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They may be easy to slip into your pocket or a small coin purse, but it’s precisely this thinness that makes coins so tricky to scan.
The ridged edges of the coins are key to an accurate scan, so we laid the coins flat on a leaflet of printed text — this makes it easier to capture the details of the edges. In order to help with alignment, each coin was scanned in four positions: lying flat heads up, lying flat tails up, standing on its side (held in place by a pair of pliers), and standing on its side once more, but with the design turned 180 degrees around — the scanning took just three to four minutes per coin.