On Coin Shells

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Tom Bennett » 09/21/09 07:25 AM

I want to buy a Shell for Peace Silver Dollars, I have some fundamental questions:

  • What are die Advantages/Disadvantages of a Expanded Shell vs. Milled Down Shells?
  • Do milled down shells cover the coin completely? How does this work? Or are the matching coins reduced in thickness?
  • Schoolcraft offer the new Dean Dill Shell Set. What sort of shell is this and what are the difrerences?
  • Does a expanded shell alone make any sense or always go for a good set?

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Postby Dave Mithaca » 09/21/09 01:02 PM

I've got a Dean's Set from Schoolcraft which I believe came with an "unexpanded" shell. The unexpanded shell helps by allowing the face of the coin to look exactly like the regular coins. The shell sits perfectly on any of the coins that came with the set. It doesn't look like a little hat sitting on the coins.

I also have another set of coins which have an expanded shell (don't know who made it) that stands out a bit from the regular coins. I use this set to practice with sometimes.

If you're doing work on a table which should withstand the scrutiny of people watching from up close, then I'd go with a Dean's Set. I've been working for years with a regular expanded shell and some coins for a Roth-type coins across with success. The coins aren't side by side for comparison during my routine for more than a moment or two, so I'm not worried about anybody noticing the slight discrepancy in appearance. But when I work on a table for routines such as Matrix then I take out the Dean's Set. Hope this helps.
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Postby Tom Dobrowolski » 09/21/09 03:23 PM

I just had Jammie Schoolcraft make me an expanded shell with my coins. Turned out great and you can not tell it from the other coins. Get the expanded set with the coins or give him your coins to make a set.
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Postby Tom Bennett » 09/21/09 03:30 PM

So what are the pros and cons of expanded or milled?
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Postby Pete McCabe » 09/22/09 12:46 AM

Expanded shells are (somewhat) more practical since they can fit over any normal coin. So if you have an expanded liberty half, you can use it with any liberty half.

Milled shells look better because the coin is not distorted (i.e. expanded). The limitation is that they only work with coins that have been milled down to fit.

It's hard to say if the distortion present in all expanded shells is noticeable by normal people.
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Postby Tom Bennett » 09/22/09 01:54 AM

I was also told, that Milled shells fit better, as all of the coins of the set are made to exactly the same size.

I think I will get a Tango or Johnson set for starting practicing and get a feel for shells. As soon as I feel comfortable with them I will go for a Dean's Set from Schoolcraft.

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Postby Lee Almond » 09/22/09 10:42 PM

Go with the Johnson shells. The price is right and the product & service is great. I have bought many products from Johnson's and have never had any regrets. I have no reason to buy another shell coin. The audience is no the wiser, trust me. I am no way connected with Johnson Products. They are just a kick butt company.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/23/09 08:03 AM

Some explorations with inexpensive props can save much time and expense.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time
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