How meticulous are your records?

Discussion in 'Paper Money' started by Hommer, Aug 2, 2021.

  1. Hommer

    Hommer Curator of Semi Precious Coinage

    I'm a little OCD...OK..OK.....a lot OCD when it comes to my personal stuff in general, a little more so with my prized possessions as in my collections but, I still have limits to that compulsion. Once I get something in hand, I'm done with anything to do with the wrapper. I don't trust very well when it comes to my valuables so the less clues just lying around, the better, it all goes.

    I don't have a spreadsheet with amounts paid, nor who, or where I got it from. Some I can and will always remember, but others I don't and have pondered wheather I should have something that I didn't prize enough to remember where it came from.

    I very recently dove into my pile of "prized stuff" to retrieve a not forgotten item, but one I had abandoned the quest for a set four years ago. I can quite remember what I gave for it but can't remember from whom I got it. This one time in all my years, this I wish that I could remember. Am I the only one?

    Do you keep meticulous records of your entire collection? Do you have "prizes" you will remember the details forever with no written history?

    I post this in the paper money forum because what brought about this thread was paper money related, but all collectors can and should chime in.
    kaparthy and Inspector43 like this.
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  3. Inspector43

    Inspector43 73 Year Collector Supporter

    Don't keep any records at all.
    Hommer likes this.
  4. Garlicus

    Garlicus Debt is dumb, cash is king. Supporter

    I keep my records in the cranial computer.
    I do have paper backup for about half, or more, of it, though, just not properly organized or charted/inventoried.
    One of the things that I do, is print a yearly summary from wherever I may have purchased something, if available.
  5. tibor

    tibor Well-Known Member

    I realize this is the "Paper Money" section. I put my collection into
    non-PVC flips. On the insert I include the date, striking city, reference
    number, auction company, auction number, lot number, date of
    auction and an inflated price paid. This includes all expenses. I
    usually bump the all in cost by 50%.
    Garlicus likes this.
  6. Southernman189

    Southernman189 Well-Known Member

    ok I am the odd one out once again. I keep DETAILED facts on currency and coins. When, where, who, how much and where it's located in a computer program I bought called "Coin Elite" I have used it for MANY years I'd be lost without it. (you can get a free test sample online.) I am NOT selling or promoting it just works for me.
    ZoidMeister, tibor, kaparthy and 2 others like this.
  7. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    Records are important because memories fail. It is a matter of how much you invest in and of yourself in your hobby. I do keep necessay records, the details are on the insert of the 2x2. But the basics are in a spreadsheet and my wife knows how to get it and where the latest printout is. (And it's an annual thing with the paper.)

    HOWEVER... You are not keeping records just for yourself. See here:

    and here

    The new Third Edition takes a different approach. More on that later. The point is that as Beth Deisher tells it, a woman who called her desk at Coin World was never involved in her husband's hobby until he passed away and then she was at a complete loss.

    ... and "complete loss" is what will happen when your heirs just dump it all on some hapless coin dealer who has no realistic recourse but to offer the lowest prices.
    midas1, tibor and Southernman189 like this.
  8. TheFinn

    TheFinn Well-Known Member

    I have a friend that bought very nice and expensive coins. His wife told him she didn't want any records.
    He didn't even write what he paid for stuff down, because he said that in the end it is only worth what you can sell it for - some things you make out very well on, other not so well. But all things are worth what someone will pay for them at the time. No paper profits until you sell.
    clembo likes this.
  9. Southernman189

    Southernman189 Well-Known Member

    Here's an example of needing good records. About 22 years ago there was a local "flea mkt coin seller" that was selling morgan and peace dollars 3 for $20.00. These were good grade Dollars but for $6.67 each I bought a bunch. I put them away after cataloging them. Well after seeing todays silver prices you can see why records can be important. :greedy::greedy:
    midas1, tibor and kaparthy like this.
  10. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    I'm a bit of a compulsive collector. I've went on baseball card kicks, US $1 currency kicks (only need 4 more!), ancient Roman coin kicks (current), Mexican Revolutionary kicks, and even collected antique frog-shaped fishing lures for a while. I have extensive records in the form of excel spreadsheets where I catalogued all information that I thought might be pertinent for every single purchase. Not only that, but I also extensively document all information that I can find about previous sales, conditions, example pictures, written descriptions, and interesting history and/or stories associated with all of the various items.

