Numismatic and History Discussions > Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage

Question on Categorizing Roman Provincial Coins


Virgil H:
Hope this is the appropriate section for this one. One thing I constantly struggle with is how to group some of my coins, especially Roman Provincials. I am curious what y'alls various takes are on this. As I add coins to my Gallery, I am reorganizing my collection.

I currently have some Roman Provincials in my Roman Empire section, but I have some in my city/state sections, which for me is primarily Greek cities and states. I want to standardize this once and for all. So, I think I have it figured out and would like to know what you think about the Provincials. I tend to want coins from certain localities from all periods.

1. Pure Greek, including Kings and cities, such as Macedon where we find both categories, I have them all in same category.
2. Roman Republic
3. Roman Empire official issues
4. Roman Provincials with their Greek cities and states. I focus a lot on places, this seems reasonable for me to keep all coins from a city/state together. I have had some Provincials is their own section, but then it gets even more confusing with pseudo-autonomous coins. I am thinking all coins from Ephesus, for example, go into the same category in chronological order. I like this as the history may be traced from start to finish. This is where my main concern is, getting these coins in the correct categories
5. A few other small groupings that I won't go into here. I would put any tribal imitations into a Celtic category, most likely, and not in a Roman category.

I figure when I do additional groups in my Gallery, I will continue what I started, such as "Greek, State, City." I am thinking of including the pseudo-autonomous and Provincials within these overall categories. The biggest thing is viewers may not realize I am including Roman coins in these groupings, but I could handle that in the folder description.

Anyway, appreciate any input here.


That's a key question for many collectors: how far should your personal organization deviate from standard catalogue systems?   Some people collect themes that have no standard catalogue and probably have good methods.  My main collection, Roman Republican, has a now-standard catalogue, Crawford's Roman Republican Coinage, but many nuanced commentaries have proposed adjustments.  And it omits closely-related coinage that others deemed within the series and does not fit easily into other groups,  such as the "Marsic" coinage. 
  So it may be a question of time and technology available to you.  If  the collector need to look up coins on index cards and opaque envelopes, deviating from traditional grouping could take a lot of time if you have to locate a specific item.  But if one has good labels based on a multi-factor method that's searchable, maybe that's simpler.  My lower tech friends often say they can't find their coins!

Virgil H:
Thanks for that response. I have my coins in a spreadsheet and the only way I can find them is searching it and eventually finding them. Or, I just look at my coin trays. Doing the Gallery is difficult for me because I have to find my flip files (totally impossible to find a specific flip) and spreadsheet entries to get the text. One thing about me is if I file something in my file cabinet under some obvious at the time heading, it is the last I will ever see it without literally looking at every folder in my file (physical because electronic filing is even worse, that I am literally never finding again). That is as true for a life insurance policy as a car title. It drives me crazy. My coin collection is not huge, but when I had Provincials in a different place than their Greek counterparts, I could never find them.Hence my leaning toward a geographical system, at least I know where all my Ephesus coins are. This has always been a nightmare for me, filing anything. I forget instantly where I filed something. But I know exactly where a document is three inches down in the third pile of papers that has been there five years on my desk. I can't file anything electronically and find it again. I have the spreadsheet for my heirs and hope they can figure it out and have a sense of what they have. The funny thing is I am very tech savvy.


I print tags from my database that include a unique number that is essentially acquisition sequence.
 In my catalogue-sequence boxes, the ID number is essentially a backup for distinguishing duplicates.
 In my non-catalogue-sequence boxes, the ID number is the organizational basis.
  Easier for me to find #1234 sequentially among a box of 50 peripheral coins than to remember if "Castulo" comes before "Gades"

Ron C2:
Honestly, I don't collect Roman provincials and I know ID's and cataloguing them can be a bit of an adventure because of the diverse variety.  If it were me, I;d pick a core reference and catalogue primarily to that, like the RPC series maybe? Mostly I do this so I can quickly sort them in my trays (or my gallery) by reference number.


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