Home U.S. Coin Forum
Options

An unsolicited suggestion for anyone posting images and asking for assessments of coins…

MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

Fairly often, I see threads where coin images are posted and opinions are solicited, but it turns out that the coin doesn’t look similar to the images. Sometimes multiple images are included, but viewers aren’t told which ones are the most accurate.

Keep in mind, if you have the coin in hand, you know better than anyone else, what it actually looks like. So why not let forum members know how the images differ from the coin’s true appearance?

You can mention attributes such as: the luster is more or less vibrant, the color is lighter or darker, the color is more or less intense, a gold coin is more yellow-gold or orange-gold in hue, a copper coin is more or less RD, RB of BN and so on. And if your pictures don’t look at least somewhat true-to-life, maybe it would be better not to post, unless or until you can provide ones that are.

As part of my responsibilities at Heritage, I view a large number of auction lots and provide feedback to clients (many of whom are members here). And when doing so, one of my priorities is to try to let them know how the coins look in-hand, compared to the on-line images. That can include mentioning some of the differences I listed in the above paragraph. And when multiple images are posted on our site, I make note of which ones are most accurate (while still conveying how they differ from the coin’s appearance).

My ultimate goal is to try to let the client see the coin through my eyes. That includes pointing out any flaws of consequence that don’t show (or show as well) in the images and/or the flaws that don’t look as conspicuous, in-hand.

In summary, when posting, please try to let your fellow forum members know what the coin really looks like. If you don’t do that, the feedback provided will often/usually tend to be largely meaningless.

Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

Comments

  • Options
    JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice read!

  • Options
    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld ... Thank you for an excellent post. Good information for all of us. While I am not one of the expert photographers, I certainly can explain how the picture I post differs from the coin in hand. Or, if it is exactly like the coin, say so. Cheers, RickO

  • Options
    FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,856 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great idea!

    I found that for some coins, I can link to a video of a coin (which usually gives a better representation than any written description) for members that wish to see what the coin looks like in hand. Of course, new members might not do this, but its could work well for members who have been here a while.

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

  • Options
    Project NumismaticsProject Numismatics Posts: 1,338 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Mark - I have posted a few GTG threads this week and would welcome any feedback on my photography. I've only been using my setup about a year.

    When the GTG guess consensus is 2-3+ grades off or there is a large divergence in guesses (especially from professionals like yourself), I generally attribute it to bad photography on behalf of the poster. Part of the reason I have been posting GTG threads is to receive indirect feedback on my photography.

    Appreciate the thoughts - thank you for posting this.

  • Options
    1northcoin1northcoin Posts: 3,836 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks.

    This is helpful in so many ways.

  • Options
    WalkerfanWalkerfan Posts: 8,976 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is sound advice.

    “I may not believe in myself but I believe in what I’m doing” ~Jimmy Page~

    My Full Walker Registry Set (1916-1947)

    https://www.ngccoin.com/registry/competitive-sets/16292/

  • Options
    MS66MS66 Posts: 200 ✭✭✭

    Toned coins tend to be iridescent -- that is, they look different from different angles.

  • Options
    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good advice. Realism can be tough. For me copper is my kryptonite right now but feel pretty good about most silver and gold.

    I'll try to keep that in mind, as I'm usually trying to improve a specific coin or coin type when I ask for help. 👍

  • Options
    pmh1nicpmh1nic Posts: 3,151 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think your suggestions will work for some but not for others. You need a baseline of knowledge to accurate describe a coin. I would 100% trust your description of a coin in hand because of your vast knowledge and experience. Actually, while I have some experience, I'd trust your ability to accurate describe a coin over mine. Some of the questions about grade and value come from individuals with little to know experience so it might be difficult for them to add anything of value in evaluating a coin via the description they provide.

    The longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice is it possible for an empire to rise without His aid? Benjamin Franklin
  • Options
    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @J2035 said:
    Mark - I have posted a few GTG threads this week and would welcome any feedback on my photography. I've only been using my setup about a year.

    When the GTG guess consensus is 2-3+ grades off or there is a large divergence in guesses (especially from professionals like yourself), I generally attribute it to bad photography on behalf of the poster. Part of the reason I have been posting GTG threads is to receive indirect feedback on my photography.

    Appreciate the thoughts - thank you for posting this.

    After reading your post, I went back and looked at your last three GTG threads. I saw that I had participated in the ones with the 1876 and 1917 quarters. I’m not a photography expert, but had the impression that the images were plenty good enough for making informed grade guesses. I guessed the grade on the 1917 quarter correctly and was slightly off on the AU 53 1876, having guessed AU55, with a shot at AU53.

    But I didn’t hazard a grade guess in the 1934-D Peace Dollar thread because the images appeared to include large surface areas on each side, which were poorly lit (or had shadows). So I felt like I couldn’t get a good enough look at the coin to make a guess I’d be comfortable with. If I had guessed, however, I would have gone with MS64. The obverse image of the coin in the 63 holder which you later posted makes the coin look very nice.

    For what it’s worth, I like the look of all three coins.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

  • Options
    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Photos can display coins in very different ways.

    How more likely is a coin to look like what's presented in the average video?

    if it's more likely, perhaps, people can start posting videos, like on IG.

  • Options
    ctf_error_coinsctf_error_coins Posts: 15,433 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    Photos can display coins in very different ways.

    How more likely is a coin to look like what's presented in the average video?

    if it's more likely, perhaps, people can start posting videos, like on IG.

    I am a still photographer, always have been.

    A single "still" photograph can be processed in photoshop to look more like the coin in hand.

    It would be hard and time consuming to "process" a video frame by frame.

    I do like the idea of a video. Perhaps set a small dedicated studio for shooting just videos. Hmmm.

  • Options
    ashelandasheland Posts: 22,694 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great points mentioned. 👍

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file