    The extent to which I build my own price guides and document collection associated information is extreme, I admit. But honestly, these activities are actually a big part of my collecting experience that I really enjoy. I will spend hours upon hours scouring past auction listings, meticulously documenting sale information, and reading in search of little tidbits of information to increase my knowledge base..........and I love every minute of it! Sometimes I think that my collecting compulsions are more about building the workbooks and less about the actual collections, which seems strange even to me :jawdrop:
    Hommer, kaparthy and Southernman189 like this.
  11. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    Your friend is highly altruistic. It is said that the highest form of charity is anonymous and your friend has delivered to some unnamed coin dealer all of the profits that would have gone to the man's wife. She will sell the coins for less than he paid for them and a coin dealer will receive a windfall profit. I think that Mother Theresa would have approved. (Ayn Rand would have had a different opinion.)
  12. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    For myself, the OCD is that I cannot leave a new purchase unidentified. I have to go one better than the dealer's flip or whatever. And I never throw out wrappers. I mean I do shred the common USPS mail envelopes unless it is itself a collectible, like "From the Desk of..." or something. But you never ever throw out the old collector's original paper envelope or whatever else came with the item. That's the historicity that gives extra value to yet another coin or whatever.

    Thanks. My other hobby is astronomy. And I am new to it, just six years versus my 25+ years in the ANA. So, I never thought about the collectibility and re-sale ability of instruments that I bought for my own use. I even donated two to the Goodwill when I stopped using them and replaced them with models I prefer now that I know more.

    That said, though, the supply chain is totally jammed. Most of everything comes from a very few manufacturers in China. So, not only telescopes, but tripods, mounts, finder scopes, eye pieces, all of it, is hard to come by. And when and if everything normalizes, the markets will be different again. Meanwhile, I read threads on discussion boards about someone's happy purchase of a vintage 1960s telescope. They don't make 'em like they use to...

    So, thanks for the heads-up. And on the matter of documentation, like you, I always add everything I can to the documentation of the telescopes, etc. It's easy enough because I write. So, I am always gathering information. But, just like coin sales sites, astronomy sales sites will sometimes say less about an item than I feel that I need to know.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
  13. SteveInTampa

    SteveInTampa Always Learning

    I photograph everything I collect. I also enter everything online on Google Sheets and manually keep handwritten records in a large loose-leaf notebook.
    kaparthy likes this.
  14. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . . . .

    Massive spreadsheet with all pertinent information AND hyperlinks to website references on each individual piece.

    kaparthy likes this.
  15. Timewarp

    Timewarp Intrepid Traveler

    I also photograph all my coins, tokens and paper money. I keep everything on Excel spredsheets, backed up in a couple of different places. My wife or whoever will be able to know just what there is and where it is. No guessing.
    kaparthy likes this.
  16. Jersey magic man

    Jersey magic man Supporter! Supporter

    I collect star error notes. I keep raw ones in heavy duty sleeves. Certified ones are kept as is. I place a sticker with the price I paid and one with the run quantity on the sleeves. Nothing other than that. I really don’t care where, who, when, etc. I just like to look at them! The prices are just for reference so I can get a handle on the market for buying purposes. When I die my kids can sell them for whatever they can get. I don’t really care if overall the notes are worth more or less than I paid for them. I have listed a few honest and reliable coin dealers for the kids to use. I hope the dealers outlive me.
    ZoidMeister and jamor1960 like this.
  17. jamor1960

    jamor1960 The More I learn, the Less I know....

    I have kept some kind of record for the last 10 years or so. I use Evernote for my immediate inventory access and shopping list (I also put price guide prices on coins I'm trying to fill holes with) I decided about year ago that I needed some info for my wife, in case anything happens to me, so I have been working on spreadsheets for my silver. I include mints, pictures, silver content, weight and any other info I think she will need. I don't include what I have paid, but I have educated her on where to find current silver prices and price guides. I've given her some specifics on who gets some of my collection and what, but I'm leaving it up to her as to what to do with most of it after I'm gone. I will get it all done one of these days!!
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  18. scottishmoney

    scottishmoney Unwell Unknown Unmembered Supporter

    That is what excel files are for, and yes I use them. I keep records of serial numbers, type, bank etc and price for each note. It is rather interesting as I have bought and sold notes over the years - I oft see notes I used to own and know I owned them because I keep records of everything.
    Timewarp likes this.
  19. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    I keep the best records that I can given the fact my wife and everyone else I know doesn’t. To them, the value is on the coin.
  20. TheFinn

    TheFinn Well-Known Member

    I didn't say she was stupid. So, if the value of a 1921 SLQ in MS66 FH goes down from what you paid for it, you shouldn't sell it?
  21. midas1

    midas1 Exalted Member

    W/O records there may be unnecessary losses.
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