One of the truly great features on the DWN website (www.raregoldcoins.com) is the Coinapedia. Many collectors now use this site as a reference--some even daily--but others aren't familiar with it. The reason that I started the Coinapedia project last year was simple: I don't think there is enough high quality non-commercial information available for the collector of United States gold coins. So I decided to create an online coin encyclopedia that would, eventually, feature pictures and descriptions of nearly every issue of United States gold coin produced between 1795 and 1933.
Here's the catch: the coins that are pictured are ones that I have sold within the last two or three years. Instead of just cutting and pasting images from various websites and online resources, I wanted to use the talents of my assistant Jenna Van Valen, whose work is the best in the coin industry. I wanted the images to not only be good but to be consistent.
The descriptions of the coins are taken from the descriptions on my site when they were listed for sale. But I've tried to take out all commercial references and focus on the "meat." This makes Coinapedia a real on-line reference, not just fluff for my firm.
So where do we stand with Coinapedia as of the end of the Summer of 2011?
Gold Dollars are a strong area on the site with no less than 52 different images and descriptions. I anticipate that most of the branch mint gold dollars will be present within the next year or so. The common dates from the 1880's might actually be the last coins added as I rarely handle these.
There are now 95 images and descriptions of quarter eagles on Coinapedia, and I would expect that by the end of the year we will have well over a hundred different issues included.
Three Dollar gold pieces, despite being a favorite series of mine, are probably the weakest part of the Coinapedia site right now. There are just 30 issues represented. I hope to be up over 50 by the Spring of 2012.
By far the strongest part of the site are the half eagles with no less than 145 (!) images and descriptions included to date. While this denomination will, obviously, never be complete (I doubt that I will be handling an 1854-S any time soon...) it is, nonetheless, the best on-line reference for this denomination that currently exists.
The eagle denomination is shaping up nicely with 84 different issues currently included in Coinapedia. I expect this to become a very strong area of the site as eagles are a series that I actively buy and sell. There will be one area of weakness: the common With Motto issues from 1880 to 1907 aren't likely to be included as I seldom--if ever--handle these.
Given the fact that I am one of the leading market makers in double eagles, I expected there to be more than 76 issues represented by this time. The problem with this denomination is that many of the better double eagles that I buy get shipped out to buyers so quickly they never make it onto Jenna's camera stand for imaging. I promise to slow the process down a little bit and to make certain more of the prized Liberty Head double eagles that come through DWN are imaged for future reference!
I hope you will give the Coinapedia a try and see if you don't think its an invaluable reference. I would love your input about it and welcome emails to me at email@example.com.