Has anyone wondered why, say, an 1896 Indian Head Cent exists in it's full red as stuck condition? This very question was posed to coin dealer from Nashville, TN at last years PAN show in Pittsburgh. His reply stunned me.
With third party grading not arriving in the hobby until ANACS sometime in the early seventies, and to my knowledge no other type of air-tight component available to slow the inevitable toning and demise of as struck luster how was this possible? Especially with some surviving examples in relatively high numbers. Was it from being in an arid climate over many years? These were the questions.
It appears that the old timers, and most likely some prominent collectors, coated their coins in shellac or varnish. Both of which are easily removed if done properly with no adverse affect. Needless to say, that's a conclusion I probably would have never drawn.
Thought I'd share that after being reminded of it while scrolling through some Great Collections pages.