Lens Comparison using Nikon D7000
Objective: To find a better lens to replace my Sigma 50mm prime, or to determine if the lens is not the problem. The resolution of the Sigma 50mm prime was fine on the D70, but it just does not appear to make take sharp images using my D7000, tripod, and fast shutter speed. They are soft, and also the focus gets distracted by my aperture range (5.6-8.0) by scratches on slabs. I don’t appear to have enough resolution to be able to tell by manually focus past the scratches. It may be the lens, or it may be something in my current setup. My goal is to determine if the Nikkor 105mm will show a clear difference, with no other changes to the coin photography setup. Likewise, I will test my other lenses with the same setup, using a single coin so users here can see the differences.
Caveat: This is not meant to tell you the “right” way to do coin...
I have had this medal for many years, it belonged to my father before me.
Samuel J. Bridge Medal
GIFT OF SAMUEL J. BRIDGE / MDCCCLXXVIIII 
AWARDED TO / Frank O'Donnell / 1895
Metal: Silver, darkened over time
The medal has a ring with a piece of frayed ribbon attached.
I finally got around to researching it.
It is inscribed "Frank O'Donnell, 1895".
I knew that Frank was a relative of my father's mother, whose maiden name was O'Donnell.
The family lived in San Francisco in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
The medal is pretty dark, and I didn't know it was silver until I did the research.
Who was Samuel James Bridge?
He lived from June 1, 1809 to November 6, 1893.
He was born and died in Boston, Massachusetts, a member of a wealthy family there.
In 1856 he was assigned to San Francisco as Appraiser General of the Pacific Coast.
Two months ago I posted the first of an irregularly produced series of observations from the bourse and the subject was “but-coins”. Today I will take on what might be viewed as a slightly more controversial topic and that is the value or usage of CAC. I’ll be upfront and state that from my vantage point, there is little that is controversial about CAC, but that has not stopped this newest market presence (market maker, perhaps?) from becoming a lightning rod of criticism and conspiracy theory while at the same time proving to have an avid and sometimes extraordinarily loyal base.
Prior to my career as a full-time numismatist I had been a scientist and serious coin collector, or more accurately a student of numismatics, for quite a few years. As a collector I had four criteria for placing coins into my collection and these criteria existed well before CAC came onto the scene. They were-
1) The coin must have superb eye appeal.
2) The coin must appear to have original surfaces...
Master List of Online Coin Dealers
Dealers with GREAT Websites
Many dealers have a websites that are either attractive or functional or that have great selection or great photos. But not that many sites have ALL of the above. I wanted to make a short-list of dealers that met certain criteria and to list them here for all our members. To me, if you don't already have particular dealer(s) you exclusively work with, the coin websites below should be your first stops.
Back in 2012 I purchased four new, unused Capital Plastics U. S. Commemorative Half Dollars holders #431C at a coin show cheap with the idea of reselling them.
Did not happen. Last week I finally thought of a way to put them to good use, re-purpose them so I can sell them. I erased the title, P D S and holder # on three of them. Then I went through my coins for sale/trade and found some half dollars to make up my own short sets.
The first one has 1943 Walking Liberty, 1953 Franklin and 1964 Kennedy inserted in it.
The second one I inserted one of each of the three metal content types of Kennedy halves, 90% 1964-D, 40% 1966, and a clad 1979-D.
The third one I inserted a 1964 reverse side up, a 1970-D for the obverse, and 1976-S with the Bicentennial reverse side up.
I think they all came out pretty nice and now I am going to keep them. I have one holder left and am...
Several weeks ago I bought this NGC 1827 XF45 on eBay for $245. The reason I paid that much was because I recognized it as the overdate 1827/6. Upon getting it in-hand, I noticed that it had pretty severe artificial toning. (Don't let the seller's pics fool you. It was chalky, blue toned. Not dark and grey like the pics). I was at a loss what to do since I didn't feel like joining NGC just to send it back in to have the overdate added. So I cracked it out.
Seeing it out of it's holder, the artificial toning looked even more pronounced, but I couldn't see hairlines from cleaning underneath. I really think someone just decided to try and add some color to it. So I used some heavily watered down dip and lightly touched it to the surfaces, attempting to remove the fake tone. It took a while, and I was in no hurry.
When I was finished I thought to myself, "Well, now it's going to come back as cleaned." I was disgusted...
I had an...
Many times I have logged on here and elsewhere to find people talking about New Orleans or “O” mint Morgan Dollars. Invariably, the discussion turns to strike quality and the consensus is that they are poorly stuck coins. While it is true that New Orleans has turned out its share of poorly struck coins, this is not always the case and I feel that "O" has gotten a bad rep. I thought I would post a couple examples as well as a little data I have collected from some research on the topic.
Based on my own experience and collecting information from various sources…this is what I have learned. First, let me point out that I have read many texts about the Morgan series and my views have been influenced by many of those books. I must give credit to the Comprehensive Guide and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars as well as Whitman’s A Guidebook of Morgan Silver Dollars as well as several other books I am forgetting. These are two books that I highly recommend for...
These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
I recently heard this song by Julie Andrews from the Sound of Music and it got stuck in my head, then it also got me thinking, “What are a few of MY favorite things?” Well, of course, my Indian cent collection came to mind. I can’t think of anything else (besides my family and little kitty) that brings me more joy. So I thought I’d like to share a few of my favorite Indian cents from my personal collection. (Photos are courtesy of Todd Pollock at BluccPhotos.com.)
Many of those who know me know that I love toned copper, both Indian and Lincoln cents, and most of the coins in my personal collection have, in my opinion, beautiful toning – blues, greens, silver, rose,...
In addition to coins, I'm very fond of meteorites, and therefore any "sacred stones" from antiquity pique my interest. These show up on a number of coin types and I was very excited to acquire this hard-to-find early example from Kaunos.
Kaunos was a prominent trading center in Asian Minor alongside Lycia and Caria. It was mentioned by ancient authors specifically because of how its customs and language differed from Caria but until recently, it was not possible to decisively attribute any archaic or classical coinage to it, which is abnormal considering its importance during these periods.
Thanks to the persistence of academics and archaeologists across the world, our understanding of ancient history is constantly evolving. This coin is a perfect example: until the 1980s, little was understood about the Carian language. Egyptologists were able to aid in the deciphering, using Carian inscriptions...
Posted this in another thread, but I think its important for beginners to read and know, so I'll add a bit more and start a new thread for it.
Ok, first we're going to start with seeing the cartwheel. This can be tricky at first, because it takes just the right wrist movement to be able to move the coin and get the fluid cartwheel effect on the luster. Once you get it though, you will appreciate the beauty of it! Go get a slabbed, uncirculated coin (by a Top TPG - PCGS or NGC) and a strong light source. Hold the coin at an angle, so that it reflects the light. You should see the coin shining. Now, slowly and gradually, turn the coin. Notice the shine move? That is what we call cartwheel luster - if you turn the coin in the right way, the "spokes" of luster will appear to rotate around the coin like a cartwheel. Practice at this until you can see the cartwheel luster. Practice at this before reading the rest of this thread. Practice at this before buying anymore coins. If you can't...
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