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Photo comparison of the Venezuela 5B (1879 to 1936) varieties.

My intention is to use Adobe Photoshop (PS) to analyze existing varieties and compare to other varieties of the same year in order to understand the differences. Also the result should permit the use of the analisis to quickly identify varieties in coins with none assigned. This method can be used for any other coins but my interest is in the Venezuela 5B.


The metod I use is to upload the best quality coin image to PS and convert it to a "standard coin". You can´t compare two images unless the have the same size and orientation. We must first straighten the coin, then crop the coin and convert to a standard size. I take the straight line on top of the shield as the baseline to straighten the image. I crop the coin to a square to the four borders of the coin. Finally I set all images to 1000 x 1000 pixels.

After the coin has been converted to a standard I proceed to create a PS mask on top of the coin. Using the paintbrush set at 1 pixel thick I proceed to draw a line over the stars and the date (almost all of the 5B varieties are of the date). This will create a transparent mask which can be pasted on top of other coins to establish similarities or differences.



            This is the mask of a 1929 5B "HIGH 9" variety                               This is the mask of a 1929 5B "LOW9 9" variety


In this next image you can see both varieties superimposed and can easily observe the difference between the two. One has to wonder why the "HIGH 9" was called a "LOW 9" and viceversa, I guess however made the first attribution saw the comparison from a different perspective.

With these two translucent mask we can now discover variances on ungraded coins or coins that have been graded but have no variety attributed.

We can also uncover mistakes made when assigning attributions.

Below we compared the masks of three coins attributed as PCGS "ALIGNED 3", NGC "HIGH 3" and NGC "NORMAL DATE". The same mask was applied to an NGC coin with the variety "LOW 3". I noticed no difference between any of the coins and concluded that there are no 1936 varieties. I was told by NGC on June 5th. 2020 that they will no longer do any attributions for 1936 Venezuela 5B.





1929 HIGH and LOW MASKS-2.jpg

Entries in this journal


A VISUAL PROOF OF EXISTING VARIETIES FOR FIVE BOLÍVARES 1926 VENEZUELAN COINS. Using Adobe PhotoShop (PS) we will compare 5 bolívares 1926 coins with the objective of proving the existence of several varieties not recognized by the grading companies (NGC; PCGS; ANACS; etc.) We will explain the method used and then will proceed with our conclusions. To compare coins we will first align them and then resize them. For alignment we will use the top horizontal line of the shield.