Good Photography Requires Color

We have been noting the importance of sharp, expandable photos in online bidding for coins. Without quality numismatic photography, auctioneers cannot command top prices for their consignors. But there is another aspect to photography, and that is the ability to capture color.

Toned coins can bring premium prices, as much as 10 times the lot’s worth. Auctioneers must be able to tell genuine toning from artificial kinds, which include chemical and laser techniques and which qualify as coin doctoring–illegal in some cases, unethical in all. See this article to spot artificial toning.

Every now and then, however, coins develop the most marvelous patina. Below is an example of such photographed by a Proxibid auctioneer whose camera did not capture color. We won the lot. Here is our photo. Which would command the best prices?

Note: Top photos are from Proxibid. Bottom ones are from Proxiblog, taken with a $99 camera in a room with fluorescent and natural lighting.


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