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Silver Collector Forums

Magnifying / reading silver marks

Hi, I am new to the forum. Is there any trick to being able to decipher marks that are very small, worn down, etc? I am using regular magnifying glasses. One item had Sheffield England imprinted on the underside of a circular handle. I was told it was there, and really had to use a penlight and magnifier to see it. If I hadn’t been told what it said, I’m not sure I would have been able to make it out. I’m wondering how the seller was able to find it. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Hi there and thanks for joining us. There are many new ways to magnify stuff. I have suffered from macular degeneration (an eye disorder) for many years and am legally blind. I need high magnification to see close up. I have used electronic magnification gear since the early 1990s and the stuff allows me to function in a near normal way. The old fashioned way is to use a jeweler’s loupe to magnify the marks. I have a 20 power loupe that works quite well. But my secret weapon is a gizmo called a Pico that is a hand held electronic magnifier - a tiny digital camera that displays on a fairly large color LCD screen. The new digintal cameras do a real good job too. I just bought an Olympus 7010 that will focus down to about one centimeter and can caputre even the smallest marks, which are huge when uploaded to your computer and displayed. I also use a low vision computer program called ZoomText that magnifies the computer screen. Also in my bag of tricks are a couple of CCTV systems, basically a closed circuit TV camera with a zoom lens that displays on a TV monitor. You place an object or book on a movable table and zoom and focus the TV camera on it, then move the table with one hand and read or view on the TV monitor. Most CCTV systems will magnify up to 60 power. It is not as hard to use as it sounds, becomes second nature very quickly. I have CCTV systems made by both PulseData and Telesensory and each works equally well. The Pico hand held is my favorite however.

The stuff is not cheap, but for those of us with low vision, a bargain. Any of our readers that may be interested in such equipment to enhance their quality of life, feel free to contact me directly, royvictor@cox.net

Regards,

Uncle Vic

Thank you, Uncle Vic, for the suggestions.

Great help here. That’s a very nice and informative suggestion there Mr Vic.
I’ve almost envy you for having those things. But in my personal point of view that was really a genius thought and anyway thanks for the share.
I’ll be counting on this one though.

I will throw one suggestion in here that I have learned from my coin hobby.

If you have a flatbed scanner, simply place the piece with the faded hallmark
on it (carefully) and then scan at a decent DPI (dots per inch). After doing this,
you can bring the scanned image into a number of programs that can zoom in on the area and the like.

If you happen to have Photoshop, there are additional techniques I can share to help you with even better recognition.

Maybe this will help.

Silverfish