Donald H. Kagin, Ph.D., has been collecting coins, cataloging pieces, and working in numismatic­s for more than 60 years. And during his decades in the industry, he has learned the great value in memorializ­ing his inventory and transactio­ns in the form of records. “Probably the primary reason to keep records is ultimately related to taxes,” he says. “When it’s time to sell – presumably at a profit – having those cost records will be critical. But, secondly, if you are pursuing a collection, you want to keep track of what you have or need so you can be prepared to use that informatio­n at shows, auctions, or anywhere else you are to acquire material.” Kagin notes that records of what’s in your collection can help form the basis of numismatic wish lists that will help you acquire what’s presently not on the ledger. “Share those records with your preferred dealers to allow them to help you source hard-to-find dates.” For those who plan to build bullion-based individual retirement accounts (IRAs), Kagin says one of the key things to jot down and keep in safe storage are cost records. “You also need to be able to prove that your coins qualify for inclusion in your IRA. Records of what you bought can help prove that your assets are in compliance within the scope of the tax-deferred account.” Kagin also recommends taking photograph­s of coins submitted to custodians, such as pieces submitted to an o site depository for IRA-related storage or sent to a third-party grading service. Photos also help when making claims on an insurance policy. And when it comes to obtaining numismatic insurance? “Get replacemen­t-cost insurance, not insurance based on your cost, and in very few years you should get an updated independen­t replacemen­t appraisal. Keep that formal appraisal with your coins.” The level of detail you include in these records may vary depending on what assets you’re documentin­g and what your purposes are for doing so. “But make sure you get (at least) annual reports, appraisals, and that, if you want, who can have access to your coins in a timely fashion.” There are plenty of methods for keeping all of these records straight, including apps and programs. “Some are more sophistica­ted than others depending on the complexity of the material and how much informatio­n you want to carry above and beyond what’s on the certificat­ion tag and what you paid, when, and from whom,” remarks Kagin. “You should go online and find the appropriat­e program that works for you.”

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