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Starting to Catalog My Collection


joanjet
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I have accumulated enough now that I need to start cataloging my inventory. I decided to go with an Excel spreadsheet as opposed to buying software for this. I am having difficulty trying to come with what information I need to keep. I think I am making this more difficult than it needs to be. For example, I have a lot of proof and mint sets. Do I need to describe each coin in the sets or just that I have a mint set, where I purchased it or got it from, how much I paid for it, what year it is? I don't feel experienced enough to give these coins a grade, so I don't think I want to go there. Anyway, if some of you more experienced collectors could give me some ideas, I would really appreciate it!

 

I do have a lot of certified coins, and I think I can handle those alright as they are all individual coins. Also, do you bother to put a Red Book value on your coins?

 

Thanks for any help you can give me.

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...  I am having difficulty trying to come with what information I need to keep.

 

You do not need to keep anything. So it is freely up to you as to what info you want to keep. Just think of what you would like to know about your coins in the future. I use Excell also. Besides the more common date/denomination/country/condition/type(proof, mint set, proof set, etc), I add for most (not all) the purchase price, purchase date, from where/who I purchased, description where applicable (commems), and whether it is a base or precious metal.

 

 

For example, I have a lot of proof and mint sets.  Do I need to describe each coin in the sets or just that I have a mint set... I don't feel experienced enough to give these coins a grade, so I don't think I want to go there.

 

If you keep the mint sets in their original packaging, I think that would be enough classification. (That is how I do it.) You need not determine the grade of each individual coin. Of course that is not to say that you cannot or should not do it. If one particular coin stands out as extraordinary, I would make a note of it in the database.

 

Also, do you bother to put a Red Book value on your coins?

 

 

Yes I do, but only to get a ballpark figure of my collection's value for insurance purposes.

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I don't keep any record of coins, except for my CC morgans. I buy to enjoy the coin, if the time comes to sell something I'll try to get the going price. If I lost something, it will usually be just a couple bucks and I don't worry about it. I've sold enough coins for profits so I have some "wiggle" room.

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You are going to do this a few times before you get it right for your own needs. You might want to keep track of purchase price. You might want to go back and grade them later. With Excel you can add columns, of course, so this is not a problem. If you have the latest version, you can add scans to the cells, as well, and that is something else you might want to do later. You can get along without it now, perhaps, especially for Proof sets, but if you buy a nice Bust Half with great eye appeal, mere grade will not tell the whole story. You might want to build charts later, histograms or whatever. Again, you can do this.

 

Right now, you are in the Design phase.

 

When it comes to programming, it has been a traditional problem, going back 40 years now, that programmers will jump right in and start writing code instead of planning with other tools. So, you are building a spreadsheet (programming) from scratch, instead of thinking this through -- and that's OK, because, again, you can change what you are doing as your needs change.

 

When I collected more actively, I kept a simple text Table in my word processor. It allowed a neat presentation and also free form text for all the exceptions. My collection was of ancient Greeks. Sure, grade, price, city, date, but some had no inscriptions and others did. Most of the collection was by the city and time of famous philosophers, so I needed a column for that... but not all of the collection fit that and many were Modern US, actually.

 

So, you might need more than one Worksheet. Now you have Mint and Proof sets -- and those can be two different collectibles, really -- when you add to what you own, other considerations will come up.

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i have redesigned my spreadsheet multipul times due to lost files. Since then it seems everytime i go into my catalog i am always adding something new. Just remember one thing, ALWAYS SAVE AND BACKUP i lost mine when it was nearly completed and had to start all over again! It is not fun.

Use headings you find needed and add scans too it helps alot, now you don't need to look through your collection, it's right there!

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I've been meaning to catalog my coins but haven't found the time. It will be a Christmas break project of mine.

 

It's always nice to have a list handy if a deal comes around. Much easier than digging through tons of coins.

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Right now, you are in the Design phase. 

 

When it comes to programming, it has been a traditional problem, going back 40 years now, that programmers will jump right in and start writing code instead of planning with other tools.  So, you are building a spreadsheet (programming) from scratch, instead of thinking this through -- and that's OK, because, again, you can change what you are doing as your needs change.

 

Design Phase? :ninja: Your are living in the old waterfall days. These days it's about extreme programming, UML, use cases. Write code sooner than later and flesh out the requirements as you go through iteration after iteration.

 

Of course, in the end, any process works only as well as the people using it.

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