Coin Collecting Software

Whether used by hobbyists or professionals, numismatic software, more commonly known as coin collecting software, benefits its user by keeping track of their collections. This fascinating pastime, enjoyed by a diverse group of people of all ages, provides an exciting glimpse into a world history that stretches all the way back to the sixth century before the birth of Jesus. The first known coins date back to Lydia, an ancient kingdom that thrived in the western part of the Asian Minor region before overthrown by the Persians. In these old cities, archaeologists discovered small, crudely shaped pieces made of a gold alloy that were engraved with a variety of symbols. A photograph of one of these golden pieces, from what is called the Archaic Era, shows a startlingly realistic profile of a lion's head.

The money of these centuries-old kingdoms weren't just for the monetary transactions of buying and selling. Through the etched images preserved on ancient coins, historians can know what a long-dead ruler looked like, including the legendary seductress, Cleopatra. With his profile on a coin of the realm, the ruler made his presence known to his subjects. For example, a graven coin showed the citizens and slaves of the vast, far-flung Roman Empire a likeness of the ruling emperor. Jesus once asked the Pharisees and Herodians for a Roman penny. "And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's." (Mark 12:16) Some coin collecting software programs include the ability to add photos to the inventory. This feature significantly enhances the program for anyone owning an emperor coin.

Many collectors got started by collecting the American state quarters as these were released by the United States Mint. The first of the unique quarters, the one honoring Delaware, was released on January 4, 1999. Through this innovative program, subsequent quarters honored the states in the same order in which the state became part of this great country. The final quarter, the one for Hawaii, will be released in 2008. Each state's governor created a program for deciding the symbolic image on the quarter's tail. The head side, known as the obverse, kept the traditional image of George Washington. For the beginning hobbyist, a simple coin collecting software program provides a way to track when and where a specific quarter came into her possession. From this entertaining start, the novice can seek out other coins, either designed by the U.S. Mint or from other countries, to enhance her collection.

Others may have started in this popular hobby when they inherited collections from a loved one, perhaps a grandparent or a favorite uncle. Or maybe they were given various commemorative sets and special silver dollars as birthday and Christmas gifts throughout their childhood. Over the years, these treasured gifts become an invaluable foundation for a respectable and, perhaps, a valuable collection. However the hobbyist got started on this path, she developed an interest in pursuing additional information on the coins she had and the ones she wanted to obtain in the future. At this point, the hobbyist will benefit from an upgrade to a numismatic software program with more sophisticated features. These may include catalog and filtering abilities so that the novice can make a list of what is currently owned and what to buy in the future.

Long-time collectors often focus on a theme, such as coins from a particular historical period or a specific country. For example, a collector may seek coins from ancient Greece with interesting engravings of mythological symbols. Another collector may treasure Spanish gold recovered from sunken ships off the coast of Florida. A third collects Welsh and Celtic coins spanning one or more centuries. It may be surprising to learn that numismatists, or coin collectors, do not limit themselves just to money. Military medals are often sought by those with a fascination for military history, specific battalion units, and heroic deeds. Like their money counterparts, they may choose to focus on a specific event, such as the War Between the States or World War II. Medals and medallions of various sizes, shapes, and metals can symbolize and commemorate many different kinds of events, such as sports tournaments, historically important celebrations like the United States 1776 Bicentennial, or various professional achievements. People who specialize in medals and medallions also will discover that a properly chosen numismatic software program helps them create a catalog of their finds. A sophisticated program enables all these different hobbyists and professionals to group their prized possessions using the provided templates.

As shown, coin collecting software programs exist that cater to almost every need, whether the beginner or the professional, the hobbyist or the dealer. Though some are free, the more sophisticated ones will take some money from the collectors wallet, but not from her treasured keepsakes. Several of the software programs offer a free demonstration so that a person can make a trial run and see if the selected software has the required features. Some programs not only catalog the collection, but also grade and evaluate the coins. Dealers benefit from specialized software programs that track both customers and sales. This kind of information is helpful when the dealer seeks a small business loan, plans a marketing campaign, and takes his financial records to his accountant at tax time. Whatever a persons wants and needs, he will have no difficulty finding an affordable and easy-to-use numismatic software program. By inventorying and cataloging all the treasured items, whatever their theme or focus may be, the conscientious record-keeper now has documentation for insurance evaluating purposes, for an investment portfolio, or for leaving a legacy to his heirs.

