Look at the beautiful medal in our main picture at the upper left. It shows Haile Selassie's portrait and the impressive Ethiopian lion. Selassie was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor from 1930 to 1974. The medal was produced in silver for his coronation in 1930. This example was sold at auction by Kuenker for 500 euros (about $550 US dollars) during a 2012 auction. As always CoinQuest is indebted to Kuenker for use of their coin photo.
High quality specimens of this medal are worth quite a bit:
worn: $200 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $300
well preserved: $500
fully uncirculated: $800
The image to the right shows the medal owned by our requester, Laid Back Doug. Notice that it has picked up some dark blue toning, probably from exposure to chemical-laden air. The fact that the toning is uneven and detracts from eye appeal will lower the overall value of LBD's medal. But the real clunker for LBD is the giant finger print in the field before the Emperor's face. Coin collectors will put up with natural wear and natural toning, but fingerprints are very un-natural.
Even though LBD's medal has minimal wear, its value is probably about $200 retail due mostly to the finger print.
To remedy this situation LBD should consider conserving his medal using a professional service such as NCS. It might cost $100 to restore the medal, but the value would probably increase to $500.
The moral to this story is this: handle coins only by the edges or, better yet, only by the edges with cotton gloves.