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Proper Magnification for Die Varieties

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 by James Wiles, Ph.D.

CONECA Master Listing

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Proper Magnification for Die Varieties

The standards we use in variety collecting and attribution have been in place for over three decades and thus are well established. Cherrypickers prefer a 10x loupe, usually of the Hastings triplet type, such as the one manufactured by Bausch & Lomb.  The Hastings triplet is composed of three layers of optical glass.  So it offers high magnification with no distortion around the edges.  There are several reasons why this standard was established.  It is affordable (still around $40.00).  It is portable (easy to carry at coin shows).  It allows you to see almost the entire side of a Lincoln cent with one glance.  Furthermore, 10x is the standard for listability.  If it requires more than 10x to see the variety, it is not listable in the CONECA files and thus probably not worth your time and money to collect.  Once in the study, a 20x-30x microscope is used to identify the die diagnostics and confirm an attribution of the variety.

 

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Copyright James Wiles, 2016

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