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Why You Should Take Pictures of Your Coins

With the continuing advances of megapixels in digital cameras and the ease at which they work, you should consider taking pictures of your coins.  There are several reasons for this.  Let’s take a look at several of these.

The best reason to take pictures of your coins is for insurance purposes.  Even if your coins are locked away in a safe deposit box, at some point you take them out to inventory, buy or sell them.   This puts you at risk.  Coins are stolen every single day of the year.  Whether they are in your house, car, or anywhere, coins are targeted and stolen for their ability to quickly sell them.  Taking good quality pictures of your coins can help for insurance.  Of course you need to check with your insurance as not all coins are covered under home/rental/etc insurance policies and in fact some policies  outright exclude coins and jewelry.  This statement right there should cause you to check with your insurance agent.

If your coins are stolen, you now have a record of what coins you had.  Even better, there is a digital image of them.  Not all coins look the same.  If you have rare pieces and you have a good image, this can be used for later identification of a coin.  If your coins are graded by a major service, you should also keep track of the serial number assigned by the grading company.

Another reason to photograph your coins is that if you want to look at them, you can access that photo without having to get access to your coin.  There are several places where you can upload images for free.  By doing this, you can access the coin image anywhere where you have internet connectivity.  And with better digital cameras, the image can be quite large in size which allows you to examine the coin more closely without handling it.  The image on a computer can be many, many times bigger than the actual coin giving you an advantage to see things you might not have seen in the past.  But beware, large clear images of coins actually make some look far worse than they are.  A really good close-up image will show every little imperfection there is on a coin.  But since you do not need to handle it, you are better off.  There is nothing worse than trying to examine a beautiful MS Walking Liberty Half only to drop it and see it rolling around on the floor. 

Some people make the mistake of taking the images and then placing them ONLY on their computer.  If your residence is broken into, they will likely steal your computer also, so you have now lost your records.  Again, look at using some online locations where you can upload your coin pictures.  Of course, when you sign up for an online photo repository, do not use your real name.  Nothing like telling the coin thieves your name and what you have.  Use a generic handle that cannot be associated to you.

The bottom line is that the safety of your coins is your responsibility.  Using an online website can no way guarantee the safety of your coins, nor can they guarantee that such a site will aid in the recovering of the coins or insurance money.  But it can’t hurt.

Keith Scott has been a collector for over 30 years. His website has US coins for sale. He also writes Coin Collecting Articles for fun. Visit his websites for a history of US coins, metal market updates and news about your favorite coins.

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