Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Sam Stone, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    I have about 1,500 coins including pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, Kennedy Halves, Eisenhower Dollars, etc. from every year since 1898, plus every size foreign coins ever invented. I'm seriously struggling sorting and storing these things while trying to prevent damage. Can someone recommend a LOW BUDGET (<-----very important) system simple enough for my brane-fogged mind? I am cognitively challenged, but fortunate to have an excellent memory. Even though I can remember almost every coin I have, there's this frustrating, blinding mental block preventing me from recalling where I put them.

    Is there a universally accepted organizational protocol? Should I organize everything by date or each denomination by date? How should I isolate error and varieties while still keeping them organized with everything else? I have about 150 I need to research. How should I segregate them? If I research a coin and find it's absolutely normal, how do I insert it in the right place if I've already filled all the available space?

    I thought about super glue, but I'm pretty sure that's stoopid. Double sided Gorilla glue tape? Maybe screw them to a board using metal penetrating screws? Probably not?

    BTW, I've figured out all by myself it's not a good idea to clean coins with a welders wire brush. It really gets the grime off, though.

    Coin sheets? Flips in customized homemade boxes? Clear zip bags? Coin envelopes, also in a homemade box? Coin tubes? One cent per piece 6 inch Walmart envelope? Something else?

    Once I figure out which ones are marketable I will probably sell them. If I don't need some of them for my collection and there's nothing unique about a coin, I will take those to the bank and switch for new rolls. So I need to segregate them as well.

    I know I need to catalog the things I keep, but I really would like to get the research and sell coins out to save at least a little sanity.

    I really need suggestions and advice, so thanks for anything you can offer.
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  3. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Old business card boxes will hold a good many flips in an orderly fashion. I used to keep mine that way. I now keep my coins in Tupperware boxes to fend off tarnish as much as possible. But I did organize with old business card boxes for many years.
    Sam Stone likes this.
  4. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    Thanks, Randy. I see you show up often and I want you to know I'm grateful for the time and patience you've shown me with your advice.

    True story.
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  5. geekpryde

    geekpryde Husband and Father Moderator

    I would think paper coin envelopes, or plastic flips, labeled, numbered, stored inside a hard plastic box for said flips or envelopes, and then the boxes are numbered and labeled themselves, and everything can be looked up and located on a simple Excel / Google docs spreadsheet. Why try and remember it all?

    You then could look them up ANY way you want, by date, country, denomination, variety, errors, etc, and just find the corresponding box and corresponding flip/ envelope.

    storage ideas link 1

    storage ideas link 2

    people for will say to avoid the paper envelopes, but on circulated coins, or low value coins, or already toned coins, still a decent low cost choice
    compared to brittle coin flips.

    Here are some paper envelopes
    Here are some boxes
    Here are some flips
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
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  6. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Think about what you need to do and look up what might happen if you use a certain type of material. Tape and super glue are not to be used with coins.
    Sam Stone likes this.
  7. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    Great links! Is there a place that's more economical than others to gather the essentials?

    Thanks, by the way.
  8. bradgator2

    bradgator2 Supporter! Supporter

    I’m all over the place with a little of “all of the above”.

    Some stuff is organized into plastic sheets that hold TPG slabs and placed into 3 ring binders.

    My morgans are in a very customized box with a specific slot for each coin.

    Bullion is a little less organized, but kept together.

    Tubes upon tubes.

    I do try to keep the same “stuff” together and in chronological order.

    I think most importantly is everything is detailed/catalogued in an excel spreadsheet or something.
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  9. geekpryde

    geekpryde Husband and Father Moderator

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  10. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    I was trying to be intentionally stoopid. I didn't intend to use glue. However, that dies bring up a question. I've found I can get better quality photos, especially better lighting, if I brace my fone upright and set a coin standing up on its edge. Can I use some type of low or no residue putty to hold the coin on a card do I can raise it where it will be the same height as the camera lens? Otherwise, I have to take the pictures at angles that aren't always useful.

    Thanks for your help.
    Collecting Nut likes this.
  11. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    Thanks. I'm not too excited about cataloging all these coins so I want to get rid of the ones I won't keep first.

