Image Searching Mini Test using

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Theodosius, Jan 20, 2021.

  1. Theodosius

    Theodosius Fine Style Seeker Supporter

    I am a big fan of acsearch for identifying and researching coins. I am not sponsored by acsearch but if they want to fly me to auctions in Europe to promote their brand I am here waiting by the phone. :)

    I have just started using their image search tool with no luck so far finding matches for my coins.

    Just for grins, I took an image (not my coin) from one of their own search results and submitted it, to see if they would find it. I did not doctor the image at, just uploaded the (lower resolution) image here:


    Low and behold, they found three matches for this coin. The original entry I took the image from and 2 more, including one with a much lower quality photo with a different edge shape that is clearly not the same coin. The first hit got a high confidence score (9.8), it is the same image after all. The second hit got a lower confidence score (6.8) and I believe it is the same coin as well. The third hit got a low score (3) and it is clearly not the same coin, although similar in some ways.


    This experiment cost 1 euro to carry out. :)

    OK, lets make this a little harder and see what happens. I took the original image and rotated the obverse 5 degrees one way and the reverse 5 degrees the other way, so it looked like this:
    aaa o.jpg
    Still found the two matches that are the same coin, but with less confidence.


    I'd say that is not an unexpected result. This test cost another euro to run.

    I could keep distorting this image until I am out of credits but for now my curiosity is satisfied that their search engine is pretty sophisticated.

    Using their own image is obviously not a the best test case. It would be better to take my own photo of a coin illustrated in a catalogue I know they index and see if they find it. Maybe I will try that next.

    What are your experiences with this and other image search engines?

    Carl Wilmont, eparch, zumbly and 12 others like this.
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  3. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I’m most curious if it’s able to search a photo that you took yourself, with naturally different lighting and angles
    AussieCollector likes this.
  4. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    OK, I right clicked on your image and selected "Google Search" and got this for no cost
    ...and apparently worth every cent, since none of the other images I quickly looked at were even similar.
  5. Theodosius

    Theodosius Fine Style Seeker Supporter

    Well that is the idea. I think it helps to try to take auction photo like images, not sure how to describe that exactly. Most auction photos, especially older ones, are pretty close to black and white without dramatic shadows or other effects.
  6. Theodosius

    Theodosius Fine Style Seeker Supporter

    As a variation on your idea @Kentucky I tried image searching using the Edge browser from Microsoft, which uses the Bing search engine. Look what it found:

    bing search.jpg

    It found the CNG appearance of the coin, but not the Ira and Larry Goldberg auction.

    It also found two CoinTalk hits, the profile page of ancientnut, who bought this coin in the Ira and Larry auction, and a thread he started about it. Ancientnut laid out the provenance of the coin back to 1894:

    Purchased in Ira and Larry Goldberg Auction 96, 14 February 2017, lot 1535.
    From the Hanbery Collection.
    Purchased privately from Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. in 1991.
    Ex Munzen & Medaillen AG 43, 12 November 1970, lot 12.
    Ex Robert Carfrae (died 1900) Collection, Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 23 May 1894, lot 7.

    Pretty cool...another way to find old provenances: use CoinTalk.
  7. Theodosius

    Theodosius Fine Style Seeker Supporter

    Trying google search using the Chrome browser, I came up with this:


    The first part of the search results are all misses.

    The third web hit, for quora, is a thread containing the exact image.

    The fifth web hit is the Ira and Larry Goldberg auction that Bing did not find.

    The second page of hits are all repeats or misses.

    The third page includes this thread itself! That was fast work by the indexer bots.

    I stopped following the links after this.

    So some sleuthing can be done using the free search engines with a little work.

    Kentucky, DonnaML and ominus1 like this.
  8. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..hard to beat that price..:D
    Kentucky and Theodosius like this.
  9. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Theodosius likes this.
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