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Volume 3, Issue 1
  ANCIENTS IN THE NEWS    By: Alfredo De La Fe (From various sources)

Table of Contents:

CoinProject Needs Your Help
Ancient Coin Collectors Guild Auction to Close October 13th


CoinProject Needs Your Help.
As many of you already know, CoinProject is a very different website from other numismatic research websites. For starters, it is MASSIVE, covering virtually all specialties of numismatics ranging from ancient, Byzantine, Medieval/Early world to modern coins. But what I feel really makes CoinProject special is that it was designed to be a community effort. The success of CoinProject depends on collectors, dealers and academics to contribute their time, knowledge and other resources. Once we have paid for the pending programming we would like to register as a legal not-for-profit corporation.

CoinProject "belongs" to the numismatic community. I see myself and the other board members and volunteers as caretakers.

Some points to consider:

1. I do not view CoinProject as competition to ACSearch, Wildwinds or any of the other databases. Our focus is a little different and our approach is unique. We are not attempting to maintain auction or sales data (although we can), our focus is to maintain a database of coins which is accurate for numismatic research and study.

2. We currently have permission to use photographs from about 30-40 firms. These include some European firms which have never published their photographs on the internet. It is quite expensive to have the programmers write the software to grab the data and properly parse it for each of these firms. If we had the resources we would be able to grab well over the estimated 300,000 records which I list as "pending". I list as pending only those records which I have available or which the programmers are currently developing software to grab and parse.

3. Users can submit their own coins for consideration to be included in the database. Please consider contributing the coins in your collection.

3. We parse (break out) all of the data and include full legends. This is very time consuming but ensures that the data can be presented/manipulated to meet our needs and enhances the search engine functionality.

4. It is incredibly labor intensive. We have a multiple step verification process. The first is a quick check by a moderator that everything appears OK, that the data is presented in a uniform manner which conforms to our database and that any obvious errors are addressed. The second requires a specialized collector which has the experience and appropriate library to compare the information present on the coin versus the photograph and physically verify the reference citations. So if a reference is cited as RIC V 123 they must open RIC volume V and verify that the coin is in fact RIC V 123.

5. We have a board of advisors comprised of world renowned numismatists, collectors and dealers from around the world. I will be publishing the list shortly, I am just waiting for the biographies of all of the board members and I am waiting on one additional prospective member. It is my hope that we will legally register as a not-for-profit organization and that all decisions be made by this board.

6. We welcome as many examples of the same coin type as possible. This allows users to study dies or do other types of research. Once the database is better populated moderators can select one example of each type as the "Primary Example" and that one example would represent the type (e.g.: RIC V 123 can have 1000 coins but only the best example would show up unless the user clicks "See other examples")

If you want to see the potential, have a look at what the Spaniards have done with the Ancient Spain category. It is one of the most complete collections of coins of Ancient Spain and is believed to be the first website which properly categorizes them by mint outside of Spain. We will be adding biographical, chronological and numismatic data at the heading of each area. (This can be done for any region, city, mint or issuer on CoinProject).  We have the largest Parthian database, Roman Provincial and Greek lists far superior to the Princeton list (and separated into separate Greek and provincial lists, a task other websites won't touch), and the largest moneyer's list of Roman Republican coins. Our Islamic list is far superior to any website available and our medieval list will be unequaled. Our medieval German list is already 4000 issuers strong. Some of the categories are not yet finished, since this is still a work in progress, but most categories are quite thorough. Of course, there's still a lot to do, but I'm very happy with the direction we're headed.

With just over 100 volunteers you would think that we had sufficient people to get the "job done". But when you take a close look, there will literally be tens of thousands of issuers by the time all of the lists are uploaded to the site and potentially millions of coins.

We need three types of volunteers:

1. Those that are specialists in a specific field and have the reference library. Be it a specific Greek or Roman Provincial City, a Celtic region or tribe or an emperor or group of emperors to verify the data entered versus the photograph and physically verify the accuracy of reference citations. (This can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to half an hour for very rare coins which require checking several specialized reference works)

2. Those that have some time to spare and can help process the data we have which has already been uploaded by ensuring that all of the fields are properly filled in, adding the legends and approving the coins. (Takes anywhere from 2-5 minutes per coin.)

3. Those that have some time to spare and can help by manually entering coins from websites which have given permission to use their images. Some sites can easily be mined electronically via custom software programs and others can not. In either case, developing these programs is expensive. (Takes anywhere from 2-5 minutes per coin)

You dont need to commit to a lot of time. Even if it is only a few minutes a week, it would be of tremendous help. Having hundreds of people contributing a few minutes a week means that we can get to hundreds of coins a week.  As mentioned above, we have many very qualified volunteers and moderators, but we are still lacking in several areas.  All volunteers are welcome, but specialists in the following areas are urgently needed: all areas of Medieval numismatics (Europe and Far East), Byzantine, Islamic, Celtic and select provincial regions/cities or Roman emperors.  We will eventually need moderators for modern world and US coins too.

If you think it is worthwhile, please consider making a donation to cover the monthly operating expense of our dedicated server and the programmer development costs.  Even a few dollars goes a long way.  Dealers are welcome to inquire about purchasing a banner ad.  CoinProject is commited to never charge a fee for its use, selling banner ads and donations are our only form of support.

Please contact: alfred@coinproject.com if you would like to learn how you can help.

ACCG Benefit Auction to Close October 13th

The fourth annual Benefit Auction in support of ACCG will open on Thursday, September 29 after the closing of Sale #270 and will remain open for two weeks, closing on October 13.  This sale includes more than 120 lots of ancient coinage, numismatic literature and related items.  Items in this sale have been donated by collectors, dealers and friends of ACCG and associated services of hosting, cataloguing, advertising and fulfillment have also been donated by volunteers.  Consequently, 100% of the proceeds will be used to support guild initiatives on behalf of the hobby. The sale has no reserves and no buyer's fees, making it a very popular venue with some excellent buying opportunities.  It is also a wonderful opportunity to support the hobby of ancient coin collecting and have fun doing it. 

The primary activities of ACCG in recent years have been related to the opposition against overly broad State Department import restrictions on ancient coins.  This includes Litigation, Education and Public Affairs programs as well as frequent interaction with domestic and foreign governmental officials and U.S. legislators.  ACCG is a 501c(4) non-profit organization.

To browse the offerings in this sale go to http://vauctions.com and bid as you normally would.  Post auction billing will be electronic and payment can be made through secure online options.





Copyright notices: Article and text Copyright 2009 by David Hendin, photographs copyright respective owners.

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