Author: Chris Smart


As some of you might have inferred from my last post, I am a proud collector of coins. However, my interests do not limit to this, as I also enjoy collecting stamps and other fascinating objects, a passion that will maybe talk about in another blog entry. However, because I take my passion seriously, I also made a few investments in the devices that I use to study my proud possessions. Therefore, there was a time when I had to make a series of choices between different technologies and devices, and one of those particular decisions was choosing between a digital microscope and a dissecting one. So, because I think there are people who struggle with making this call, I have decided to give you a hand and help you make up your mind about what model you should choose.

To make it simple for you from the beginning, your decision should be guided by a simple criterion: how exactly do you intend to study your specimens? The reason why I am saying this is the fact that the main difference between a digital microscope and a dissecting one is the fact that a digital microscope was specially designed to be used with a computer. So, in case you want to thoroughly document the particularities of the sample/object you are studying, this device seems like a better fit.

Moreover, the price is also an important aspect. While dissecting microscopes are a tiny bit more expensive, as they are seen as lab equipment, digital microscopes are commonly low priced and considered commercial. As a result, by choosing a digital microscope you will be able to settle for a device that doesn’t require you to make a big investment. However, keep in mind that cheaper does not mean less capable. Quality, in this case, should not be inferred from the price. A well-equipped digital microscope is just as capable as a dissecting one.

Another major difference between the two is the fact that stereo microscopes, or dissecting microscopes and digital microscopes magnify the observed image in two different ways. While the stereo model multiplies the magnification in the lens by the eyepiece magnification, the digital model does not have this option. In the case of digital microscopes, magnification translates in how many times is the image made bigger when projected on the monitor. As studies show, the magnification number of a regular stereo microscope is in average 40 percent less than that of a digital one.

So, these are the facts, from here now the decision is all yours. So, think about what type you think best suits you and make your choice!




Coin collecting is a hobby many take up as children and carry out throughout their adult lives. I for one can still remember the first coin my grandfather gave me from his own collection and how much that simple gesture meant to me, as it transformed me into an avid collector. No matter how you came to love this hobby, collecting coins is an activity closely linked to the pleasure of paying attention to each and every detail. To me, searching for the history, the individuality of every coin is something that offers me both satisfaction and delight. However, to be able to do so, a coin collector needs the right equipment and, sometimes, knowing what to buy I a tad difficult. Therefore, today I have decided to share with you the story of how I managed to get a great microscope for coins.

Before settling for a microscope, I have to admit that I was still in doubt either or not I really needed such a device. The reason why this happened was because I ever actually knew whether or not I wanted to make such an investment. So, as a result, I decided to do a little net surfing and I have soon realized the extent of the many advantages a microscope for coins has to offer.

Next, I started searching for interesting features I should look for in a microscope. Soon, I had a new revelation. My new acquisition had to be easy to use and offer a generous magnification rate. Also, because I want to share my collection and discuss certain coins with fellow collectors that are not in the same state as I am in, I needed a device that I could easily connect to my notebook, be able to take photos and make small video recordings of my coins.

Another feature I realized I had to pay attention to was the size of the device. Because collecting coins has become an important part of my life, a few years ago I actually designed a small workshop where I keep my collection and spend time analyzing different coins and research additional information about them. So, another aspect I had to have in mind was the size of the device, as I wanted it to perfectly fit my work table.

Lastly, another thing you should keep in mind is how much exactly you want to invest in your new device. Because I’ve been in your shoes, I suggest you don’t rush into making a big investment. So, don’t buy an expensive device if you will only use it once or twice a week. Although more expensive models come with additional features, a model bought at half the price is equally capable of offering you the magnification range you need to enjoy studying your coin collection.