Frequently Asked Questions

What is the idea of this site?

The idea is to create one "hub" for everything related to coin collecting: research, original information, discussions, buy/trade and whatever else you can think of.

Why is there no feature X? Why does Y seem not to work?

The site is still under heavy development. If you think a specific feature is necessary, please use the Feedback form below and let us know.

Who is behind this site?

For now, just one person. In future, the idea is to have a community behind it - people who not only contribute to it but also share in the profits later. If you want to join sich a community, please use the Feedback form below and let us know.

Where does the information come from?

On each coin page, we try to add references that are as granular as possible; i.e. not just "we used information from X" but "information about mintage comes from X, mints from Y" etc.

Why do you quote source X and not source Y which has the same information?

If more than one source have the same information, we quote the earlier one or the one which is the original source. For example, if the Royal Australian Mint says something on its site - we quote this and not a catalogue which had the same information published earlier (but initially got it from the Royal Australian Mint).

What do you do if different sources have conflicting information?

We use and quote the earlier one, and note (in a comment) that there is a different version of the information elsewhere; unless we can find a good explanation why the later source should be treated as more reliable.

Who owns the copyright to photo X and can I copy it?

Under each photo, we have quoted the source, the copyright notice and the license under which it is distributed.

Why are there no coins listed for country X?

The site is still under construction, much work needs to be done until it becomes comprehensive enough.

Why do you call country X a province of country Y? It is actually something else?

For the purposes of this site, a "province" is defined as a non-sovereign entity which has (or had in the past) its own coinage separate from that of the sovereign state. This includes cases where the "province" issues non-circulating legal tender only, or coins/banknotes that only form a small part of currency circulation.

What information are you adding?

We are currently working on pre-decimal coins of the British Commonwealt, in the following order: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the United Kingdom, Canada. When those are done, we are going to continue with the following priorities: pre-1945 coins (19th and 20th centuries), regular circulating and commemorative circulating; then bullion / trade coins, then non-circulating legal tender. After that - modern coins.

Where do the coin values come from?

Information is sourced from a large number of online and offline sources like book values, "for sale" quotes and actual sales by a number of reputable dealers.

Why are values listed in more than one currency and why are they different?

It often happens that there is a (quite vigorous, usually) domestic market for some types of coins and an international market where the same coins are valued differently. We have tried to reflect both, so the values have to be separated and not "translated" from one currency to another.

Are these values precise and reliable?

Well, no... Not really. There are many factors at play, each introducing various systemic errors. To name a few: "book values" are not updated regularly so tend to lag behind reality. Book values tend to be rounded to a nice-looking value so you will not see a coin listed at $7.86. Nice-looking values differ by country, e.g. in the US they will include values ending in .25 or .75 due the US having "quarter dollar" coins, while in other countries these values are not considered "round" and "nice". Sales would end in .95 cents or .99 cents (depending on country), or .01 if at auction. Quoted values may or may not include the "transaction cost" of a coin dealer business (e.g. the cost of stock-keeping, handling etc.) which for lower-end coins may be significantly more than the value of the coin itself (and will affect the low grades of a coin more than the high grades of the same coin). And so on and so forth... So no, values are a rough guide only.

They are still useful for comparisons though, e.g. coin X is twice the price of coin Y (of course, given the assumption that the systemic errors in both cases are comparable).

But... people sell at book values?

Well yes, there is that. If a major catalogue says something is worth $X, then people start selling it for $X and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But if the value is significantly off from reality, you have a number of frustrated would-be sellers wondering why nobody buys at $X.

Your graph shows a coin was worth $X in 1965 but that was enormous money at the time?

Values in the graphs are "calibrated" to present dollar values based on buying parity of money then and money now. In other words, if something cost $5 then and $5 was an average worker's pay for a day, then the old value would be translated to $151.43 or whatever the average worker's pay for a day is now. This is based on inflation in the country issuing the currency in which values are expressed, e.g. the cost of an Australian shilling coin in US$ in 1965 will be translated to present values based on US inflation between 1965 and now and not on Australian inflation. Yes, it skewes the results and there are many systemic errors in this too. But, it is the best we can currently do.

How come you list values in the future?

Having all these historic values, the logical next step would be to find a trend in their development over time and see where it is going. We use simple linear regression for the time being, pending investigation into better methods and (more importantly) acquiring more data to feed into the algorithm.

It has to be stressed that these future values are "guesstimates", i.e. best-effort guesses based on unprovable assumptions and unreliable (and in many cases quite sparse) data. In other words, these are not "forecasts" or "predictions", they are just an illustration of where the trend is going. Results are quirky at times, especially where data is sparse. Live with it...

If none of this is precise, why do you list values like $37.41?

That's what the algorithm comes up with. It is already rather arbitrary based on the factors listed above, so there is no need to make it even more arbitrary by changing the number to a "nice-looking" one.

To put it simply, the number of "meaningful digits" in these values does NOT imply any level of precision.

How come some values go down in the future? Nothing ever gets cheaper?

In actual fact, things do get cheaper... If you buy something for $10 now and you sell it for $10 three years later, these future $10 will be cheaper than today's dollars due to inflation so you will have lost money. If the book value for a coin remains the same for several years, the catalogue which lists it is basically saying that the coin is getting cheaper in REAL money even though the numbers remain the same in NOMINAL dollars.

The values in the future guesstimate columns are denominated in today's dollars, so you should keep the above in mind when interpreting them. To simplify an example: coin X is worth $10 now. Next year's value for it is listed as $9.90. Does this mean we expect the coin to be selling for $9.90 next year? No. We expect that it will be selling for $10, but these 10 future dollars will have the buying power of 9.90 of today's dollars.

Yes, the same consideration applies if the future value is listed as higher than today's value. In that case, the algorithm expects the real value to go up - even beyond inflation.

Can I use these future values as investment advice?

In one word, no.

This site does NOT give investment advice and no part of it should be understood as such. The fact that a trend has been going in some direction for the past ten years MAY mean it will keep going on like this; or, it may mean that the trend is overdue for correction which may then happen quite abruptly. Some things tend to be periodic, which linear regression cannot model. Some depend on "real world" considerations, like bullion values changing for political reasons. Use your own judgment. Values on the site are there for the purpose of providing "raw" information only, in a form which is easy to be visualised and understood. Investment decisions are YOUR business.

How does the search function work?

The search function uses two separate data stores. First, it searches in "local" data - in other words, in coin pages on this site. The second data source are indexed documents from a (small) number of external sites, these currently being:

Please note that this is not a general Google-style crawler which just downloads everything from the web, and it is not automated as these crawlers are. The sources are curated, and the downloaded data is limited to only what the crawler considers relevant numismatic information. Please also note that this is currently under development; consequently - it is still error-prone. Specifically, some of the documents listed may not be about coins but about banknotes, medals, tokens etc.

Search is "full-text" and not structured; in other words, if you search for "Spink H1" - you will get coins listed by Spink with the ID of H1, but you may also get pages that mention Spink, and then (maybe in an entirely separate context) H1 as well. Currently, there is no way to avoid this behaviour.

Can I use the search engine directly from my browser search box?

Yes. When you visit the site, your browser (if it supports OpenSearch, and most of them do) will auto-discover the search engine and make it available to add as an option in the search box. Depending on what browser your are using, please follow the relevant instructions below:

To add it manually, you need the following parameters:

  • Name: Online Coin Club
  • Adress/URL: