Recently another thread caused me to discover I needed to improve the image I posted of one of my coins. On a decent monitor you can see I failed to even out the black background on this >5mm silver of Apollonia Pontica: There is a hazy gray ring around the reverse that looks a lot worse on my desktop monitor than on my laptop. I was proud of this little coin showing an A in the left obverse field. Trying to improve the image, I destroyed the A and almost lost the coin forever. How does one ruin a coin by photographing it? Simple, all you have to do is strip it of its toning by cleaning it using the tried and true vacuum method. Never heard of this method? Read on. This coin is almost exactly the size of my smallest (4mm) diameter support for raising the coin above the background so I cheated by placing a tiny speck of clay between the support and coin to hold it in exact center. In the process of doing this I dropped the coin. The room has a speckled gray loop carpet. I could not find the coin. After searching on hands and knees for half an hour I turned to the advise of Luke 15:8–10, The Parable of the Lost Coin. Or what woman, if she had ten drachma coins, if she lost one drachma coin, wouldn't light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she found it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost.' Even so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner repenting." — Luke 15:8–10, World English Bible The woman had an advantage, she lost a drachma and probably had no carpet the color of the coin. I lost a tetartemorion 1/24th that size on a carpet that should never be placed in a coin room. I had an advantage, too, or so I thought, but my advantage ended up being my undoing. The devil was in the Dyson. Anyone still reading? Read on. I decided to sweep the room with my Dyson stick vacuum cleaner. I was amazed how much dirt and carpet fiber I picked up sweeping back and forth and crosswise hoping to hear a metallic rattle when it found the coin. Perhaps I should sweep the rug occasionally even when I was not inspired by a lost coin??? There was no rattle so I dumped the proceeds in a stoppered sink and lifted out bit by bit what seemed like 10% dirt and 90% carpet fiber feeling (in vain)each pinch for something hard. At the bottom of the sink was something round. I had found the coin. At that point you would think I should follow the lead of the widow and rejoice with my friends (that is you - my neighbors would not understand). Not so fast. The story is not there yet. Read on? The turbo action whirl of the Dyson coupled with the carpet fibers and dirt cleaned the toned coin leaving something that looks a bit smoother (would its slab read 'vacuumed'???) but not all that bad except it removed the last traces of the A of which I had been proud to have seen and photographed in the first place. Pride is a sin. I did not lose the coin but I did impair it to a point that it lost what I considered to be its best feature. I knew when I bought the coin that I would have a hard time ever recouping the price paid but the time before this one enters the black figures has been extended by more years than I have left. No matter, I have a hard enough time selling coins that have not been Dysoned. This one will stay with me as a reminder of why we should avoid cruel and unusual coin cleaning. I did learn one thing from this. I reshot the coin (below) not on my usual set up requiring the balancing of the subject on a precarious 4mm perch but flat on the bed of my microscope which barely allows all 5mm of the diameter to fit in the field. I had to do some trimming in software and was limited in light control compared to what works for larger coins. The trimming and lighting are not perfect but I am through tormenting this poor coin. This photo will be 'good enough' - a statement that hurts me to say but I hope some can forgive in this case. At least the background is even. I may have avoid buying any more coins this small and stick to full size obols (still six times smaller than the woman's drachm in the parable). I have three coins ordered but not received and the smallest is a drachm --- massive. Before you rejoice in my repentance from the sin of obsession with coin photography, I need to confess that I am thinking I might design a special holder for taking photos of tiny coins that would be more secure. I'm looking for things to do on the 3D printer. Will it happen? Will I lose another little coin in the process? I am incorrigible. I know it. I ask your forgiveness for what I did to the coin and a special pardon from anyone that actually read all this. Do feel free to show coins that were lost and later found or coins you sucked up in a vacuum cleaner. However, if you decide to load your vacuum with uncleaned coins, don't blame me for giving you the idea.