Friday, December 27, 2013

12/27/13 Report - Microscopic Inspection of Dug Coins and Cobs and Comparison of Two Half Reales

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I got some new equipment that can be used to take good photos of coins and other small objects.

Here is an example of one of the first photos that I took of a coin using the Celestron microscope.

I plan to use the microscope to study and photograph beach cobs as well as other things.

If you look at the penny shown here you can see the steps, you can see the figure of Lincoln between the two center columns, and you can see the surface of the coin pretty well.  There is some glare that obscures some of the details.

What I found is that the resolution of the microscope far exceeds that of my computer monitor so if I want to see more detail, I'm going to have to get a higher resolution screen.  Some of the lack in detail in this photo is due to lighting too.

Nonetheless, as is, I expect the microscope to be useful and I expect you'll see the results in future posts.

Here are a couple more of my first attempts with the new device.

Here is a photo of a half reale that was recovered from a Treasure Coast beach in November of 2013.  I posted a photo of it before, but that photo wasn't nearly this good.

In this photo you can see the P assayer mark more clearly (to the left of the bottom of the large P).

You can also clearly see the M mint mark above that, indicating the Mexico mint.

Notice other details, such as the circles and the figure below and between the big P and S.

I think it makes a nice photo even with the limitations in computer screen resolution.

You can also see a few grains of sand still attached to the surface of the cob.

Below is a photo of another half reale found in November of 2013 at the same beach.  I think you can clearly see that this cob was made by another die.

Not only were there many different dies, but dies also were reworked as they wore out and needed to be sharpened up.

Unfortunately this cob does not show the assayer mark.  It does however show part of the M mint mark.

Look just to the left of the big P about half way down the P.  You can see the right side of the M.

So this cob is also a Mexico minted cob.  You could also tell that by looking at the style of cross on the other side of the cob.

You can see the part of the figure below and between the P and S on both cobs - representing a pomegranate, I believe.

One of the big differences I see between the two cobs is the V above and between the P and S.

On the top cob it is complete and entirely between the P and S.  On the bottom cob, it appears to overlap with the S.

I will be using this microscope to make good photos of coins and finds.  Too bad screen resolution is such a limiting factor.  I think the photos look good nonetheless.

Today on the Treasure Coast the surf is around five feet today, but will be diminishing over the next week or so, so don't expect any improvement in beach detecting conditions real soon.

Thats all for now.
Happy hunting,