I agree with you that the camera and macro lens upgrade sound like the way to go especially if it means less photo editing.
I have not tried to use natural sun light but sounds like I need to experiment with it.
I would be willing to spend $500.00-$600 for that setup but would feel better if some combo camera/lens were recommended as I have very little experience with photography equipment.
Thanks so much for your comments and time to help. I feel that this is one of the most helpful resources available to collectors like me.
The generic camera type is called a Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera (MILC)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirrorless_interchangeable-lens_camera
All manufacturers make typically one model/range of MILC cameras, and all feature a large sensor size similar to that on a DSLR, along with a suite of lenses good enough for a DSLR, but without the reflex mirror (hence are not single lens reflex), and with controls akin to your compact. So if you can operate your compact camera, you can operate these. For example there's a large flower button for macro mode!!! A typical compact camera has a sensor about 25 square millimetre. Most of these MILC types have sensors of between 250 and 350 square millimetres. They don't have a higher pixel count, but each pixel is ten times as big, and consequently they can take the same quality image with one tenth of the light (or images that are much more colour-correct under the same lighting). The overall size is typically the same as a top-end compact. The extra size needed to fit the big sensor is compensated by not having to have motor-zoomed lenses (one switches lenses instead). So they are surprisingly small.
All camera makers have similar offerings. There is the Olympus Pen, the Panasonic Lumix, the Samsung NX, the Canon EOS and even the Leica M for collectors of Akragas dekadrachms. I suspect all give similar performance. I use a Sony NEX camera with a related E-mount macro lens. The NEX range has recently been replaced by the Sony alpha range with the bottom of the range Alpha-3000 costing about $350 with a single basic lens (zoom or macro would cost more, and significantly more, respectively).
What I suggest you do is visit a camera shop, and ask for a "bottom of the range mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera such as the Olympus Pen, Canon EOS or Sony NEX, with a separate Macro lens",
and see what they offer you, at what prices. They may offer you a zoom lens instead of a macro (a zoom lens can take everything from close-up to distant, but that is an inevitable compromise over a macro which is designed for close-up). Even if you go for a zoom lens to start with, I'd check on the availability and price of a macro in case you want to trade up in future. You don't want to find that macro is not available or costs $1000 more. There may be discount lens and camera package offers. These MILC cameras are all more or less similar so value for money will be a key factor. Therefore you are better off making an enquiry in a camera shop rather than accepting a recommendation on Forum. Once you know what you want, you can always check that big Brazilian river for prices.
The reason you only need bottom-of-range is that the top-of-range models are usually distinguished by better high-definition video recording, sophisticated focusing systems that take account of large depths of field, and improved stability control systems. You don't need any of these sort of things for tripod mounted still photography of coins, so resist attempts to upsell. You just need a basic camera body and a macro lens.
PS I want to reiterate that the quality of images you are already producing is terrific (though you may want to adjust lighting direction on the Crispus) and your setup looks great. An enhanced camera, and a basic free editing software, and you'll be competitive with the very best photographers.
PPS, the Vetriano is a great coin.