Collecting projects: curate your coin collection


07 April 2020
The current lockdown is anything but ideal, but this might just give us that chance to revisit old passions and projects, and finally get those purchases out of their boxes, writes Paula Hammond.

Time is the enemy of the collector. Work and family commitments eat away our days and many of us are forced to abandon our hobbies until we’ve retired. Even those who continue to collect often end up buying items that sit, neglected, in an ever-growing pile waiting for that ‘spare time’ that never seems to materialise. 

Get to know your collection

Good book-keeping is key to building a good collection. If you know what you have, then you know what you need, and can set collecting goals. It also makes insuring a collection easier, so you’ll be making things simpler for your heirs down-the-line.

For some numismatists, their catalogue is an integral part of the collecting process,  and as visually appealing as their coin displays. For others, it’s a necessary chore.

Whether you use a note-book, card file, digital database, spreadsheet, or numismatic app, though, it’s important to make your catalogue your own. Dedicated software can be pricy so look for trial versions and check reviews to ensure you get exactly what you want.

Alternatively make your own log-books. Most word-processing packages allow you to set-up printable templates with rows and columns to suit your needs. Include country, year, mint mark, denomination, grade, date of purchase, purchase price.

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Research and record prices and values

If you’re collecting as an investment, record sale prices and profits so you can track best-buys.

If price isn’t a concern, then information about each coin adds an extra dimension to cataloging and, again, gives heirs an insight into why each coin appealed to you, when they’re deciding what to keep/sell.

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