Reed counting

So... what is the easiest and simplest way to do a reed count?

Comments

  • AngryTurtleAngryTurtle Posts: 1,455 ✭✭✭
    You can take the reflector out of a flashlight, and then place the coin in the reflector. That way you can see all the reeds at once by looking into the reflector. There are a couple of old threads where there are pics, if this does not make sense. I would take a photo or a scan of the reeds, and use a printout to count. This way you know you get it right.
  • lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 41,414 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Reed counting >>

    ... is for people with WAY too much time on their hands.

    Sounds like a one-way road to the nuthouse for me.

    (Yeah, I know it can make a difference with some issues, but ... geez.)
  • NysotoNysoto Posts: 3,107 ✭✭✭✭
    Take a picture of the edge reeds. The easiest way to do this is with an old flashlight reflector, set the coin into the reflector and take a picture straight on. The reeds will be mirrored off the reflector at an angle. Print the picture, and mark off increments of 5 with a pencil, then count by fives. It is fairly easy to count reeds or dentils, and much can be learned about the coining process from the counts.
    Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty
  • Took apart a flashlight and working on it now. Thank you!
  • stealerstealer Posts: 3,761 ✭✭✭


    << <i>File off one reed, roll reeded edge in soft clay....count, then add 1 >>


    Sounds like a pretty damaging way to count the reeds on a potentially rare coin image
  • Haha, nice.

    The reed count actually went pretty well. A lot easier than expected.
  • OldEastsideOldEastside Posts: 4,389 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Unplug the phoneimage

    Steve
    Promote the Hobby
  • NysotoNysoto Posts: 3,107 ✭✭✭✭


    << <i>The reed count actually went pretty well. A lot easier than expected. >>


    The suspense is killing me. How many reeds? What coin is this?
    Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty
  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 12,944 ✭✭✭✭


    << <i>The suspense is killing me. How many reeds? What coin is this? >>


    ditto


  • what I did for trade dollars is took a marker and marked off a block of 10 and leave a block of 10 unmarked and alternate them. Confirm the counts and then count your blocks of ten
  • stealerstealer Posts: 3,761 ✭✭✭


    << <i>what I did for trade dollars is took a marker and marked off a block of 10 and leave a block of 10 unmarked and alternate them. Confirm the counst and then count you blocks of ten >>


    Why do researchers permanently damage coins like this when you can just use the photography method? image
  • Sorry for the suspense!
    Once confirmed with some experts (next week), I will share if it's a good one!


  • << <i>

    << <i>what I did for trade dollars is took a marker and marked off a block of 10 and leave a block of 10 unmarked and alternate them. Confirm the counst and then count you blocks of ten >>


    Why do researchers permanently damage coins like this when you can just use the photography method? image >>



    It was a pocket piece and I just added to its tormented history

  • ebaybuyerebaybuyer Posts: 2,992 ✭✭
    ive always found it much easier to compare the coin in question to a coin that should have the exact same reed count. if the reeds are identical, all you have to do is stack the coins and match one reed. i use a 20x power lense and rotate the coin until i find a variation in the reeding or until i give up trying. reed counts are one of the most effective ways to authenticate a coin.
    regardless of how many posts I have, I don't consider myself an "expert" at anything
  • CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,187 ✭✭✭✭
    Now for the important question - does anyone know why the coiners played around with the reeding counts?
  • yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 2,678 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for asking, and for the folks who shared the helpful answer.
    I had been wondering how people did this without going nuts.
  • WoodenJeffersonWoodenJefferson Posts: 6,495 ✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Now for the important question - does anyone know why the coiners played around with the reeding counts? >>



    The number and size of reeds on coins was never dictated by law, so individual U.S. Mints were using their own descretions to make their reeds to their own in-house specifications.

    Example,
    Dimes from the CC Mint had 89 reeds while the same era dimes from the Philadelphia Mint had 113
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    "Keep your malarkey filter in good operating order" -Walter Breen
  • ebaybuyerebaybuyer Posts: 2,992 ✭✭
    the CC mint was known to have used two or more different reed counts in certain years, i have a pair of 1875-CC dimes, and each have a different reeding count , i believe the 1876-cc quarter used three for four different collars which created (obviously) as many different reed counts. coinosaurus, was there a specific reason for the reed count variations ?
    regardless of how many posts I have, I don't consider myself an "expert" at anything
  • StaircoinsStaircoins Posts: 2,480 ✭✭✭

    Steve Tompkins contributed an excellent article to the esylum on counting edge reeds. It can be found here.

    A couple of his illustrations ...
    image

    image

  • DentuckDentuck Posts: 3,752 ✭✭✭
    In reality, every coin is reeded.

