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What do you do with your collection other than looking at the coins once in a while and putting back in the cupboard or at the bank safety box?


JayAg47

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Sadly, not much else! There are a couple people I know who take a very mild interest in my collection, but not enough to get really hooked into the hobby themselves. And I've learned to stop talking about my coins/collecting with other people, since it tends to induce only ennui in my audience. I will gladly talk about it if they bring it up (which rarely happens!), but I don't broach the topic anymore.

Thankfully, there's the Forum here! It's pretty much the only outlet for my enthusiasm and I greatly enjoy sharing my coin photos, questions, and comments here!

Sometimes I will take a coin out, closely examine it under magnification, and do some extra historical research into the type and its history, maybe some in-depth searches for other types on acsearch or in the various collections, at times compiling it into a small article which sometimes gets shared here. And technically I'm still engaged in cataloging my collection, although progress on that has slowed considerably.

Edited by CPK
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This remains one of the paradoxes of collecting for me. I buy coins I love, then I put them in a box, then I take them out maybe 5 to 6 times a year, if that, to look at them. Some collectors, and I fit into this category at least a little bit, are even suspicious of telling others that they have any coins. Some, as shown on this forum, have their coins displayed on shelves, or at least more prominently than in dark boxes, but my coins live in their Intercept boxes 99.7% of the time. I end up looking at the photos I take of the coins far, far, far more often than the actual coins themselves. I find it a little strange that I may spend $200 or more on a coin, then put it away, unknown to anyone but myself (my wife knows about them, too, but she doesn't share my interest). The only other people who know about them at all are on this forum (and on one other forum). I don't tell anyone that I collect coins in the "real world," nor do I advertise to anyone that I own any. In short, I really don't do anything with them other than photograph them and know that they exist and rest in a box in a closet in a room. For how little I interact with them, I'm surprised that I'm as excited as I am about them. Is it just the knowledge of "owning" something that keeps the interest going? For me, I don't really know, honestly.

Edited by ewomack
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9 minutes ago, ewomack said:

I may spend $200 or more on a coin, then put it away, unknown to anyone but myself 

If I spend that much on clothes or any accessories, you bet I'd make use of it till they're worn out. But with coins sure I get the happiness and satisfaction when I buy/receive it, and it doesn't see the light of the day until I have free time to browse through my collection. 

Edited by JayAg47
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I prefer not to look at them too often. It's nice to find a coin I didn't see in a while and be surprised by it.

Like all collecting, it's about the search and completing a set. It's good to see each new coin fit in with its siblings. But once it's complete, what then? Many people sell them and move on to the next thing. Even some of the best collections get sold while the collector is still alive. The great thing about coins is that they hold their value, so you can sell for what you bought them for and start again.

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  • Benefactor

In terms of the physical coins - yes, they're pretty much put away. I do have them in albums that I go through every once in a while. Also, when new people come to the house I take them out if I'm allowed. Sometimes my wife sets a rule where I'm not allowed to show my ancient coins unless someone specifically asks to see them, which pretty much means I can't show them because who's going to ask "do you have any ancient coins I can see" at a random house?

I'm in the process of updating my web site with my coins. I tell a story for each and my plan is to pick a coin every once in a while and update the story with more detail. It's really in the research that I get my money's-worth since a coin purchase can spur me to spend countless hours in learning.

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I do some research and publish the results, not necessarily exclusively based on my own coins but they are usually big part of it. As of now I have purchased four papers, two more on final stages of preparation. And maybe ten or so more planned, some started fifteen or more years ago. 

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Well, not much. In the last weeks I completed a task I had in mind for years. 
My "tradition" is to take a screenshot of the auction window when I buy a coin. I add the screenshot to my personal catalogue and then I write the description, trying to respect a standard. After this I take a personal photo of the coin, as good as possible. All this is a page in my catalog (with a few exceptions, like coins with interesting countermarks or with a long write-up).

The problem was that my descriptions were not standardized and the catalogue looked very amateurish (it's not like it's professional now, but still). Many coins did not have a personal photo, or the photos were very bad. So I spent a few days taking photos of all the coins (not fully satisfied with all, but overall good) and standardizing the descriptions. The Word document is very large because of the photos, over 300 MBs and creates issues (sometimes Word shuts down or hangs) so I compressed it and converted it into a PDF. I'm good with the results. 

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The order in my catalogue would not make sense to anyone else, as it is the order I bought the coins in. I like picking a random auction I participated in, let's say in March 2022, checking the coins in the album and remembering a particular auction, why did I buy this coin, was I satisfied with the price, was it a major target or an impulse buy...

 

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I like the idea of having ancient coins, which were made and used by people, thousands of years ago. It makes me aware, that people lived thousands of years ago, in a world that was very different from the modern world. For me, there is something mystical, about these ancient artifacts. Collecting ancient coins has motivated me, to learn about ancient people. I always want to learn more, and I always want to go back further and further in time. I like buying coin books, and reading them. I like discussing ancient coins, and I like discussing the collecting of ancient coins, with other collectors on coin forums. I like taking photos of my ancient coins, and posting them on coin forums. And, I like looking at the coin photos, which are posted by other collectors. I used to go to a local coin club, but it was too general for me. There weren't enough collectors of ancient coins, for me.

