Linking sellers' tags to my coin system

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Pellinore, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    I've been using Easter to do some long overdue work, linking all the collectors' and sellers' tags that I preserved to my numbered coin system. Many of you probably keep the coin with the identifying card or paper bag it came in - but I kept them separate.

    When a coin comes in, I give it a number (between 1000 and 8000) that places it in an area (for instance Roman Imperial start with 2000, Provincial with 3000, Medieval with 4000; Early Modern coins start with 7000. To put things in perspective: I have only a few dozen coins in the 4000s and just 10 in the 7000s).
    I make a photo using the same number, weigh and measure the coin, look it up in books, then type out the description in a more or less standard form and put it in a box.

    Invoices and tags are kept in a large drawer, that I'm looking into rarely. But yesterday I sorted out the tags to put the coin numbers on, 'Pellinore Collection'-wise. If I sell a coin, the tag should go with it to document it. I stacked the tags and put them in the right order into envelopes, hoping to keep up the system in the future. It looks like this:

    Tags ct.jpg
    chrsmat71, Ryro, Carausius and 8 others like this.
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  3. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I like your number sectioning concept. It is much like what I use except I have lettered sections set up to sort the way I want. For example, R0 through RZ are my Romans with R + a number being groups of Republicans and R+ a letter being Imperials. Mine is customized for my collection so something I collect less intensively gets lumped together (RC=Nerva-Commodus) while specialties are broken down more (RE through RJ are subgroups of Septimius Severus by mint and period). Provincials are broken similarly but start with P instead of R. Greek coins start with G. At present my Greeks only use G0 through G9 but I can see a future expansion to use at least some letters that might make it easier to find things. I follow each two letter code by a four digit number so I will be in trouble if I get my 10000th coin in any section. I'm not worried. If you set up a system when you have 100 coins, it is easier to plan on that number growing than to have to start over when you get too many coins. I suppose someone could devise a general code system that more people could use (It would have fewer Septimius options). We each can do what works for us.
    dadams and Pellinore like this.
  4. Suarez

    Suarez Well-Known Member

    You might not realize it but you're creating a paper database of sorts :- )

    In computer science a database is a collection of records made up of different data points. Each "point" is a field and a collection of fields, a data set, belongs in a table. Your numbering system is the record locator while your one table (so far) includes fields like the photo numbers, weights and so on which you're recording.

    A database becomes useful when you manage the data in such a way that you extract records and do something with them. You do this when you initiate a query. To continue with your example, you might retrieve your Roman Imperial coin records that don't yet have photos (to, say, work on getting them photographed). You do this subconsciously of course but to ask a computer to do this you use a type of code made up of commands. The most commonly used language is called SQL. And if you had these records sitting in a SQL database you would issue a command like

    SELECT * FROM `coins` WHERE ((category BETWEEN 2000 and 2999) AND photofield IS NULL);

    It's fairly straightforward. In the query above you're asking the computer to retrieve from your table named coins only those records that are between 2000 and 2999 while also filtering out all but the ones in that range that are missing a photo.

    I hope this isn't too boring. Databases have been a large part of my numismatic career and have become indispensable in managing collections, searching for needles in haystacks and providing deep data analysis. Like you, long before I ever considered computerized tools for these tasks, I had in my mind rudimentary schemes to corral in growing collections and attempts at gleaning some information of the can't-see-the-forest-for-the-trees type.

    I hope I don't come across as a geeky evangelist but I encourage you to take the leap into letting the computer do the heavy lifting because it really does make you more efficient at tracking the information you're after.
  5. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you very much, @Suarez. I will think it over. The paper database is just a museum of old coin tags, giving the coins a little paper trail of modern history...
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