This will improve your chances of an ID

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figgis
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We have a lot of good aids to identification in the Research Section and you might get the satisfaction of making an ID for yourself from the information there, but if not then please follow the guidelines below.

Firstly, other members give their help freely, generously and in their own spare time so it's only a courtesy to them to put in some time and effort yourself. The more information you can give, the better your chances of an accurate ID, so please help others to help you.

Information to include in your initial request:

What metal do you believe your find to be? Photos can be deceptive and you have it in your hand, so say what metal you think it is.

In some instances such as tokens and livery buttons, location can be a great help in identification. Just the general area will suffice.

When it comes to images, please include at least two in-focus, tightly-cropped photos. While it's not compulsory to include a scale, it's strongly advisable and in certain cases (such as coins) size is hugely important for an accurate identification. So why not get into the habit of providing a scale (preferably a ruler) with every ID request?

Here's why a scale is important: small frying pan or unfeasibly large prawn?
scale.jpg

Taking photos
The most common problems with images are size and focus. Focus issues are mainly caused by lack of lighting and/or being too close to the object, both of which can affect depth of field (the distance from the lens within which things are in focus). Increased lighting and/or distance from the lens usually help solve focus issues, particularly with objects with a degree of depth to them.
To help ensure good focus on closeup shots on coins, take them from directly above.
Keep the background plain - a busy background detracts from your object.
Don't position the item in the general vicinity of the rule or scale but line up the left hand edge of the object with '0' on the rule.
There is a guide to photographing finds here.

TIP: if your object occupies less than half of the image then in most instances you're wasting pixels and lessening the chances of a successful ID. Look at your image. Have you got the object as large as you can? Does it more or less show all the detail you can see with the naked eye? If yes, then upload it and if not, re-do it and get it as best you can.

Once you have had an ID
Please thank people who help! You can do this by posting your thanks or hitting the 'thanks' button, preferably both.
If you're lucky and the item qualifies for recording, then report it to your Finds Liaison Officer.

Stick to these guidelines and, by making things clearer for those with the goodwill to help, you will maximise your chances of an accurate ID.
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