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Spending time with your coins vs looking at images of coins in your collection

DCWDCW Posts: 6,973 ✭✭✭✭✭

With digital photography being relatively easy for anyone to get proficient at and the ability to store high resolution images right on your phone, I am curious how much time people spend with their physical coins compared to just bringing up a photograph. I would venture that a lot more time is spent looking at images than at the coins themselves.
There is undoubtedly something relaxing about examining coins with a loupe. But in a fast paced world, it is nice to be able to view one's collection (dare I say it?) virtually.

Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
"Coin collecting for outcasts..."


  • Jzyskowski1Jzyskowski1 Posts: 6,651 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Personally, I prefer in hand.

    🎶 shout shout, let it all out 🎶

  • pcgscacgoldpcgscacgold Posts: 2,636 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Almost all images. Visit the coins every few months.

  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,434 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Once I have images of my coins I rarely look at them in hand. The slabbed ones are in the safety deposit boxes and I visit them about once a year when I replace the desiccant cartridges.

    I used to enjoy looking at the coins in hand more than I do now too because I used to be nearsighted before I had Cataract surgery. Now I’m farsighted and can’t see the details clearly unless I look at enlarged images. Being farsighted makes me focus more on overall first impression eye appeal and less on small hits or hairlines which is what I used to notice more when I was nearsighted.


  • lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,455 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a different answer. I look at my coins in hand now about as much as I did before the digital photos became more prominent. However, now I can also view the pictures.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=2YNufnS_kf4 - Mama I'm coming home ...................................................................................................................................................................... RLJ 1958 - 2023

  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,752 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Both, I enjoy looking at the coins in hand when I can. But I've also invested a bit of money on professional photos of many of my coins, and it is very satisfying to view those photos. And having spent a fair amount of both time and money trying to learn how to take nice photos of coins myself, I have to say that I disagree with your thinking that it is relatively easy for anyone to become proficient at taking photos.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
  • BikergeekBikergeek Posts: 206 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm like Mr_Spud: they are safely tucked away, down the road, and don't get a lot of attention. The half dimes I favor are so tiny, I actually prefer photographs over in-hand for review and study. They have a lot of die cracks, filled letters, etc., and the TrueViews of many of my coins have the advantage of being shot before encapsulation. Now if I look at a coin in a slab, I have to make allowances for the little tabs in the holder.

    New website: Groovycoins.com Capped Bust Half Dime registry set: Bikergeek CBHD LM Set

  • yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,593 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Mostly I look at photos of other people's coins, and collect those photos on my PC.
    This saves on storage space and cost! :)

    For my own half dimes, once I take the photos, I rarely look at the coins.
    Although when I first get them, I enjoy viewing them with my stereo microscope.
    It really makes raised features like die cracks and clashes easy to see.

  • PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,732 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 15, 2023 4:26PM

    Have my collection at the bank vault so images are enough for me.

    My solution is pretty easy take nice pictures and put whatever I want to see for that moment as my desktop bank round image. If I want to see more at the same time just take a full group shot and that solves the problem. But I have the same image now since about a little over 1 year.

  • OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,797 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DCW said:
    Spending time with your coins vs looking at images of coins in your collection

    I use my imagination. I remember seeing that 09-S-VDB. It's here somewhere. I saw it a few months ago!! 😂 🤣

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

  • calgolddivercalgolddiver Posts: 1,396 ✭✭✭✭✭

    yes ... hands on for those that are local ... images for those tucked away ... and a periodic visit to those tucked away to pull them all out of the blue boxes and see them live and in color !!

    Top 25 Type Set 1792 to present

    Top 10 Cal Fractional Type Set

    successful BST with Ankurj, BigAl, Bullsitter, CommemKing, DCW(7), Elmerfusterpuck, Joelewis, Mach1ne, Minuteman810430, Modcrewman, Nankraut, Nederveit2, Philographer(5), Realgator, Silverpop, SurfinxHI, TomB and Yorkshireman(3)

  • FloridafacelifterFloridafacelifter Posts: 1,153 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’ve often joked that I am a collector of photos rather than coins- probably 90% of my viewing is photos vs in hand.

  • erscoloerscolo Posts: 485 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I seldom take pictures of my coins since I have them at the place I live. I do not own a cell phone and have no intention of ever getting one. Society is glued to that device, it is the center of most people's universe. I'll stick with looking at the real deal.

  • TrampTramp Posts: 652 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 16, 2023 7:53AM

    I had a very nice cozy relationship with my Morgan CC's the last couple of evenings. Eying them each through my loupe and scrolling through VAMWorld and PCGS and actually finding many VAMs I didn't know I had. I actually learned a thing or two about VAMs.

