Artifact Authentication

with James R. Bennett

While not all authenticators use magnification to make decisions on authenticity, I personally find it to be an incredible asset, especially in today’s collecting market.  The advancements made by artifact reproducers in the last twenty years is scary. Some fake patination processes are very close to the real thing, and the use of foreign substances to replicate mineral deposits is something I see on a daily basis.

I often get asked what I look for under a microscope when authenticating an artifact, so I wanted to create this page to give a very general overview of some of the things I look for along with some example pics.  While this is far from a complete list, it hopefully will entice collectors who are not currently using magnification to consider buying a stereoscope. They are not that expensive, and they are truly a collector’s best friend.

What I Look For