I have a group photo, of each of the 5 coin trays, which hold my favorite ancient, medieval, and modern coins, which is a total of 209 coins. I look at the group photos, which show the obverses of the coins, far more often, than I look at the actual coins. Now that I have almost all of the coins that I want, I'm spending more time taking photos of my coins, and posting the photos on coin forums. I'm still looking for a few hard-to-find coins, but the examples that are within my budget, are few and far between. However, now and then, I'll see a coin, which is interesting to me, and I'll buy it. I'm pretty happy with my coin collection. It's fun to have the coins, and to add to my collection, now and then. And, I like to look at the coins, now and then.

@ewomack mentioned "The Paradox Of Collecting", about which I occasionally ponder. What does a collector do, when the collector has all of the coins, that the collector wants? It seems that some collectors, when they finally have all of the coins they want, sell their collections. However, I don't think I'll ever sell my coin collection, for the reasons which I mentioned above.

Edited by sand
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I recently re-catalogued and re-packaged my coins.

First, I eliminated any and all plastic flips. The reason being is that they seem to collect dust and debris, they crack, and they can foster unhealthy and humid conditions for coins, especially since I have moved in the past year to a more humid climate. [Case in point, new bronze disease on a trachy of Manuel Comnenus]

I re-purposed the relevant dealer/auction tags where appropriate and attached them to my new 2" x 3" coin envelopes. (I bought a box of 500 of these on Amazon). Others I re-typed and re-printed. I used just about all of the envelopes. My main collection does not include 4 three ring binders full of LRB's nor a former mayonnaise jar full of slugs and culls that I can't throw away (because they are ancient) but also have no real role for a collector.

Lastly I added several packs of silica gel to the box where I store the coins. Like others I spend more time with my photos than I do with the coins themselves. 

Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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I am only 1 year into collecting ancients. At the moment I could pick up every coin 20 times a day and still be amazed that someone, a couple of millennia ago, had this same coin for their transactions. I guess this feeling will diminish over time, but I hope not.

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1 hour ago, expat said:

I am only 1 year into collecting ancients. At the moment I could pick up every coin 20 times a day and still be amazed that someone, a couple of millennia ago, had this same coin for their transactions. I guess this feeling will diminish over time, but I hope not.

If you are lucky, the amazement will never go away.

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What an endearing thread. Well, I avoid saying anything about me collecting coins to 'outsiders'. I would never go to the Facebook group. But I'm a member of a coin club in my place and I have a few coin friends there. I wish there were more and I'd like I could swap.

Sometimes even my outsider friends are mildly interested and we have a little talk, that 's nice. 

Often, coins are near to me because I'm identifying or cleaning 'em.

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Most of my coins are in trays, some in boxes, but I look at them from time to time. I love to look over a tray with (for instance) 48 coins of the same type, like silver dirhams, barbarous imitations, Artuqid pictorial bronzes or LRB. What I like about them is the beautiful style, fine design and calligraphy, (or the fun and absurdity of them), the historic significance and what one can learn from them about history, the early roots of one's own country or civilisation, the vivification of how people lived 1500 years ago. 

I have a 'coin room' where nobody else ever comes, it's at the top of the house with a fine view of my city. It is filled with boxes of stuff, broken lamps, empty suitcases and other useful rubbish and with quite a lot of recent reference books. There I have a large desk strewn with coins I'm busy identifying or photographing.

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A few large coins that are too wide for my trays I keep in a glass case in the living room and I'm oftens looking at them rejoicing. Enjoying my coins a lot and reading and writing about them on forums (about four different forums for different coins and various detailing). I'm less interested in valuable museum pieces or value in auctions. Though always thinking about my heirs and what they can do with my coins when I'm dead, to get something back from the nice sum I spent on numismatics these last ten years. Do you have a suggestion? 

But the most important thing about them is, trying to understand my coins and enjoying their beauty or historical interest.

 

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I keep my coins in trays, so I see the coins in the top tray every day, and am not infrequently motivated to pull out the lower trays as well. I also let my grade school kids take out the coins and hold them and look at them whenever they want (which is probably once every few weeks; I do make them wash and thoroughly dry their hands first). Whenever we learn about anything from history, say in a library book or in a movie/show that they watch, it’s nice to be able to pull out a relevant coin. I think having some tangible artifact from different time periods and places helps me, and my kids, appreciate that these were real events that happened to real people, and to better remember what we learn. I also like to keep the coins in chronological order, mixing everything from around the world together, which I think helps to visualize where different historical groups and people fit into the broader history of human civilization.  I think this has helped my youngest, especially, learn about the reckoning of time, and to realize that there is a vast history of people who came before us. Since we live in a part of the US where there is very little in the way of historical structures and ruins that one encounters on an everyday basis, I feel especially compelled to provide my kids with some exposure to the past.

