I just wanted to pop in with an update of sorts: My client has recently acquired a supply line for a high demand coin that promises to provide a healthy return and our agreement includes a percentage participation residual income for me. I've simply got to create the ad and listing photo. Sounds good, right? Except this coin is going to make me rip my hair out. It is silver and upon first look appears like a reverse proof with the relief frosted only rather than the balance of the coin being brilliant, this one has three unique textures. There are fine details in the the matted portions, there are polished facets in other areas. This coin is beautiful when viewed with the naked eye but my attempts at photographing it are flat and unimpressive. Thank goodness I've got about a week to find something that works.
This was lit with a 24X36 softbox overhead on a boom and angled forward at about 2' above the tabletop. Camera position was forward of the coin slightly (originally looking for a dark field angle).
No need in pointing out the focus issue at the top of the coin here. I was moving the camera and got out of tolerance for the depth-of-field. Anyway here's the problem child. The bright white field below the panda is brilliant, the white legs, ears, and spots around the eyes are polished and faceted, the bands at the top and bottom are not grey as they appear here but are somewhere between polished and matted and engraved with tiny detail, the central portions that are not panda are polished. This is about the ugliest representation of a really pretty piece of silver since the history of ever. My thinking is bringing the softbox down, aiming it more toward the camera so it skims the surface rather than bouncing at such a high angle.