acsearch Premium vs. Coin Archives Pro

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Because of the frustrating limitations on what one can find with "free" searches on both acsearch and Coin Archives -- not only the inability to research auction sales prices, but other features such as the inability to enlarge photos (on acsearch), and the inability to see more than six months of results (Coin Archives) -- I looked up the cost of annual premium/"Pro" memberships on both. An annual premium membership on acsearch costs 85 euros (approx. $100). An annual "Pro" membership on Coin Archives costs $600. If there's anyone here who belongs to both, is there anything that Coin Archives gives you that acsearch does not that could possibly justify a $500 difference in the annual cost of a premium membership? Is there that big a difference in the sizes of the databases?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
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  3. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I looked recently, and the acsearch database is actually larger than CoinArchives by several times.
     
  4. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    If that's true, then it would make no financial sense for anyone to pay for a "Pro" Coin Archives membership. But obviously many people do -- although I certainly won't -- and I can't help wondering why.
     
    NewStyleKing likes this.
  5. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Sixbid now offers a good collectors archive for free.
     
  6. ycon

    ycon Well-Known Member

    To add into this equation there's also Sixbid's new-ish archive service which is free, and very good (although definitely somewhat smaller than acsearch)
     
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  7. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    I've never used coin archive. To cluttered. But I am a big fan of AC search and too have flirted with the idea of paying the big bucks for the year...though when I want to check prices I cross check with Biddrs past auctions resource and CNGs archive is pretty great as well.
     
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  8. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    I started using ac search premium about a year ago and have no experience with the paid version of coin archive. From my experience, the $100 has paid for itself many times over in the past year. I use it mostly for world coins and medals.
     
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  9. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    I use and pay for both, in part for slightly different feature-sets and to support the developers.

    - CoinArchives offers more complex queries and is generally easier to handle for filtering/sorting. They had much broader coverage than ACSearch for a while but ACSearch has indeed caught up after some auction houses began to permit them to use their data. CoinArchives includes results from yet-to-close sales as well which can help when searching.

    - ACSearch has digitized some older catalogs which has been a nice feature, although the OCRing leaves a bit to be desired. Their "Image Search" tool does a decent job at finding die matches/similar coins. The ability to comment on coins is also a plus.
     
  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    The CNG archive is fantastic, and I use it all the time to get an idea of prices, but of course it's limited to coins sold through CNG itself.
     
  11. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    IMO, the CNG archive is great for ID research, but not so great for pricing research. Relying on CNG hammers will often result in overpaying for a coin.
     
  12. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    I think the two search engines being questioned were designed for dealers & auction houses not casual collectors. A collector like myself who adds about one coin per month or every other month can't justify the expense of these search engines. It's too bad we can't tap into a source who's paying the annual service fee (for a small fee) to do an occasional search ;). Does this sound like cheating the system :smuggrin:?
     
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  13. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Obviously everyone's financial situation is different, but at least for me, there's an enormous difference between annual subscription costs of $100 vs. $600. The latter would be completely absurd for me to spend; the former feels much more "do-able," since it approximates the average individual cost of the coins I buy.
     
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  14. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Well-Known Member

    Yeah - $500 buys a couple nice coins...
     
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  15. Alwin

    Alwin Supporter! Supporter

    I remember when CoinArchives went from free to payable. The goal was clearly that amateurs would no longer have access to these resources, the database became de facto reserved for professionals, certainly they did not want everyone be able to have an idea of the prices of each coin.
    Then, luckily there was acSearch. As far as I was in the process of creating my database on Parthian coins, I took the Premium subscription. I continue with this subscription, the annual cost seems correct to me : wide photos, prices...
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
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  16. Nvb

    Nvb Well-Known Member

    As a collector I find ACsearch and CNG’s archives are more than enough to work with
     
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  17. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Spot checking the sixbid archives against acsearch, I think if you coupled sixbid with cng's archive this would be a reasonable free replacement. Still, acsearch will generally find at least double the number of results, even excluding cgb using "-commentaires."

    I think that's true for CoinArchives, but if you spend a minimum of $1000 per year on coins, I think acsearch would pay for itself, at least for the non-specialist collector who is often checking prices on coins you're not that familiar with. (Also, as I recall, you can cut down on the cost of an acsearch subscription by paying for multiple years at once.)
     
    Justin Lee, ycon, DonnaML and 3 others like this.
  18. fred13

    fred13 Junior Member

    I actually quite like Acsearch and of course liked it even better when it was free but so things go. One pro tip for you guys well perhaps maybe not too relevant for ancients and the like is whenever performing a search always search for the denomination both as its translated in english and in european languages. For example I'm quite keen on Ducats and usually find much more results when I search for the Dutch spelling "Dukaat" or the german "Dukat"

    Also has anyone used Acsearch's image search tool prior? Seems quite neat and costs 1 euro per use but really curious how it stacks up
     
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  19. kazuma78

    kazuma78 Supporter! Supporter

    I subscribed to the ACsearch for the fee and it has been well worth it to me so far. I was able to find a LOT of information. When searching for comps on coins I was interested in, I often found the exact coin in a recent prior sale. Its astounding to me how many coins on the auction circuit are recycled. I see many lots sell at Roma or for sale at Baldwin's that were previously sold for half the cost of a prior sale within the last 12 months. Based on sales results, it also helps give me an idea of which auctions houses are less well attended than others which tells me how likely I am to find a better deal at those auction houses.
     
  20. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    I know @TIF had talked about using it. I've never felt the need but I'm sure some day I will use it.
     
  21. ycon

    ycon Well-Known Member

    With a little time on your hands you can almost always crosscheck the acsearch results against the auctions they came from... Of course today there was one coin from a 2007 stacks auction I couldn't find anywhere, and I was contemplating paying the fee myself, but normally my method (which Sev neatly described) works pretty effectively. I have paid for the week subscription at least once, and tried to cram as much research as possible in.
     
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