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Getting Started in Varieties


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This page will help you to know the "Tools of the Trade". The following info will help you to gain a better understanding of what you need to be a better variety collector.

1) Buy the Book

Books contain a wealth of information specializing in the field of varieties. They contain pictures, grading standards, rarirty, pricing, and information about a particular variety. They are written by various authors, come in various styles and approaches. I cannot stress enough about buying the book FIRST. There are some websites that you can find information on varieties. These websites can be found on the webring/link page in this site.

2) Magnification

a. Doublet

-Utilizes two lenses
-Images are blurry around the edges of the view

b. Triplet

-Utilizes three lenses
-Corrects flaws of the other lenses
-Totally clear and sharp image
-Usually found in 7X or 10X

c. Microscopes

3) Lighting

a. Flourescent

-Economical, effecient
-Uses less electricity
-Excellent source of illumination
-Contains low amount of red light

b. Soft White/ Warm White

-Increased Red color

(Lincoln Cents are reddish/golden in color, under flourescent/ Soft White lighting, the coin will appear to be dull)

c. Incandescent/Halogen

-Closer to the spectrum of daylight
-Fine details are easier to see

-Burns at an extremely hight temperature
-Emits the most balanced and accurate color spectrum of light known.

(Incandescent light will make the same Lincoln Cent appear richer in color, more features will be appear that were not obvious under Flourescent lighting.)

4) Photograhpy/Scanner

a. SLR Camera

-An SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera uses interchangeable lenses. The use of a good macro lens will enable you to take good close-up pictures of coins. Adapters are available to adapt the camera to take photo's through a microscope. After the pictures are developed, scan the pictures and edit the photo's as needed.

b. Digital Camera

-A digital camera allows you to take photo's and edit them right after you take them. A digital camera can take pictures through a microscope by "shooting" the pictures straight through the eyepiece of the microscope. No adapter is needed, but a steady hand is required

c. Computer Scanner

-A computer scanner will allow you to scan the coin and edit the picture right after you scan the coin. The smaller details of some varieties will not show on some coins. I suggest using between 400 dpi and 1600 dpi scan. Then edit the pictures and resize them with a photo program.