    What we mistakenly call a "plain edge" is actually one gigantic reed, as congressionally stipulated in the Mint Act of 1794, Sec. 32, Art. VII, para 2, "United States Coinage and the Reeding Thereof."




  • The only coin I've ever bothered counting the reeds on are 1921 Morgan dollars as one variety has an infrequently reeded edge, so far I have a roll of 20 slider AU coins and a couple more in lower grade bought at melt. I should add that I didn't have to count the reeds, all you have to do is lay the Morgans on their side and the IR coins stick out like a sore thumb.
  • NysotoNysoto Posts: 3,107 ✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Now for the important question - does anyone know why the coiners played around with the reeding counts? >>


    From our ousted numismatic scholar, RWB, on 2/25/11:

    "Coin edge reeding was made by a solid steel collar of standard diameter. Some came from the Philadelphia Mint engraving department, but all of the branch mints also made their own. The differences in reed count depend on how the reeds were cut and the pitch – this was done in several ways."

    RWB's statement was correct from the start of the branch mints - the classic head gold from the Charlotte and Dahlonega mints have a lower reed count than Philly.

    Reed counts on 1794/5 to 1830's silver and gold (except the lettered edge .50 and $1) proved the reeds were applied at the strike with a close collar, contrary to the old theory that reeding was done on the Castaing-style edge lettering and rimming machine. Off-center bust coins do not have reeding because they were struck out of the collar.



    Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty
  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 12,944 ✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: Dentuck

    In reality, every coin is reeded. What we mistakenly call a "plain edge" is actually one gigantic reed, as congressionally stipulated in the Mint Act of 1794, Sec. 32, Art. VII, para 2, "United States Coinage and the Reeding Thereof."




    how about broadstruck coins. image



    a coin with an edge but no reed (singular).

    .
  • LoveMyLibertyLoveMyLiberty Posts: 1,775 ✭✭✭
    The differences in the number of reeds on any given coin is

    as simple as why there are different sizes & shapes of mint

    marks, dates & lettering.

    It all depends on the tool that makes the reeds. Using a

    close collar workers had to manufacture a Knurl tool that

    cut the inside of edge collars for a specific number of reeds.

    When a planchet was struck by two dies the metal expanded

    out to the edge & reeding was imparted to the planchet.



    When the mint went to segmented collars a different tool

    applied the reeding to each segment of the collar. Often the

    reed count of the tool differed depending on which worker,

    which mint, or what application it was being used for.



    For example Morgan dollars had reed counts, the lowest being

    157, 168, 176 through 194 depending on the mint. Other

    denominations obviously had a series of different reed counts.



    As collars were changed out for production of different types of

    coins & later they went back to production of the previous coin

    type, workers would grab other collars of the correct size, but it

    may have had a different reed count. So be it.



    There are very good coverage of reeding & how it was developed

    in books like:



    From Mine to Mint, by Roger W. Burdette



    Encyclopedia of Morgan & Peace Dollars, by Leroy C. Van Allen &

    George Mallis



    Federal half Dimes 1792 - 1837, by Russell J. Logan & John W.

    McCloskey



    Just to name a few.
    My Type Set

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  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 12,944 ✭✭✭✭

    .
    there hasn't been a good reed count thread here in a while (that i've seen anyway), so here is a oldie but a goodie.

    old thread bump!
    .

  • rickoricko Posts: 69,503 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have never even been curious as to reed counts, let along interested enough to count them.... wow...got other things to do..... :o Cheers, RickO

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 12,813 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 9, 2019 9:10AM

    I WILL REMEMBER TO LOOK AT THE DATE OF THE DISCUSSION BEFORE POSTING.
    I WILL REMEMBER TO LOOK AT THE DATE OF THE DISCUSSION BEFORE POSTING.
    I WILL REMEMBER TO LOOK AT THE DATE OF THE DISCUSSION BEFORE POSTING.
    I WILL REMEMBER TO LOOK AT THE DATE OF THE DISCUSSION BEFORE POSTING.

    I think everything was answered already. Nevertheless, I'm waiting for my breakfast so...

    @stealer said:
    << what I did for trade dollars is took a marker and marked off a block of 10 and leave a block of 10 unmarked and alternate them. Confirm the counst and then count you blocks of ten >>

    Why do researchers permanently damage coins like this when you can just use the photography method?

    Ink DOES NOT damage a coin's edge. The ONLY thing I can think of that ink may damage is the original "skin" when a chemical is used to remove it.

    @Coinosaurus said:
    Now for the important question - does anyone know why the coiners played around with the reeding counts?

    Good question. I always believed that it was a way to differentiate the Mint a coin was struck at. This cannot be true because after a certain date the edge counts became uniform at all the mints for at least many denominations. I do believe it was for some specific reason at one time - perhaps to track press output or die life as there are cases of several reed counts on some coins of the same date struck at the same Mint.

