No job can be efficiently done without the equipment and the right tools required. Coin collecting is no exception. You need the right tools in order to make things more fun and easier for you.
There are different types of magnifiers based on their power of magnification. If you buy a 1-power magnifier, you will see a correctly sized image. If you buy a 10X magnifier, you will be able to see the image 10 times the normal size. ‘X’ refers to ‘times’.
It is imperative for coin collectors to have a minimum of one magnifier.Regardless of whether you are buying or selling, don’t do it with the naked eye. A magnifier is actually the mark of an experienced coin collector who knows what he is doing.
You can choose from plastic or glass magnifiers. Glass magnifiers are better even though they are expensive because they will last longer and give more clarity. A collector needs not just a low power lens but also a stronger lens. The prior is to take a look at a number of coins while the latter is to analyze something that you just found. With the lower power one, you will be able to see the entire coin but with the high power one, you will be able to see just the date in one go.
Through a lens you will obviously be able to see more. This will especially help you when you are buying coins and suspect that they are fake. Spotting coins will be easier once you are experienced. The more coins you have, the better you will understand the problems associated with them. For example, through the naked eye a coin may seem shiny and bright. Under the magnifying glare, you will be able to see if it is actually bright or whether it has been polished, buffed or sand blasted in order to make it shiny.
If you can afford it you should invest in a stereomicroscope. This can be priceless when it comes to research work and authentication. Thus, if you have the money, you should buy it. The price starts from $300. A stereo model with a range of 20X to 40X is ideal for coins. You shouldn’t use anything more than that such as 1200X. It will do you no good with coins. It is ideal for schools and definitely not for coins. If you use even a 60X, you will see some ‘wrong’ or the other in each and every coin. You should know actually how to observe coins under the microscope. You should first tilt and turn the coin so that you get light. When you do this, you will be able to catch common defects on the coins along with hub doubling and doctoring. Hub doubling might actually make you coin more valuable. Also it is good idea to place your coin over an inverted plastic cup for better view. Make sure the bottom of the cup is flat. You will then be able to rotate the coin without having to touch it.
If you are a serious collector, you will need a scale. It is a must and you simply can’t do without it. Instead of scratching and cutting it, you can simply weigh it to reveal the truth. You can choose electronic scales, which are so portable; they can be carried in your pocket. Always weigh a coin before collecting it. Weighing will help you catch many fake coins.
To store coins, read this review about coin collection storage
You also need a computer. Of course it won’t be an added expense because you already have it. You can download software that will help you catalog your coin collection. There are a few software tools that will give you access catalog sources. You can also take pictures of your coins and store them in your computer.