Guide To Taking Photographs

Here at Baldwin's of St James's we receive hundreds of images of coins every week.

Of course, we are always delighted to receive them - there is nothing we like better than looking at coins (its why we do what we do, after all).

If you are looking to send us images of your coins or collections, please refer to the guide below.

Most of the photographs we receive are taken with smartphones and that is absolutely fine. Modern smartphones come equipped with high-resolution cameras (the amount of pixels in a photo determines the size of the file - too big and it might not get through your email firewalls), and can produce quality images if done correctly. All of the images below were taken using a smartphone. There is no need to use a special camera.

Remember: the better the quality of image, the more accurate we can be when it comes to valuing your coins for consignment to auction or for private treaty sale. 

What NOT to do:

What not to do 8

Busy background: If there is too much going on behind your coin, it's often difficult to discern the outline. Coins should be placed on a plain sheet of paper or smooth surface.

What not to do 1

Too far away: Don't be afraid to get up close and personal with your coins...

 What not to do 7

... But not that close! Make sure that the entire coin fits within the frame of the photograph. Images such as these where we cannot see the whole coin are unlikely to get replies (as we automatically think you're trying to hide something!)

What not to do 6

Watch the cropping: Once again, we need to see the whole coin in the photo - images such as the one above are impossible to value.

What not to do 3

Lighting: Make sure that the lighting on your coin is correct. You may have to move a bit to make sure that your phone is not casting a shadow on the coin.

What not to do 2

Keep hands steady: Blurred or obscured images are very common and make it difficult for us to evaluate what your coin is worth.

What not to do 5

Watch out for fingers: Whilst there is no doubt that your hands are valuable, our expertise unfortunately does not cover fingers. If you are holding the coin, as in the image above, then you are more likely to obscure some of the item. Place your items on a flat surface rather than holding them.

What not to do 4

Too many: Sending us images of your entire collection makes it very difficult for us to see what's there! Of course, we are all proud of our collections and want to show them off at every opportunity. However, we can't value entire collections from an image. If you have a large collection that you are looking to sell or consign to auction, send us a few images of some of the more choicer or important items and we'll contact you if we think we can help you sell them.

How to take a successful valuation photo

Place the coin on a plain and uncluttered background. Try not to get too close so that the whole coin sits within the frame of the photograph. Watch the lighting and keep a steady hand. No fingers, and if you can send both the reverse and the obverse then all the better.

Remember: the better the image, the more accurate we are able to be in our valuations.