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Idiotic poll: keep; front or back side up?


Prieure de Sion

Idiotic poll: keep; front or back side up?  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. Front or back side up? Or booth?

    • Obverse side up! What else!
      7
    • Reverse side up! What else!
      2
    • Chaotic - sometimes this way, sometimes that!
      16


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image.jpeg.890830a62fd6cdcb77c47a33ec6eef1c.jpeg

 

Actually, it's a stupid question - but I'm still interested in how you handle it. 

I have just sorted a whole lot of new coins and had "difficulties" sorting the new coins, which had to be placed between other coins. Because up to now I had sorted all my coins with the portrait on top. 

But one (I) distinguishes the different coins better with the representation of the reverse. So I had to turn all the coins over so that I could better and correctly sort the new coins in between. 

Then I had thought that the front side on top is actually idiotic. Of course, I always buy coins because of a great portrait. But it's the reverse that interests me most. Because the reverse usually has the actual historical background. Therefore, it is usually (historically) much more interesting (for me).

So I actually rearranged all my coin boxes and now all the portrayals of the reverse sides are towards the top. And indeed - I can distinguish my individual coins much better.


And how do you do it?

Are you more of an obverse sorter or a reverse sorter? Or do you sort this way and that way, depending on whether you like the portrait or the reverse more?

😄 

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This is a question I will have to ponder soon as I am just beginning to finish a woodworking project that's been in the works for a month or so - making my own coin display cabinet.

My feeling is, that whichever side is more important to me will be facing up - in most cases this will be the obverse, but there are a handful of coins for which the reverse is the more interesting. 

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I don't have this dilemma as I keep my coins in an album, with the obverse facing "up". 
Same for my modern collection, but on those I decided to use the reverse as "primary" image as the coin is easily identified. 

Now regarding your question, probably the correct, academic answer is - obverse facing upwards. 

If I will ever use a cabinet, my decision would be - the most interesting side of a coin facing up. 
There are countless examples, but why would you keep a coin like

- Trajan with Column

- Judaea Capta

- Pharos of Alexandria; and many, many others, with the portrait visible and the reverse hidden? 

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I moved away from trays some years ago and keep my coins in albums. The reason is simple, I keep most of my collection in a bank vault and I need to economize on space. I found a brand of coin holders which is extremely transparent, so I hardly ever have to take a coin out and of course I can always view them from both sides by turning over the page. 

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  • Benefactor

I mostly use paper envelopes to store my coins, though I have some still in albums. So the question is mostly moot. However, reverse types generally are more interesting than portraits at least when held in hand. One of the things I have been pondering is creating videos for my coins where a hand flips the coins from obverse and reverse. I first noticed Aaron Berk doing this on Facebook, seems like a good idea.

Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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I don't use trays, but I would have all mine obverse top. That's because I don't tend to have lots of the same monarch/emperor, and in any case, they are in capsules that I can just pick up and turn around. Having the obverse top also means their labels always make sense.

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As most others seem to be saying, I do a mix. 

Obverse up probably 75% of the time, but totally willing to go reverse-up for coins where the reverse is significantly more attractive, interesting, or important. 

I even rotate between the two for any given coin, both based on whims ("Suddenly, I feel like looking at the reverse of my quadrigatus more than I feel like looking at the obverse") and intentionally for certain coins for toning purposes 

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I'd say it depends on the collection. It this were a single emperor collection then presumably (notwithstanding different busts, etc) it would make sense to show the reverse (and order either by date or mint). If this were a 12-caesars or every-emperor collection then showing the obverse would seem to make more sense !

Those are two extremes, but I guess most for collections it may no be so clear cut. Perhaps there are parts of your collection where reverse makes most sense and others (e.g. collected for bust type) where it'd be obverse. No need to make it uniform !

 

Edited by Heliodromus
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In my trays, I put whichever side pleases me the most face up. In my Roman Republican tray, I display 95% with the reverses face up, because the reverse is the more interesting side for 95%. There are a few exceptions, like these two:

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Roman Provincials: I keep the substantial majority with the reverse face up, because they also tend to be more interesting. But I separate reigns by always putting the first coin in the tray from a particular reign with the obverse face up.

Roman Imperials: I display the majority with the obverse face up (always including the first coin in the tray from any reign), but there are certainly many exceptions like a number of Trajan reverses (Trajan's column, Danuvius, Via Traiana, mourning Dacians, etc.), Hadrian's Travel Series, the animal reverses of Philip I & family and Gallienus, and so on.

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3 hours ago, Prieure de Sion said:

Very interesting - most of you "chaotic" 😄 .... 

I am the "Adrian Monk - Type. Its not possible to make a mix for me...

In that case, I would go all obverse. At least with Roman Empire coins, the obverse carries most of the basic historical information (the ruler and consequent time period).

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5 minutes ago, CPK said:

In that case, I would go all obverse. At least with Roman Empire coins, the obverse carries most of the basic historical information (the ruler and consequent time period).

I have only one Emperor … 😄 it was a little boring seen at all coins the same face … 

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