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New collector unsure where to start

Recently a family member of mine inherited a very large rare coin and paper money collection. It's completely overwhelming as they're not sure how to go about cataloging what they have. I was thinking for Christmas of purchasing a tablet or possibly laptop with an app/software to get them started with this process. There are several large storage tubs full of a wide variety of individual coins/bills and sets.

For those that have been at this for awhile, do you have any tips? Suggestions on apps or software? Any tips or ideas on what we should do next are greatly appreciated. I assume they'll need to have some sort of spreadsheet or catalog for insurance purposes?

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  • OldhoopsterOldhoopster Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 8, 2020 12:26PM

    @dbarker416 said:
    Recently a family member of mine inherited a very large rare coin and paper money collection. It's completely overwhelming as they're not sure how to go about cataloging what they have. I was thinking for Christmas of purchasing a tablet or possibly laptop with an app/software to get them started with this process. There are several large storage tubs full of a wide variety of individual coins/bills and sets.

    For those that have been at this for awhile, do you have any tips? Suggestions on apps or software? Any tips or ideas on what we should do next are greatly appreciated. I assume they'll need to have some sort of spreadsheet or catalog for insurance purposes?

    A lot depends on what you have. If the coins are graded and sealed in plastic holders by companies like PCGS or NGC, you should be able to get a good idea here

    https://www.pcgs.com/prices/us

    If the are raw (in albums or hand labeled 2x2 holders), then getting a copy of "A Guide Book of United States Coins" by RS Yeoman (also called the Redbook) would be a good starting point. The values may not be the most accurate but you can get a good idea if a specific coin is a common date or better date. Then you can do some more research on the better dates. And the book is only about $10-15

    I'm not a currency guy, but the graded Third party notes would indicate that there may be some good stuff.

    Another thing, most modern Government issued mint sets, proof sets, and commemorative aren't usually worth that much. Unless he was a very advanced collector storage tubs filled with stuff may indicate lots of Mint Issues and other accumulated cool, but not necessary valuable items. The trick will be sorting the good stuff from the common stuff. That's were the Redbook will help

    That might be a good way to get started. If you determine that some of the coins may have some value, post a pic for additional feedback

    Edit to add:
    Here is a recent thread from somebody in a similar situation.
    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1047729/help-inherited-huge-coin-collection-what-now#latest

    Member of the ANA since 1982
  • @Oldhoopster said:

    @dbarker416 said:
    Recently a family member of mine inherited a very large rare coin and paper money collection. It's completely overwhelming as they're not sure how to go about cataloging what they have. I was thinking for Christmas of purchasing a tablet or possibly laptop with an app/software to get them started with this process. There are several large storage tubs full of a wide variety of individual coins/bills and sets.

    For those that have been at this for awhile, do you have any tips? Suggestions on apps or software? Any tips or ideas on what we should do next are greatly appreciated. I assume they'll need to have some sort of spreadsheet or catalog for insurance purposes?

    A lot depends on what you have. If the coins are graded and sealed in plastic holders by companies like PCGS or NGC, you should be able to get a good idea here

    https://www.pcgs.com/prices/us

    If the are raw (in albums or hand labeled 2x2 holders), then getting a copy of "A Guide Book of United States Coins" by RS Yeoman (also called the Redbook) would be a good starting point. The values may not be the most accurate but you can get a good idea if a specific coin is a common date or better date. Then you can do some more research on the better dates. And the book is only about $10-15

    I'm not a currency guy, but the graded Third party notes would indicate that there may be some good stuff.

    Another thing, most modern Government issued mint sets, proof sets, and commemorative aren't usually worth that much. Unless he was a very advanced collector storage tubs filled with stuff may indicate lots of Mint Issues and other accumulated cool, but not necessary valuable items. The trick will be sorting the good stuff from the common stuff. That's were the Redbook will help

    That might be a good way to get started. If you determine that some of the coins may have some value, post a pic for additional feedback

    Edit to add:
    Here is a recent thread from somebody in a similar situation.
    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1047729/help-inherited-huge-coin-collection-what-now#latest

    Thanks for the info. The collection is definitely a mix of graded stuff and proof/mint sets. I'm not sure how they were previously stored, but the tubs were used to transport from out of state and get them here locally. They are being kept that way for now until they can get through everything. To get an idea of the volume, it took 3 chevy silverados and a cadillac suv to transport it all. The new owners are not very tech savvy but I thought it might be best for them to just catalog it all as they go so they can keep track of what all they have. I assume that it will take them a few months to even get through the whole collection and by that time they'll have forgotten all of what they had reviewed lol.

  • Also, our whole family has kind of gotten into researching and looking into these coins/bills more. It's fascinating even if the stuff isn't worth anything to anyone else. Any book recommendations on the history of coins/bills is appreciated. We're all readers and have enjoyed this process.

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 4,710 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi and welcome to CU. papermoneyguide.com and papermoneyforum.com shall be helpful. Use the Google with keyword search shall reveal many more. Lots to learn and have fun. Peace Roy

  • element159element159 Posts: 379 ✭✭✭

    As far as book recommendations, for US coins I would start with the "Redbook" mentioned above, and for US paper you could try 'Paper Money of the United States' by Arthur and Ira Friedburg.

    Can you get some photos of the collection? That should give some idea as to what kind of stuff is there. With some pictures, you will find plenty of people here who will have good suggestions for sorting out anything of real value vs silver metal value vs face value or so.

    image
  • KurisuKurisu Posts: 197 ✭✭✭
    edited December 22, 2020 2:19PM

    If you already are loving it...
    Call a local coin shop and arrange to bring some coins, you will learn things. Many are open with appointments.
    And never immediately accept an offer unless you are sure you did the research :smile:
    I also recommend an ANA membership for your learning curve! money.org
    There are also the forums here where if you post nice clear pics of both sides and ask a good question you will get an answer if possible.
    For collecting apps...sorry not really not my specialty. I do use PCGS for my graded coins from them in the registry sets, and NGC, for raw coins I personally use a spreadsheet since apps are a bit small for my old eyes :-)

    Coins are Neato!

    "If it's a penny for your thoughts and you put in your two cents worth, then someone...somewhere...is making a penny." - Steven Wright

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