Coin collecting as competition never occurred to me before it was invented.
Third-party grading services created a space where one coin collector can post a collection against another to see which one is best.
I had always known that we coin collectors liked to have bragging rights.
Being the first to get a new date is fun.
Being first to fill all the holes in a Whitman album I remember fondly as a kid.
But the kid remains in all of us collectors long after the gray hair sprouts.
This was proven by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation when it created its NGC Registry in 2001.
What new heights will an upgraded service reach?
Let’s look at NGC’s stellar achievements since 2001.
The NGC Registry now has more than 1 million coins registered.
If such a number of individual listings were put in book form, the result would be a volume to rival the old phone directories of major cities.
These million coins are arranged logically in 110,000 sets.
Now I know that one person can have more than one set, but it is still staggering to see a number so large.
How many individuals have assembled these Registry sets?
The answer is 12,000.
That is half the membership of the American Numismatic Association, the largest organized group of coin collectors.
With the upgrade, it is clear that NGC wants to attract newcomers to equal the other half of the ANA membership number.
Is this doable?
NGC says its new Registry is "built like an elegant photo album. It showcases coins and collections from around the world to their best possible advantage.
"(Further), to help users display their coins, the new NGC Registry has made images of more than 15 million NGC-certified coins available for free to NGC Registry participants."
"The new NGC Registry uses the latest technologies to seamlessly resize for smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
"It has also dramatically simplified the process to add coins and create new sets."
In other words, that means it's easy to use.
The head of the firm is justifiably proud.
This is the bragging right of all bragging rights.
Mark Salzberg, NGC chairman and grading finalizer, says “The recent upgrades make the NGC Registry easier and more fun, and we look forward to making additional improvements in the future.”
What might be coming?
NGC says the old version of NGC Registry will remain fully functional at its familiar location on Collectors-Society.com.
"For example, Custom Sets are not yet built in the new NGC Registry and will continue to be on Collectors-Society.com until this work is completed."
While we pat Mark on the back this morning, we can look forward to more reasons to do so in the future.
Nice start to 2019, isn’t it?
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017. He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
- Like this blog? Read more by subscribing to Numismatic News.