Free Coin Inventory Methods & Coin Inventory Software

basic-coin-inventory-by-the-justified-sinner.jpg Many coin collectors think about the accumulation end of the hobby. That is, they buy, look for, or otherwise select coins to place into their coin collection.

Simple, right?

Well, it is. But coin collectors also need to keep track of the coins they are putting into their collection.

A coin inventory (or coin log) is something that every coin collector needs to have. Keeping track of your coins is important for these reasons:

  • Knowing which coins you already have
  • Knowing which coins you still need
  • Determining the value of your coin collection quickly & easily
  • Getting an at-a-glance look at the many coins in your collection
  • Documenting your collection for coin insurance purposes

About My Coin Inventory Logs

When I first started collecting coins, I looked right away into keeping track of what I had.

After all, it was sort of fun listing all the coins I had acquired.

And on a more practical level, it was important for me to know what coins I had so I knew which ones I needed to complete my ever-expanding coin collection.

While I didn’t put much thought into the matter at first, I soon came to realize the value of keeping a coin inventory. A coin inventory is vital during in the event of a property emergency. For example, a theft, fire, flood, or other disaster will mean my having to know which coins I own — for insurance and recovery purposes.

 

Free Coin Inventory Methods

The logs I use to record my coin holdings are "manual" or hard-copy log sheets.

There also are several coin inventory books published which are pre-designed to aid collectors in recording their coins.

I discuss making your own "manual" coin logs below. For now, let’s focus on the coin inventories that you can buy at coin dealers or bookstores.

Whitman, which produces the annual Guide Book to United States Coins (popularly called "The Red Book"), publishes a coin inventory log book. The Official Red Book Collector’s Inventory of United States Coins is a spiral-bound book which has a list price of $9.95.

 

Coin Inventory Software

Coin inventory software is another way to keep track of the coins in your collection.

Coin inventory computer programs use spreadsheets, boxes, and windows to input and save information about the coins in your collection.

One of the more prominent coin inventory software available is Coin Collector’s Helper by Carlisle Development Corporation. Listing for $49.95, the program has detailed information, including pricing, for several U.S. coin series. This program also allows you to insert listings for coins not already pre-programmed into the CD-ROM.

 

How To Make Your Own Coin Inventory Logs

While you can easily go buy a coin inventory log book or coin inventory software, you can also create your own coin inventory using everyday notebook paper.

This is, personally, my favorite way to go. Creating a coin inventory from notebook paper allows me to adjust, add, or make changes to my coin inventory whenever necessary.

Whatever you do, make sure you keep at least one copy of your coin inventory in a lock box, vault, or safe-deposit box so it will always be safe and handy should you need it.

At the absolute minimum, you should include the following information for each coin you have on your coin inventory sheet:

  • Year of the coin
  • Mint mark on the coin
  • Denomination
  • Country of origin

It is optimal if you include the following details as well:

  • Grade of the coin
  • "Type" of coin, or name of the design
  • Comments about any errors or "variety" remarks about the design
  • Comments on the coin’s physical condition (such as "cleaned," "scratched," "bent," etc.)
  • Comments about when you acquired the coin
  • Comments about what you paid for the coin
  • Update periodically the value of your coin

Here is an example of a good entry in a coin inventory log:

1907-S Barber Half-Dollar (USA) Good, Small Nick 3:00 Obverse. Paid $4.75 11/3/1994 Worth $14 3/6/2009

Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez

My love for coins and numismatics began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I've also been studying meteorology and watching weather patterns for years. I enjoy sharing little-known facts and fun stuff about coins, weather, travel, health, and living green with others.

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  • Portia1972

    I am nt a collector, but trying to organize another’s “accumulation.” The low tech paper logbook sounds like the best for me. Thanks.

    • Anonymous

      Portia,

      I still prefer good ol’ paper and pen for inventorying my coin collection, too. For big coin collections or those that are pretty handy with technology, digital logs may be a good solution. But, in the end, what matters is that the log is complete and accurate!