Storing provenance for each coin

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Mammothtooth, Jun 1, 2022.

  1. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Hi, just curious what folks do to store prices paid and provenance, or just general information on each coin. Binder? Computer? Or….
    sand and Inspector43 like this.
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum

    I use an Excel spreadsheet. I am glad to share with anyone who wants a sample.
  4. cwart

    cwart Senior Member Supporter

    As a newbie to ancients and still buying really cheap coins, I keep the place I purchased the coin and the price I paid for it in the coin's entry in my database. If I were to get something with a much fancier provenance I would enter that in the notes for the coin as well.
  5. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    I use google sheets, where I store both provenance, the relevant data on the coin (e.g. obverse, reverse, condition, literature references, etc.). Using some simple formulae, this information is then combined into a formatted, copy-paste'able text for cointalk.
  6. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else Supporter

    Mine is all on an Excel spreadsheet. Binders and folders have a ref no. then coin details etc. If you then right click on an empty cell you can insert data such as links to fotos of receipts, COA's and provenences. The physical receipts and/or provenences are kept in plastic wallets in a ring binder.
    The more advanced option is Microsoft Access, a relational database. But, the learning curve for it is quite steep
  7. Inspector43

    Inspector43 Celebrating 75 Years Active Collecting Supporter

    For each of my coins I record on a sheet a photo of my coin and a photo of the coin I used as reference. Then there is data regarding the specifics of each. As far a provenance, all of mine are self cleaned.
    IMG_6048.JPG IMG_6047.JPG
  8. sand

    sand Well-Known Member

    On my desktop computer, I have a folder for each of my coins. In each folder, I have screen shots, of various steps when I purchased the coin, such as the seller photos, the seller listing, the checkout process, the PayPal process if I used PayPal, and the electronic copy of the invoice if there is one. If the coin has other provenance, such as previous auctions, then I put those screen shots in the folder. I also put other information in the folder, such as my measurements of the diameter and weight, all of the information that I have found about the coin, and screen shots of other examples of the coin type.
    I also keep any paper invoices, in a hanging cardboard folder in my metal file cabinet.
    My coin collection is relatively small, approximately 200 coins (ancient, medieval, Spanish colonial, English, and US) plus my Lincoln cent collection. Therefore, it's relatively easy for me, for any coin, to find the corresponding information, on my computer, or in the hanging cardboard folder.
    My coins themselves are in Abafil cases and trays, except for my Lincoln cents, which are in coin albums, and a few "2nd string" US coins and other coins which are in coin albums, and a bag of world coins.
  9. kirispupis

    kirispupis Well-Known Member

    In the spirit of openness, here's an example row from my database:

    DatabaseId: 4
    Collection: Philip, Alexander, Diadochi
    Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos AR Tetradrachm.
    Dealer Description:
    Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos AR Tetradrachm. Tyre, dated RY 30 = 256/5 BC. Diademed head of Ptolemy I to right, wearing aegis around neck / ΠΤΟΛEΜΑΙOΥ [BAΣΙΛEΩΣ], eagle standing to left; monogram of Tyre above club to left; Λ (date) above monogram to right; A between legs. CPE 577; Svoronos 657; SNG Copenhagen 488; DCA 20. 14.01g, 25mm, 12h.

    Very Fine; edge chipped.

    From the collection of R. N. Draskowski;
    Purchased from Ephesus Numismatics, North Carolina, USA.
    Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos
    AR Tetradrachm. Tyre, dated RY 30 = 256/5 BCE
    14.01g, 25mm, 12h.
    Diademed head of Ptolemy I to right, wearing aegis around neck / ΠΤΟΛEΜΑΙOΥ [BAΣΙΛEΩΣ], eagle standing to left; monogram of Tyre above club to left; Λ (date) above monogram to right; A between legs.
    CPE 577; Svoronos 657; SNG Copenhagen 488; DCA 20
    Ex collection of R. N. Draskowski;
    Ex Ephesus Numismatics, North Carolina, USA
    Ex Roma Numismatics
    Company: Roma Numismatics
    Date: 6/16/2021
    Price: 340 pounds
    Lot number: 962
    Country: UK

    Dealer description is the exact text from the dealer. Attribution is what I use when posting here. If I find more information about the provenance not given by the dealer, then I add it to the attribution.

    I also keep all tags in the coin slip.

    For those curious, here's the coin.
  10. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Supporter! Supporter

    Immediately after each purchase I do 4 things:
    1. Assign the coin a collection catalog number.
    2. Begin a Word document for the coin which includes the listing photo, all the listing's information, the URL from which I purchased (or won at auction) the coin, and a cut-and-snip pasting of the entire listing. This document is given a filename that begins with the catalog number.
    3. Make an entry on my collection's master Excel spread sheet for the coin. Each line of the spreadsheet includes the coin's catalog number, the Word doc's filename, a brief/summary description, purchase date, purchase price (before shipping, handling, and fees), and any KEY pertinent info. I keep minimal numismatic info on the spreadsheet because ALL that (and much more) is on the Word doc.
    4. Make a new flip for the coin (even before the coin's arrival), and include the collection catalog number on the coin flip.

    Then upon arrival of the coin:
    1. It is weighed and measured; and that info added to the Word doc.
    2. It is photographed IF the listing pic doesn't accurately portray the coin.
    3. It is added to the flip and placed in my collection boxes, in numeric order, as per the catalog number I assigned the coin.

    The cross referencing of catalog numbers allows me to easily find the coin if I am viewing the document; and to easily find the document if I am looking at the coin. Likewise, the cross-referencing connected to the spreadsheet is readily helpful.

    The Word doc for each coin is quite dynamic and never static. As I accumulate info on the coin type it gets added to the Word doc. That includes related numismatic, historic, geographic, political, religious/mythological, and biographical data. In addition I add sales info of coins of the same type. Some Word docs are just 3 or 4 pages, but most exceed 5 pages. Several are WELL over 25 pages.

    With over 500 coins in my collection this system works very well, has not proved at all burdensome, and allows for great flexibility in terms of exactly what (and how much) information can be easily accumulated for each coin.

    P.S.: Plus, should I die before the collection is dispersed, the person I have designated to facilitate its dispersion (and my survivor(s)) will have ALL the info they need -- in an organized and easy to use bundle.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2022
  11. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    Just good ol’ Microsoft Word.

    In a separate folder I have begun keeping whatever paperwork arrives with a coin. I do not have a high-end collection. Still, I predict that provenance or simple “receipts“ will become increasingly important to a collection.
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