like this it seems. I kind of like the look but it seems odd that so many of them that I see are like that.

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When you consider that they struck 2.5 million of them, and a large percentage were not sold but were later released into circulation after being stored for an unknown period of time - that may explain it. How & where were they stored ?


I don't know for sure about the Columbian, but many of the early commems were sold in cardboard holders. It was basically a ring of cardboard with the coin pressed into a cutout and another piece of cardboard about 1/4 - 3/8 in. wide that came down over the face of the coin to hold it in place - known as tab holders.


So if the coins that were sold were in these holders - and the coins that were stored were in these holders before being released into circulation - toning.

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