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I sincerely hope I'm on the right section of the forum for this question...if I am not by all means boot my sorry backside into it's proper place.

I am new to medal collecting and saw on several posts that collectors use magnifying glasses to study makers marks etc. Would it be necessary for me to acquire a magnifying glass and which magnification is optimum for studying details on medals?

Wessel Gordon

 

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Posted (edited)

I highly recommend a "stereo magnifier"... Not to be confused with a stereo microscope which it can look like at first glance, but the latter has much higher magnification which you don't need...

I bought a used one and it is worth every penny. Something like the photo below. For 'on the road' I use a small flip-out jeweler's magnifier.

My stereo magnifier has a 20X and 40X magnification - the small flip-out is 10X (with built-in LED light)

b2758e83-07a2-7b34-81c7-c641efb1bb33-20X_Stereo_Microscope.jpg

Edited by Great Dane

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Posted (edited)

What's the optimum magnification for studying medals?

Edited by Wessel Gordon
Sorting out a spacing issue.

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In my opinion for portable use x8-10 is best good enough for hallmarks and naming.

Paul

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I agree with Paul -  that will give you something you can carry about tio shops and shows and in most cases will give enough magnification.  A stereo magnifier might be useful for checking to see a medal hasn't been re-named or enamel repaired/changed, but to me it seems a bit 'overkill' for most situations.  I use the 8X magnifying glass which came with my two volume [8 photo reduced pages per leaf] Complete Oxford English Dictionary.

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One last consideration might be a magnifier with a built-in light. 

So many time the ambient light is somewhat lacking and my eyes aren't as sharp as they once were. :unsure:

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Trouble with those Claudius is the light decides to pack up when you need it most.

Paul

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22 minutes ago, paul wood said:

Trouble with those Claudius is the light decides to pack up when you need it most.

Paul

yeah, that happens

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Thanks for all the replies. Want some input before I over-spend on something I'd likely never use.

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Posted (edited)

A stereo magnifier may be overkill, but I paid $35 for my used one so it was a steal... only wish I could take photos through it. It is great for detecting fakes (die cracks., renaming etc.).

As mentioned, my mobile magnifier (10X) is one of those 'flip out' jeweler's magnifiers (with light and UV light). Small enough to fit in any pocket.

I put a lot of time into researching the market before choosing it and could conclude "don't buy too cheap". Some of the cheaper magnifiers with a big lens are useless because you have to center the eye within the small middle area to get a distortion-free image (and get cross-eyed in the process...).
Ironically these cheap types are actually sold in optometrist shops to people who really need quality magnifiers in their daily life for reading etc... :speechless:

 

Edited by Great Dane

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Is it permissible to copy another's website link here of the kind of magnifier I am interested in?

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