Custom Made Coins

High quality custom made coins are used by businesses, individuals, governments, gaming commissions, sports associations, and private and public organizations. While the U.S. Mint produces primarily legal tender currency, Presidential and commemorative coinage; custom coin mints produce highly detailed coinage for awards, amusement and entertainment venues, promotional marketing and the military. Coins are carefully designed by skilled artisans to bear an exacting image of a person, building, animal, or insignia. Every detail is painstakingly executed to produce an accurate likeness of the original. Just as artisans finely craft accurate likenesses, God originally created man in His own image and likeness an exact replica of his character and nature. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:26-27)

The usage for specially designed, exactingly replicated and minted coins is almost limitless. Regulations for minting currency do not apply to made-to-order coinage production. Products generally have little monetary value, except items minted from precious metals or used in casinos. Specialty advertising businesses employ custom coin mint companies to produce coinage to market and promote corporations, small businesses, and other enterprises, usually emblazoned with a company logo or likeness of the CEO. Car dealers, advertising agencies, educational institutions, and retailers use coinage as sales tools, to reward students and faculty for academic and scholarly accomplishments, or as merchandising aids. In the athletic arena, logos or trademarks, likenesses, and lettering are engraved on medallions of almost any size to commemorate sporting events or place awards. Made-to-order coins in precious metal finishes, such as gold, silver and bronze are frequently used to grace the necks of Olympic champions. Lesser priced alloys, aluminum, oxidized and antiqued silver, or nickel are also impressive substitutes for more expensive awards.

Most notable are the military and government commendations given to honorable service men and women for exemplary performance. Medals of honor are fine examples of custom made coins, usually mounted with clamps, pins or ribbons for attachment to military uniforms. Local, state and federal governments frequently commission custom coin mint companies to design, hand sculpt, and strike multiple and one-of-a-kind works of art to commemorate historic events or depict new administrations. Banks, hospitals, sororities and fraternities, insurance agencies, labor unions, private and public clubs, and more can all use custom made coins to advertise services, commemorate significant events, or celebrate periodic milestones.

The gambling industry uses one-of-a-kind coinage in casinos at slot machines and at gaming tables. Instead of handling large amounts of cash, high- and low-rolling gamers purchase tokens or markers valued as inexpensively as $1 upwards to $500. Winnings can be redeemed without risk of theft of similar amounts of cash. Custom coin mint companies safeguard casino and gamer assets by employing the latest technology which prevents counterfeiting, shaving, stopping, or slugging slot machines. Casinos also use chips and tokens with embedded holograms to prevent counterfeiting and provide easy detection of legitimate tokens. Custom made coins for the gaming industry are minted with a high level of consistency and finely calibrated to withstand rigorous testing to detect counterfeiting.

The process for producing quality hand-crafted coinage begins with a piece of artwork enlarged to show as much detail as possible. Artisans may recommend submitting black and white vector (line) image drawings with clean, crisp details that are at least 400% to 600% larger than the proposed finished size. Artisans can also execute customers' artwork for an additional fee. Photographs of buildings or individuals to be engraved may also be helpful. Corporate logos should also be submitted with the drawings at enlarged sizes. Once the size, color, and finish have been selected, the type of engraving must be decided upon. Fully sculpted, deeply engraved or etched designs are more costly than low-relief designs with multiple levels or engravings with single-level raised lines. The type of engraving process, finish and color of metal are determined by the usage of each piece. Military awards and insignias tend to be designed in traditional, deeply etched bronzes for durability. Medallions widely distributed for marketing purposes may be produced more inexpensively using single-level raised lines on simulated metals.

Coinage mint companies generally provide proofs of finished artwork and designs prior to making custom metal dies from which coins are struck, stamped and minted. At the proofing stage, customers should either speak up or forever hold their peace. Any imperfections, misspelled words, or inaccuracies should be noted and corrected before custom dies are created for each side. Custom coin mint companies will then begin the die-striking process to produce the specific number ordered. Consumers should inquire about fees for making custom dies as part of an overall estimate for producing one-of-a-kind coinage.

Consumers may find companies that produce custom made coins online, through local telephone or business directories, or via specialty advertising companies, printers, and engravers. Because creating one-of-a-kind coinage is a lengthy and expensive process, most firms will require minimum quantity orders. Some mints may not deal directly with individual consumers for smaller orders, but may prefer to supply specialty houses. Specialty merchandisers, catalog companies, and sales reps should provide good quality samples, along with pricing and estimated delivery dates. Individuals and businesses should allow for mint production schedules and order well in advance of events and ceremonies when the coins will be presented. Above all, consumers should deal with reputable companies that offer replacement orders or refunds for production mistakes and lost or damaged orders, and those that have a record of timely delivery at affordable prices.

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