The Certified Registry - A Clearer View

Posted on 8/26/2002

Our intention for the Certified Registry (CR) has been to develop a system that could adapt itself for the good of the numismatic community. Toward that end we have improved and expanded it on an ongoing basis. The newest round of changes is fairly extensive, designed based on feedback from the participants, and makes the CR more "playable" than ever before.

In developing the CR, three goals were always kept in mind:

  1. Make it fun. Provide a site where collectors could share their collections and knowledge in an easy, fun, and enthusiastic way.
  2. Make it accurate. Provide a scoring system as capable as possible of addressing all of the nuances inherent in the science of numismatics.
  3. Make it about the coins. Provide an environment where collectors could compare their collections, but which would at the same time maintain a focus on the coins themselves rather than on the ranking system around them.

The biggest change you'll notice in the CR is that we are now displaying the actual scores for sets and coins. Originally these scores were not displayed in detail. This was done as a way to make sure that the CR was about the coins and not the system. As people used the system, however, it became clear that deciding what coins to pursue among the various choices was tough. It might be that a participant finds two coins equally appealing, but all other things being equal, would like to acquire the one that helps his CR set the most.

Our advice before we revealed the scoring was buy the coin and not the holder and certainly not the score. Our advice was that the passion of collecting is about pleasing yourself, not about points on a score board or plastic around the coin.

That is unequivocally STILL our advice.

But we have acknowledged the practicality of wanting to know how your collecting choices will impact your ranking. Thus, the decision has been made to display the scores.

All of that having been said, we would like to make a few more points about the CR.

First, it is important to understand that while there are many absolutes in the field of numismatics, there are many more areas of gray when it comes to comparing the worth of one coin to another. Neither the CR nor any other system imaginable could possibly tailor-fit the personal views of each collector about how to rank and score coins. The best system we can hope for is one that by-and-large satisfies the participants. In an endeavor as subjective as some of this is, that means that there will be many areas of contention. Please remember that no matter how certain any one person is about how the scores could be better adjusted, it is in many cases a virtual certainty that we could quickly locate three other seasoned experts in that specialty of collecting that would disagree with you.

Second, it is important to understand the sheer volume of data being handled. It may seem obvious to you that in coin X for grades A and B the scores are all wrong, but to us these are two scores from among the 201,956 individual scores currently stored in our database (a number that grows with each new type of set). We try to be as responsive as possible about issues, but that doesn't mean we can make each raised issue a top priority.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, the CR is not a system that was created in isolation from you, the collector. It was created by you and because of you. It uses information and perspectives that the collecting community has created through the very action of collecting. In many instances it functions in a way that the collecting community has asked for it to function. The CR has been and is a labor of love by coin people for coin people. Each of you as much as us can contribute to its health and competence.

The CR cannot make each single person happy in all instances. It cannot be perfect. But it can be as good as we can make it. And that includes the contributions of the participants as well as the designers.

Ok. Now. What's new?!

  1. The scores show!
  2. The new default page loaded when you click on the Registry link now shows a listing of all the sets that have been changed in the last 3 days, from most recent to least recent. It will show you the set score, the percent completion, the date it was updated, and the cumulative change in score from that day.
  3. The set lists now show two icons with each set. A camera and a sheet of paper. The camera indicates (as before) that this set has coins with pictures attached. The sheet of paper indicates that this set has coins with user descriptions filled out.
  4. When you drill into a particular set, the list of set coins shows you if each coin has a photo or a note, when that coin was added to the set, and how many points that coin is worth.
  5. As always, you can click on a coin's ID number to see that coin's details. Now, however, you can also click on the SLOT that coin is in. This will display a list of all the coins that are allowed in this slot, and what the scores are for each of the possible grades.
  6. Once you are looking at the possible coins in a slot and their scores, you can click on the description on that coin to view the NGC population.

We invite you to play around with the system and give us feedback. As always, we hope to make the CR as good as it can be.

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