Which microscope is best for getting pictures of a whole stamp or coin for my collection records?

You will need a microscope that has very low power. Since most coins and stamps are approximately an inch in their maximum dimension, only powers less than 10x magnification will be capable of showing the whole specimen. Several of Celestron's digital microscopes–including the Handheld Digital Microscope Pro #44308, InfiniView #44360, and Deluxe Handheld Digital Microscope #44302-A–can deliver low enough magnifications. They may have to be raised off a surface to achieve lower powers and correspondingly large fields of view to see your entire specimen.

Microscopes designed for viewing slides, such as Celestron's Micro360+ #44126 or LCD Digital Microscope II #44341, typically have lowest powers of about 40x. This is much too high a magnification and will only show you a small part of a typical coin like a dime or a standard postage stamp.

An alternative way of imaging an entire coin or stamp is to use a DSLR with a macro lens or a point and shoot digital camera with a macro mode.

Updated 12/18/13