NCS Conservation: A Trio of Morgan Dollars Benefit from Careful Attention

Posted on 1/12/2021

These popular silver coins needed expert conservation to reveal their true beauty.

Numismatic Conservation Services™ (NCS®) uses a variety of proprietary techniques to remove harmful surface contaminants, stabilize and protect a coin's surfaces and, in many cases, improve a coin's eye appeal. After coins are conserved by NCS, they are seamlessly transferred to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®), an independent affiliate of NCS, for grading and encapsulation.

Below are a few highlights of coins that were conserved by NCS and graded by NGC recently.

Once a circulation coin is struck and leaves the mint, some examples are preserved in bright Mint State, but most are subjected to the rigors of circulation, likely finding a spot in a collection as a nice circulated example. Some coins at some point in that circulation period find themselves placed in a dreadful situation and end up looking a bit like this 1893-O Morgan Dollar recently submitted to NCS for conservation. The heavy orange and green residues completely covering the surface of this dollar may look like a lost cause, but even though their origin is largely a mystery, conservators at NCS have the techniques available to carefully remove even advanced residue development such as this one. With meticulous removal, this Morgan Dollar was able to return to the look of a nice, evenly circulated silver coin. Following conservation, this Morgan Dollar was able to grade numerically with NGC.

1893-O Morgan Dollar
Before conservation
Click images to enlarge.

1893-O Morgan Dollar
After conservation
Click images to enlarge.

While the true cause is not known, the unusual and (by most accounts) unattractive coloring on the obverse of this 1884-CC Morgan Dollar was the impetus for this coin to be submitted for professional conservation. By and large, most cases of ugly toning are caused by poor long-term storage conditions in equally poor holders. Luckily, NCS conservators are able to remove unsightly toning such as on this proud Morgan Dollar without damaging the fragile surface underneath.

1884-CC Morgan Dollar
Before conservation
Click images to enlarge.

1884-CC Morgan Dollar
After conservation
Click images to enlarge.

One of the fairly commonly encountered types of residues that the conservators at NCS are called upon to remove are traces of glue or tape that have been left on the surface through oftentimes-novice attempts at displaying a coin. This 1921 Morgan Dollar was recently submitted to NCS to have the remnants of tape on the obverse removed. Adhesives can permanently damage the surface metal of a coin and are thus important to have removed. After careful work, the tape residue on this Morgan Dollar was removed safely with little permanent damage. Following adhesive residue removal, this coin was able to grade well with NGC.

1921 Morgan Dollar
Before conservation
Click images to enlarge.

1921 Morgan Dollar
After conservation
Click images to enlarge.

For more information about NCS, visit NGCcoin.com/NCS.




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