    The appearance of a coin's edge is important to some of us. That includes the size, shape, and number of a reeded edge coin.

    PS I turn the coin on its edge, look for a distinctive mark (nick or damage) on a reed to start, and then count them under my microscope. I'm done before I could do it any other way. I LMAO when I watched an "Ex-Pert" roll a coin in clay to count the reeds. I don't recommend it.

  • CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,187 ✭✭✭✭

    Bill Bugert and Randy Wiley have done reed counts for hundreds of seated half dollars. How they have maintained their sanity I know not.

  • DiggerJimDiggerJim Posts: 336 ✭✭✭

    I don’t have that much time on my hands to tackle such a task. 😳. Maybe after I retire.

    DiggerJim

    BST transactions - mach1ne, Ronyahski, pitboss (x2).

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 12,813 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Coinosaurus said:
    Bill Bugert and Randy Wiley have done reed counts for hundreds of seated half dollars. How they have maintained their sanity I know not.

    They (and other researchers) have provided a great service to numismatics.

    We all know coins have three sides. I wish I could claim coming up with that simple and wonderful statement but I cannot. I believe one of the guys at the ANA's Certification Service in CO actually did. I can claim to figure out that the reeded edge of a coin is important for authentication all by myself.

    In the early 1970's, it was apparent that the edges of many fakes were different. Electros, casts, and different looking reeding. One day, it dawned on me if the counterfeiters at the time were making coins of the wrong alloy (obvious wrong color) with crude designs, perhaps they did not pay attention to the edge of the fakes either. I found that very often, a coin with sharp uniform reeding was suspect. From then on, I made a study of the third side of every coin I examined. Well, anyone who looks at enough Liberty $5 with their naked eye will notice the edge reeding varies. That's when I began to count edge reeding on coins of all types. In a short time, I realized that for some coins - $5 Indians for example, I was wasting my time. Aside from their appearance, the count was the same on both fakes and genuine coins. What I did discover is that reed counts were very important ways to authenticate particular coins. AFAIK, aside from my unpublished records, the Van Allen Mallis book on dollars was the first publication that included reed counts for the dates and mints.

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 37,037 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One technique that works well for me is to place a smooth piece of aluminum foil on a soft but firm surface such as a magazine and then roll the coin across the foil surface until the coin rotates 360 degrees. Use a firm pressure to insure each reed leaves an indentation. As part of the process I would first look for a microscopic nick on the edge of the rim and place that edge on the foil and mark it on the foil with a toothpick. After rotating the coin I would again mark the foil next to the same nick. I would then count the indentations in the foil between the two marks. I usually count them out in ten's and mark the foil in case I lose count so I wouldn't have to start over again. It's quicker and easier that I make it sound.

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 12,813 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:
    One technique that works well for me is to place a smooth piece of aluminum foil on a soft but firm surface such as a magazine and then roll the coin across the foil surface until the coin rotates 360 degrees. Use a firm pressure to insure each reed leaves an indentation. As part of the process I would first look for a microscopic nick on the edge of the rim and place that edge on the foil and mark it on the foil with a toothpick. After rotating the coin I would again mark the foil next to the same nick. I would then count the indentations in the foil between the two marks. I usually count them out in ten's and mark the foil in case I lose count so I wouldn't have to start over again. It's quicker and easier that I make it sound.

    The major problem with counting reeding by ANY method occurs whit damaged edges or areas of weak reeds. That's why the reflector or microscope works best. With them, you can even count non-existant reeds by the spacing where they should occur. :)

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 37,037 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:

    @PerryHall said:
    One technique that works well for me is to place a smooth piece of aluminum foil on a soft but firm surface such as a magazine and then roll the coin across the foil surface until the coin rotates 360 degrees. Use a firm pressure to insure each reed leaves an indentation. As part of the process I would first look for a microscopic nick on the edge of the rim and place that edge on the foil and mark it on the foil with a toothpick. After rotating the coin I would again mark the foil next to the same nick. I would then count the indentations in the foil between the two marks. I usually count them out in ten's and mark the foil in case I lose count so I wouldn't have to start over again. It's quicker and easier that I make it sound.

    The major problem with counting reeding by ANY method occurs whit damaged edges or areas of weak reeds. That's why the reflector or microscope works best. With them, you can even count non-existant reeds by the spacing where they should occur. :)

    My technique can be used to fill in the damaged area on the foil since you know the spacing of the reeds. Not everyone has a microscope or reflector handy but most homes have foil and a tooth pick handy.

  • HemisphericalHemispherical Posts: 8,270 ✭✭✭✭✭

    “Reed counting”

    Starts with 1.

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