    If I can find them.
  12. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    There is a putty that is used for rocks and minerals with no problem but I don't know about using them on coins. I'm very particular when it comes to them and I'd rather fight and be frustrated than do anything that might harm them.
    Sam Stone likes this.
  13. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    Thanks. I have excel and docs. I just wish the coins would catalog themselves. BTW, do you know if there is a spreadsheet template for coins somewhere you would recommend?
  14. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    I agree. I've already put so much time in this I absolutely don't want to do something stoopid after all that.
  15. geekpryde

    geekpryde Husband and Father Moderator

    I wouldn't bother using someones else template. Make it exactly how it works best for you. It's probably both a waste of your time to look for and modify a pre-made one.

    Mine looks exactly like this, however, I don't really collect raw coins. Yeah, I like junk silver, but most of my coins are graded, and they are all USA, so this wouldn't work for you. This might give you a general idea, but really, make it exactly to your needs.

    Your will only take a new minutes to create the layout, add header-rows, etc. You can always add columns and move things around easily as you find need to expanding.

    It's hard to show in a forum, but here is what the first few fields look like on my Coin Inventory spreadsheet.


    Here are the fields I use, these are Columns in excel, and each row would be 1 coin, but I'm listing them below vertically to make it easier to read on a forum. Maybe you don't need many of these, maybe you would add a ton more. These worked for all my needs:

    MS / PF
    CERT #

    In excel you can search, filter, etc and drill down to specific series, years, denoms, counties, etc. in seconds!

    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Sam Stone likes this.
  16. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    Good stuph, thanks. I used Excel a ton when I was still working so I can do this. I have a question, though. Where would you recommend as a good best place to study grading? I can't afford the services, but I have looked around the internet. I've read many stories where someone quite knowledgeable did have something valuable and disagreed with the grade they received and where someone got a significantly higher grade than expected. I don't want that to sound accusatory, but it's impossible to be 100% consistent when human subjectivity is involved. I don't have anything valuable enough to grade anyway, so how can I best learn to get close in estimating grades? I'm going to add a few pics (I'm getting better at quality). I hope it's not unfair to ask if anyone might be willing or able to guess at grading range and explain a tiny bit about how they came to that conclusion. I'm not asking for perfection, just some pointers on what helps, what hurts, and what really doesn't matter. If I can hold a coin in my hand and then see what you guys see, I would understand a lot more than just looking at pictures on the internet. Without getting better at approximating grading, I know everything I have is face value (or worse?) so I can't put anything in the value column on the spreadsheet. I think I'm leaning towards wanting to collect errors and varieties, but mostly errors. I haven't found much consistency regarding grading with error coins.

    If you look at the pictures there is an Eisenhower dollar with dark toning, so it's not the bad photographer this time.

    Regardless, thank you for your help. As you said, I can use your column headings as a really good starting point.
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  17. geekpryde

    geekpryde Husband and Father Moderator

    Well, CoinTalk for starters!

    There are lots of GTG (Guess the Grade) threads here. If you read every post on every one of those threads you will start to get an idea, a feel for, grading. Now, there are loads of opinions, some people are notorious tough, hard, conservative graders. Old-School if you will. People like @GDJMSP . Others are more lenient. NGC and PCGS, the two primary TPG (Third Party Graders) have similar, but not identical grading standards. Some people can look at a coin for 10 seconds, recognize a particular problem the coin had, others could stare at it for 10 years and never see it until it's explicitly pointed out.

    But, overall if you study the coins in the threads, study other people's grades and comments, see how the TPG graded the coin, well through Lurking alone you will start to get a feel for grades, and how most people grade coins. Now, that doesn't make you good at grading, but you need to get a feel for the language, the big concepts, what to look for, etc. I think get a wholistic "idea" of grading is a good place to start. Just looking at hundreds and hundreds of coins, and how TPG graded them is beneficial, including problem coins. The more you absorb through this lurking, the more minutiae of grading will make more sense to you, vs. you just throwing yourself from zero to 1000 on grading. Sure, maybe you will learn some of the wrong lessons, things like "tribal knowledge" that most people believe, but that aren't actually true. But in my own journey, it took years of lurking, and studying, and reading, to even pretend to grade a coin. I think a lot of people operate that way. The Terminology and acronyms alone took me a long time to absorb.

    If you wanted to rent/buy a used copy of one book, well this one is a great start:

    Official ANA Grading Standards for United States Coins

    Of course, you could always get a mentor, and there are many here on CoinTalk.
  18. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    Great! Thank you for taking so much time. I guess I missed the GTG, but I'm heading to the search engine now.

    Thanks again!
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