It is probably easier to get good "photographs" of a coin or stamp collection by simply placing the coins or stamps on the surface of a flatbed scanner than attempting to set up a studio and get a picture with a camera. Flatbed scanners have a lot more flexibility than you can imagine.

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Tips on how you can use a flatbed scanner to make a complete record of your coin collection or stamp collection

Flatbed scanners and collecting gold coins
Scan of a coin collection

A flatbed scanner can do a lot more, and a lot better, when you have the proper software. The two leading software on the digital imaging market today are LinoColor Elite from Heidelberg for their Linotype-Hell scanners and the newcomer, the impressive Silver Fast from LaserSoft Imaging, www.silverfast.com.

We were asked to help evaluate a coin collection and then to handle the sale of the coin collection. Due to the size of the collection the only way to handle the estimates of each coin was to have a complete list, which we did in Microsoft Access data base software.

As backup documentation I realized we needed a picture of every single coin. But to photograph perhaps a thousand or more coins would have cost a fortune.

Besides, lighting coins for photography is very time consuming. So I had the bright idea to scan the entire collection.

investment grade gold coins.
Close ups of a coin scan

 

In two weeks Andrea David had about 150 pages of coins finished, all in full color, sometimes 20 coins to a page. We printed this book with our Lexmark color laser at 12 cents a page since Kinko's would have charged a fortune ($160 per book...that's right, about $1.30 per page. Ouch.)

This is also a idea way to handle your stamp collection, or even textiles! We scanned quite a few native Maya textiles from Mexico and Guatemala. Scanning is a lot easier and quicker than photography using a camera.

Reviews of a professional flatbed scanner, the Fuji C-550 Lanovia, on www.flatbed-scanner-review.org

While on the subject of coins, during the several months that we cataloged and prepared this coin collection for sale we ran into all kinds of coin dealers. Several scam artists called and tried to take advantage of my elderly father. Other coin dealers wanted us to send the entire collection to them, so they could make an offer. But we were dubious that they might switch low cost coins for the valuable ones we had. Thus we scanned both sides of every coin (and decided it was safer not to send the coins to someone we did not know. If they really wanted to buy the coin collection, then should come in person and look at them).

We finally found a completely honest coin company and two totally ethical coin dealers, Leo Frese of Heritage Numismatic Auctions and David Mayfield, tel 1 800 872 6467. This company is associated with Heritage Capital Corporation. We recommend these two individuals and the company they represent. Besides, they paid a fair price for the coin collection and we got their check in full before they even took the coins.

 DVD-RAM or DVD-ROM? Which is best?

CD-RW or CD-R, what are the differences?

RAID, what is a RAID and why is a RAID system an easy solution for massive digital storage?

Perhaps our experience with working out which digital storage devices are best for the Digital Imaging Technology Center can help you too.

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