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Thoughts on a halogen light for grading coins

What are your thoughts on this?

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    Steven59Steven59 Posts: 8,294 ✭✭✭✭✭

    "When they can't find anything wrong with you, they create it!"

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    ashelandasheland Posts: 22,694 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Surprisingly, we have an LED plastic bulb at the shop that viewing coins under is surprisingly good.
    Like this:

    At home I use a light that’s a standard bulb, but clear glass (Low wattage) 25 I think.
    I have shot many coins under that one:

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,055 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I used a halogen light in the mid-late 1980’s when I was a buyer for David Hall, as that was what he preferred. As I recall, I felt that it allowed me to see hairlines on Proof coins and issues, such as wheel-marks, a bit better. On the other hand, it seemed to drown out the color of toned coins, somewhat. So sometimes I’d use both a Halogen lamp and an incandescent one.

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

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    seatedlib3991seatedlib3991 Posts: 514 ✭✭✭✭

    Not a halogen light, but when I discovered they fazed out incandescent bulb production I experimented and found a bulb called the LED "daylight" bulb is very similar to an incandescent light bulb. Just a lighting side note. James

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    jacrispiesjacrispies Posts: 717 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Halogen bulbs seem to bring out the issues on a coin more than a 100w incandescent.

    No matter the case, keep your bulb type consistent and you'll get used to any bulb you use.

    "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23. Young fellow suffering from Bust Half fever.

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    CuprinkorCuprinkor Posts: 202 ✭✭✭

    My favorite light bulb is a 100-watt incandescent one. I'm thinking a halogen light is too harsh.

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    orevilleoreville Posts: 11,786 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I stocked up on 284 of the nice quality USA made 75 watt incandescent bulbs about 8 years ago, Lowes was selling them at $1.44 a box. I think they meant a box of 4. But they wanted to charge me $1.44 a large shipping carton of 24 little boxes of 4. So I ended up buying the entire store out!

    Relatives are begging me to bequeath these bulbs to them under my will.

    A Collectors Universe poster since 1997!
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    Morgan13Morgan13 Posts: 897 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld or anyone but since Mark mentioned it, what are wheel marks?

    Student of numismatics and collector of Morgan dollars
    Successful BST transactions with: Namvet Justindan Mattniss RWW olah_in_MA

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    BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,733 ✭✭✭✭✭

    At home I use halogens for examining coins.

    Interestingly, I think the worst light to use is outdoor daylight. I’ve never seen a coin look good in those conditions. Maybe there’s a metaphor here…… possibly not. :)

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    JonBrand83JonBrand83 Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like LEDs

    Jbknifeandcoin.com
    IG: jb_rarities

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,055 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 10, 2024 5:39PM

    @Morgan13 said:
    @MFeld or anyone but since Mark mentioned it, what are wheel marks?

    Here's he short answer for you:
    "Wheel marks are a concentrated area of hairlines that are caused by the rubber wheels in coin counting machines"

    Sometimes, they can be very difficult to locate/see. So a coin with a wheel mark might need to be tilted and rotated just right under good light, in order to see it.

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

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    I’m an Ott light guy, all the way!

    Having fun while switching things up and focusing on a next level PCGS slabbed 1950+ type set, while still looking for great examples for the 7070.

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    CuprinkorCuprinkor Posts: 202 ✭✭✭

    Ok.
    What is your opinion of overhead LED cam lights - the ones put into new homes

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Always preferred 100 watt

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    nencoinnencoin Posts: 1,223 ✭✭✭✭

    I have a halogen on my desk to the left of me (and I travel with one to shows), and an OTT-LITE to the right for looking at coins with color.

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    kruegerkrueger Posts: 807 ✭✭✭

    I use a 60W REVEAL Bulb, 100 Watters are too harsh and HOT. We use to use a 100watter under our work desks at work when our
    Dept. of Navy employer ran our office freezing cold. ( electric heaters were not allowed). Hologen makes a coin Look real bad. especially proofs. Turns you off on an otherwise nice coin.
    plus very bright and harsh on eyes as light reflected back into EYE. I have had several of them with frosted glass filters no less. They can cause cataracts if used a lot. irritated/ strained my eyes. I sold both.
    fluorescent shows wear better. Like an OTT light.

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    CuprinkorCuprinkor Posts: 202 ✭✭✭

    Educate me, please.
    What is an OTT light?

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    JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,673 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    DelawareDoonsDelawareDoons Posts: 3,254 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I use an Ottlite for grading, myself. But it's not an easy light to grade with. I occasionally will switch to a second light I keep on my desk, an unfiltered LED, for grading tougher coins. But 99% of the time, I use the ottlite.

    Professional Numismatist. "It's like God, Family, Country, except Sticker, Plastic, Coin."

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    Insider3Insider3 Posts: 260 ✭✭✭

    OTT lights are small, portable florescent lights. Florescent light (coupled with a stereo microscope) is THE ONLY CORRECT LIGHT TO USE FOR COIN AUTHENTICATION OR EXAMINING THE SURFACE OF METAL. This allows the examiner to also see hairlines and marks that are MORE EASILY SEEN with other types of light sources. The ideal setup is to use BOTH sources. THE TPGS discourage florescent light because "a trace of wear" is easily seen as a change of color.

    In grading class, I tell the students the story of a famous dealer coming to my table to show me the "Gem" he just bought. In two seconds, I saw the coin was a flawless AU! I had him look at his coin under my scope set at 7X and after this experience he went out that night and bought an OTT light to use the next day at the show. These lights are good for the road; but I use a two bulb jeweler's lamp at the office. You must cut a crescent into the shade so the barrel of the scope can be more perpendicular to the light. Florescent light removes the glare from the coin's surface and high points.

    PS I'll bet 95% of the folks who say not to use it for grading NEVER HAVE tried it. You will still need to keep your incandescent light as florescent is only useful for detecting rub without a scope. ;)

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    JWPJWP Posts: 17,700 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I never thought about using a different light source. I will try it and see what it does for me. Thanks foe information.

    USN & USAF retired 1971-1993
    Successful Transactions with more than 100 Members

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    DelawareDoonsDelawareDoons Posts: 3,254 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JWP said:
    I never thought about using a different light source. I will try it and see what it does for me. Thanks foe information.

    Light sources are literally the most important part of grading. Just fwiw.

    Professional Numismatist. "It's like God, Family, Country, except Sticker, Plastic, Coin."

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    Insider3Insider3 Posts: 260 ✭✭✭

    @DelawareDoons said:

    @JWP said:
    I never thought about using a different light source. I will try it and see what it does for me. Thanks foe information.

    Light sources are literally the most important part of grading. Just fwiw.

    Tipping and rotating the coin at the same time (moving it into several orientations to the light source) is almost as important. I think JP Martin B) came up with the expression "make the coin "light dynamic."

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    logger7logger7 Posts: 8,084 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Any specific recommendations for for sale lights on Amazon or ebay would be appreciated with links. The terms for types of light and abbreviations are hard to process.

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,485 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don’t like halogen lights for grading. I grew up with incandescent lights and learned grade with them. Halogen is way too bright.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?

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