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 Most of the time my collection will spend much of its time sitting in the dark in a SD box waiting for that great day when they are actioned off to a new owner. However for some of the time parts of the collection are being used for other purposes. 

1. As frequently as is possible I do like to give seminars or lectures on ancient coins. These are done usually at the university level and I have done them for close to forty years. I do a talk once a year at the Edmonton Numismatic Society. I have given talks at the ANS as well as the New York Numismatic Club. Just recently I gave two talks at the University of Calgary, one on Hellenistic Portraiture the other on the Lifetime Coinage of Alexander the Great. The latter talk I will be giving in Vancouver BC the next Sunday at the Vancouver Ancient Coin Club.  I have given a number of two day seminars on Greek and Roman coins at the University of Saskatchewan. It looks like I will be doing another in October. All of these usually involves ,e bringing examples from my collection in order to show the audience some of the coins I have talked about.  These are a couple of pictures on one such seminar I did over 10 years ago. This was one of my first efforts at discussing material culture and the thus everything was still a bit crude. 

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 Less frequently I do lend my coins for displays of coins put on by museums. This is done mostly in Alberta, however once a few of my coins ended up being displayed in Sweden. This is a picture of some of my coins which were recently displayed at the Nickle Galleries in Calgary. The two coins on the left are mine. BMD_2945_1500w-Copy.webp.774ffbaeec4f94bf74743b7e81a50db6.webp

 

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On 6/3/2023 at 1:37 AM, ewomack said:

This remains one of the paradoxes of collecting for me. I buy coins I love, then I put them in a box, then I take them out maybe 5 to 6 times a year, if that, to look at them. Some collectors, and I fit into this category at least a little bit, are even suspicious of telling others that they have any coins. Some, as shown on this forum, have their coins displayed on shelves, or at least more prominently than in dark boxes, but my coins live in their Intercept boxes 99.7% of the time. I end up looking at the photos I take of the coins far, far, far more often than the actual coins themselves. I find it a little strange that I may spend $200 or more on a coin, then put it away, unknown to anyone but myself (my wife knows about them, too, but she doesn't share my interest). The only other people who know about them at all are on this forum (and on one other forum). I don't tell anyone that I collect coins in the "real world," nor do I advertise to anyone that I own any. In short, I really don't do anything with them other than photograph them and know that they exist and rest in a box in a closet in a room. For how little I interact with them, I'm surprised that I'm as excited as I am about them. Is it just the knowledge of "owning" something that keeps the interest going? For me, I don't really know, honestly.

I have a slight obsessive-compulsive disorder - like Mr Monk - I hate it when the coins are not exactly in the middle. I keep my coins in a wooden box with drawers. For example, if I accidentally bump into a corner - then all the coins in the drawers slip into the velvet compartments. I then have the compulsion to take out each compartment and reposition all the coins accurately in the centre.

😄 

That's why I don't look at my coins that often. Because every time I pull out a drawer, there is a danger that all the coins on that drawer will slip - or worse - I get caught on the spar box and the whole box wobbles. Then I have to straighten all the coins again. Then I'm busy for a while.

 

In order to have to deal with my coins as well - I have therefore created a website. This means that I can look at my coins anywhere, whether on a mobile phone, tablet or PC. And for each coin on the website I try to collect and write down information. For many coins the information is only basics, or there is missing information or I would like to research more information about it. So I can open a single web page with a certain coin and try to find more or new information about it. I see the picture of the coin and also the information - that's how I deal with one or more coins again and again. On the individual web page for a coin there are three things: the image, the information and a video. An image is static and usually comes from the auction house. If I want to see the coin in a hand - I watch the video.

So - a website with my coins - with pictures, with information, with videos from the hand - are for me a possibility to deal with the coin again and again. To see which coins are in the collection, which are missing, to read the information, to expand on the information or perhaps to see the coin in the hand by means of a video. If I then want to see any details - I can take the real coin in question out of the box. It also gives me a chance to share the coin and the information with other collectors and exchange ideas. Many already know my website - but I'm happy to advertise for a few clicks: klick here

😉 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have already described elsewhere how I store my coins.
My coin cabinet is often on my living room table and for some reason I enjoy looking at my coins quite often. It's like a little private museum to me. Most museums don't care so much about coins and which kind of coins you like most is also quite an individual question. So it probably makes sense that some people have their own collections.
I guess that you could also ask why you go to museums - some people even visit the same museum several times per year. To me, these coins are ancient little pieces of art and history. I find it quite fascinating to learn about the history that is connected to certain coins. Art and history also have a lot to do with presentation, I think. So I enjoy looking at coin pictures here in the forum or for example at Prieure de Sions homepage because all of these coins are presented in very nice ways. 

This is my living room table in the morning, I often have a cup of coffee next to me and sometimes I look at some coins:

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Edited by Salomons Cat
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