I’ve been sorting, organizing, and inputting coins into software…I call this cataloging.
Recently I emailed Dad the country indexes from World Coins 1901-2000 and 2001-Date along with a list of a few countries that we only needed a few coins to complete. His response…I had no idea you were being so detailed. I was thinking…if he thinks that is detailed he is NO idea!
What this told me is that he really has very little idea of what I am doing with the coins. Writing him an email and explaining was my first idea. But, my cataloging system seemed like a perfect thing to explain to everyone.
Let’s assume that Dad has won an eBay auction of world coins and they are sitting on my desk.
Initially, I was being sent coins and had no way to organize them or even really understand what I had. I was SUPER new and Dad was sending boxes of numismatic stuff…coins, books, research, and more round things (tokens, bullion, etc)!
Asking Dad if he knew anything about coin collecting software led me nowhere. He thought I wouldn’t need software. Uhm…ok.
Having experience with spreadsheets, I gave it a whirl. Inputting a few coins into a google spreadsheet just showed me how much good software could make things easier. Yes, I could have developed my own spreadsheet and it would have been adequate. But it wouldn’t have helped me understand what I had or help me manage the collection.
Instead, I did quite a bit of research and found Exact Change. I have input many coins and love the software. It has been quite helpful in making sure I am inputting the coins correctly, the pictures are a wonderful resource, and the developer is responsive. There are many features I haven’t explored and I’m a thrilled customer!
Stored in the To Do – World green mint box:
- 1801-1900 World Coins (do not have yet)
- 1901-2000 World Coins
- 2001-Date World Coins
- Exact Change software
Binders Full of…Coins
While this is an odd place to begin, binders are what determine the sorting. I have several binders with sheets with 2×2 pockets. These are arranged alphabetically, sorted by country. So, all the Tajikistan coins are together in the “T’ area. The countries are not sorted alphabetically though..yet.
Binders are just labeled with numbers so that as the collection grows I can easily add more.
Coins – First Sort
Numbered sandwich baggies correspond to the binders above. So, if I had 10 binders (which I don’t) I would have ten baggies.
Coins are sorted by country and placed in the appropriate baggy. If I don’t think I will remember the country I put it in a 2×2 envelope and write the country and other information on the back flap in pencil so that it can be erased later.
Pre-1901 coins are put to the side. When I get the book I will input these. This used to be the case for 2001-date coins as the book was just released this month!
Invariably I am left with several coins that are not readily identifiable. This is part of the fun! Next, is doing all the research necessary to figure out where the coin is from. This entails A LOT of googling, much of which is unsuccessful, and flipping through the books, and googling, and asking for help when I am OUT of options.
The last bundle of coins delivered had a handful of coins that needed this initial research. This took about 30 minutes. As I am gaining more experience with coins this is taking less and less time. Helps that I am keeping a list of countries that are more difficult for me to identify.
Coins and Binders
Since I haven’t made it all the way through this process for all the world coins several binders have coins in them that haven’t been cataloged and there are coins sitting in baggies.
The first step is getting the next binder and appropriate baggy of coins. Each coin goes into a cardboard flip. I was using 2×2 envelopes for this but you cannot SEE the coin easily. So, I am changing to the flips.
Once it is in the flip with whatever information I can readily find written on it as follows:
- Top Left: Country
- Top Right: Denomination
- Bottom Right: Year
- Bottom Left: blank…for now
- Back: blank…for now
This is the spot where all the research, supplies, and tools come together!
- Locate the coin in World Coins book, pay attention to the number (generally, a KM#).
- Find the coin in Exact Change and enter the information. VERIFY that the associated number is the same number located in the World Coin book.
- If it is…YAY!
- If not…more research including googling and Numista.
- Once I am confident that the coin is in the database correctly I write the item number on the Bottom Right and the KM# on the back of the 2×2 or the flip.
- Then, I write the item number in the book near the coin. This is for cross referencing at some later date.
One coin cataloged!
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.