Computers have truly become a vital part of our lives with an estimated 85 million homes currently owning one. Accompanying this explosive growth in the computer market have been software developers producing high-quality programs designed to meet a wide variety of needs and special applications. In addition to my passion for treasure hunting, I am extremely interested in computers. So, when fellow treasure hunter Paul Casey told me about a program designed specifically for coin collectors, my interest was immediately piqued. (Paul had previously reviewed an older version of the program in the August/September 1991 issue of Treasure Facts.)
Coin Elite was developed by W. Richard Smith, who is not only the owner and lead programmer of Trove Software, but is an active coin collector himself. His understanding of what information is important to numismatists has allowed him to develop a program which gathers this information in an easy-to-use format. After spending a few minutes talking to him over the phone, I could tell that a great deal of thought had gone into the ongoing development of Troves programs.
There are several versions of Coin Elite available depending on the particular operating system you use; i.e., Windows, DOS, or Macintosh; or program options that you need. I tested the Windows version; however, many of the features are common to the versions for the other two operating systems. The program is installed with the same interface most Windowsbased programs use which made the installation quite simple. Clicking on the Coin Elite icon created during the installation process brings up the database selection screen. Trove Software offers users with the choice of four database options when purchasing Coin Elite depending on what their particular interests or needs are. The U.S. Regular Issues database contains information on 3,700+ coins starting from 1793 to the present. Types of coins range from half cents to $20 gold pieces and include all mint and proof sets. Other databases available include U.S. Commemoratives, Canadian Coins, and Mexican Coins. A generic database entitled World Coins is included with the purchase of Coin Elite and allows users to catalog any type of coin in their collection.
For each operating system, Trove Software offers three versions of the program. Most of the features such as input screens, reports, and sorting capabilities are common to all three versions. Version 1 includes descriptions of each coin in the database (1.e.; coin type, mint mark, and variety), automatic typing capabilities for completing common data fields, and current retail prices for all possible grades. Version 2 is identical except for not having the built-in prices. The Jr. version lacks these three features but is otherwise identical to version 1. Updates are available on a semi-annual basis for the nominal price of $10 and include current prices for all of the coins in the specific data base as well as the most current version of the program. The update process will not affect any of the data you have entered or custom reports you may have developed. Bringing up the Edit screen allows you to enter information regarding a specific coin. The 24 data fields provided include date, mint mark, description, grade, quantity, value, cost, comments, dealer, date bought, location, serial number, date sold, sold to, sold for, and a free-form memo field. For use as a treasure hunting tool I found it quite useful to enter the site at which I found the coin in the Location field, when I found it in the Date Bought field, metal detector used in the Comments field, and details about the site such as ground conditions, target depth, owners name/telephone number, and travel directions in the Memo field.
The World Coin database, which is included with Coin Elite at no additional charge, not only allows you to keep track of coins other than the type included in the database you purchased initially, but other types of finds such as tokens, relics, jewelry, bottles, etc. By quickly creating a category for whatever type of item you might find through a single key-stroke, your entire collection can be maintained through the use of single program. I even created a category entitled Treasure Hunting Equipment and am using it to keep track of all of my equipment for income tax and insurance purposes.
The Reporter function allows users to choose from a number of possible report options. Reports can be sent to your printer, to the screen, or to a disk file for use in another program such as a word processor. The Design Query feature allows you to define exactly what information will be included in the report. For example, if you want to see your collection sorted by the area each item was found or obtain a listing of where youve found jewelry or silver coins before, Coin Elite can produce these types of reports almost effortlessly. In addition, Trove Software has included a Visual Report Designer module with Coin Elite which allows you to develop customized reports quite easily. Even though the program was designed for coin collectors, you can produce reports that have descriptions such as Metal Detector Used, Site Location, and John Does 1995 Treasure Hunting Finds associated with specific data fields. SUMMARY
Whether youre a dedicated coin-hunter or simply find coins in your day-to-day searches of ghost towns, bottle dumps, or old beaches, Trove Softwares Coin Elite program is well worth investigating. Through the use of the Add a Category feature, treasure hunters can use this one program to keep track of a wide variety of finds and even their personal equipment. In addition to enabling you to quickly catalog your collection, Coin Elite will improve your success rate in the field by helping you identify specific areas that have produced well in the past and may be worth revisiting when ground conditions change or when you upgrade your equipment. Professional coin collectors and dealers will also find Coin Elite to be a reasonably priced investment that will greatly enhance their ability to keep track of their changing inventory.
Having tried other commercially available coin-cataloging programs at several of the large coins shows Ive attended over the past few years, I can honestly say that Coin Elite is by far the most economical, versatile and user-friendly program currently on the market. This, combined with the 102 page manual and unlimited technical support offered by Trove Software makes Coin Elite an unbeatable value.
If you want to try the program before buying it, a demonstration disk is available that is identical to the actual program except that it limits the number of coins you can enter. The disk sells for $5 and the cost will be applied towards the purchase price of the full version. All of the programs offered by Trove Software come with a 30-day money back guarantee. To request additional information on their entire line of computer programs, order a demonstration disk, or purchase a version of Coin Elite, contact Trove Software at (800) 548-8901 or write to them at P.O. Box 218, Olathe, KS 66051. Be sure to mention that you read about this highly effective program in Treasure Facts.