    USAF (Ret.) 1985 - 2005. E-4B Aircraft Maintenance Crew Chief and Contracting Officer.
    My current Registry sets:
    ✓ Everyman Mint State Carson City Morgan Dollars (1878 – 1893)
    ✓ Everyman Mint State Lincoln Cents (1909 – 1958)
    ✓ Morgan Dollar GSA Hoard (1878 – 1891)

  • P0CKETCHANGEP0CKETCHANGE Posts: 2,237 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 15, 2023 6:34PM

    Photos—especially TrueViews—are great, but there’s nothing like swirling a luster bomb under a good lighting, or flickering the deep mirrors of a proof, or using a loupe to inspect the texture of the coin. Totally different experiences!

    I like to rotate a coin or two out of my collection and keep them on my desk—it’s a nice analog, visual break from computer work, and it gives me the opportunity to appreciate each coin individually.

    Nothing is as expensive as free money.

  • Downtown1974Downtown1974 Posts: 6,713 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have some raw coins that I keep at my desk when I want the hands-on experience. All of my PCGS coins are locked away at an undisclosed location, so for those….images are just fine by me.

  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,600 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I do both. I place a high priority on having accurate pics of my coins and @robec has done an excellent job capturing the nature of my coins. Of the coins with TVs, a few of them do a good job too, but not all. I like to be able to post my coin pics here and also to associate them with my PCGS inventory along with the few PCGS registry sets I have started.

    That said, nothing beats an in-hand viewing of my coins because 2 dimensional pics can never show everything.

    This thread needs a photo. Here's a TV with the white background option (that I prefer for all my pics).

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • OwnerofawheatiehordeOwnerofawheatiehorde Posts: 1,517 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 15, 2023 6:44PM

    Now for lustrous pieces I prefer to see in person, but for copper I look at photos. Taken with a loop held up to a IPhone camera. :D

    Type collector, mainly into Seated. Young Numismatist. Good BST transactions with: mirabela, OKCC, MICHAELDIXON

  • ironmanl63ironmanl63 Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What about the lustrous copper?

    I have been re-shooting some of my coins. I like both but way prefer coins in hand.

  • mirabelamirabela Posts: 4,964 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I prefer seeing them in person but most of them reside at the bank, so I make do. Sometimes I'll have one or a few "guests" home from the sdb hoard for on-demand in-person viewing. This is one of the realities that make me reluctant to grow the value of my collection much beyond where it already is.

  • divecchiadivecchia Posts: 6,527 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Typically, I look at my actual coins, many times more than I look at photos of the coins. I only look at the photos of my coins when I am showing someone at work a new pickup or if someone asks me about a specific coin then I will look through my photos to show them the coin. I have my coins at home, and I don't think I've ever gone a week without physically looking at them. When there were no coin shows in 2020, I had my coins out nearly every day to look at them.


    Hobbyist & Collector (not an investor).
    Donato's Complete US Type Set ---- Donato's Dansco 7070 Modified Type Set ---- Donato's Basic U.S. Coin Design Set

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  • WaterSportWaterSport Posts: 6,707 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am currently re shooting all my cents. Not only better pictures than before - but accurate Variety numbers, etc. I find satisfaction in both handling them an seeing in large format digital pics.


    Proud recipient of the coveted PCGS Forum "You Suck" Award Thursday July 19, 2007 11:33 PM and December 30th, 2011 at 8:50 PM.
  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,817 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I do a bit of both but I prefer viewing the coins themselves... whether it's in the album of my 7070 or raw large Cents, it's just my preference.

    That said, as I'm getting more use to coin photography, I find myself more involved with processing image files... so maybe it's a push these days...

    Collecting: Dansco 7070; Middle Date Large Cents (VF-AU); Box of 20;

    Successful BST transactions with: SilverEagles92; Ahrensdad; Smitty; GregHansen; Lablade; Mercury10c; copperflopper; whatsup; KISHU1; scrapman1077, crispy, canadanz, smallchange, robkool, Mission16, ranshdow, ibzman350, Fallguy, Collectorcoins, SurfinxHI, jwitten, Walkerguy21D, dsessom.
  • RLSnapperRLSnapper Posts: 516 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I really enjoy the PCGS set registry album feature. Popping a TrueView into the digital album makes it easy to enjoy for me. When I was younger and had better eyesight I could pick up all the details of each variety with a loupe. No longer. Coins are safely tucked away and I have my digital album to enjoy.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I prefer coins in hand.... I do have some pictures, but that is mainly so I could post them here on the forum. If I want to see a coin, I get it and hold it. I have many handy around my computer, but the others are quickly available either in the safe or the coin cabinets. If I need to check small details, I have a magnifier handy - used for checking fingerprints, so I know it is sufficient for coins. Cheers, RickO

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