Coins We Love: ✨The Tissue Test✨

Coins We Love: ✨The Tissue Test✨

I left the office yesterday with a deep sigh of relief as I finally felt that the last 4-5 weeks of deadlines have come to an end. It doesn’t mean there won't be more deadlines, but it does mean that we will have a few days to get back to our focus, coins. The rush of year-end accounting, preparing for the FUN Show, and returning with new coins and consignments, all kind of blend together with the holidays! But, today we are finally able to take a breath.

The last 2 weeks have brought us a large number of fresh certified coins for auction, straight from collectors. We also had a massive deal of 20 large Tupperware containers of raw coins, including bullion, mint sets, proof sets, and some better-date items that will make their way to grading in the coming weeks. On top of all that, we have the standard fare of collections that trickle (or flow) through our doors.

I have to admit that I had a blast sorting through one of these deals for a few hours and putting my hands on a wide variety of US issues. I even learned something new from John Call. I was sorting Kennedy Halves from Mint and Proof sets that were cracked out, but you couldn’t see the rims due to the holders. So, he introduced me to the “tissue test”. To explain this as simply as possible, you can place a Kleenex tissue on top of a silver coin or a clad (non-silver) coin and the light will reflect differently off of the two coins. If you look at a 40% or 90% silver coin with a tissue on top, it glows a brighter tone than a clad piece. That made the process a lot faster (and made for a great learning experience!). I might not want to take my show on the road to show folks how I determine silver and clad coins, but it’s another numismatic tool in your tool belt!

Below is an example of the tissue test. The coin on the left is a proof silver commemorative and the piece on the right is a proof clad commemorative. You can still see both coins reflecting light, however, the silver example is much brighter.

Today, we will continue sorting our silver (oh, look a 1914-D Lincoln Cent!) and hopefully, next week will be an opportunity to present another new numismatic lesson!

Also, for those of you asking, we will not be attending the next Long Beach Show, but we do plan on heading over to the ANA National Money Show in Phoenix, AZ for a few days. Shortly thereafter, we’ll be in Baltimore, MD, and Central States (Schaumburg, IL), so if you happen to be in one of those locales in the coming months for a show, please stop by and say hello!

Numismatically Yours,

John Brush

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