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The Princeton University Numismatic Collection

Database Fields

General information
Coin ID number: The sequential number giving the unique identification number for the piece in the database.
Collection: The collection within the University to which the piece belongs; the general collection is ‘Firestone’, coins from the Antioch excavations are ‘Antioch’, coins belonging to the Princeton University Art Museum are ‘Museum’, coins belonging to the Department of Near Eastern Studies are ‘Near Eastern Studies’. Named collections housed as a unit include ‘Newman,’ ‘Vermeule,’ and ‘Wu.’
Location: The physical location of the object within the Collection.

Issue Record
In general, this is the description of the attributes of a coin issue shared by various specimens.
Department: The general cultural context of the issue: i.e. Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Medieval, Islamic, Modern, United States, Latin America, Paper Money, Tokens, Medals, and Decorations.
Object: The functional definition of the piece: coin, medal, token, decoration, paper money
Denomination: Standard English names, using numbers for denominations over one but words for fractions, e.g. 4 drachms, drachm, half drachm.
Metal: Standard English terms: e.g. gold, electrum, bronze, orichalcum, billon.
Shape: If not round (or rectangular for paper money).
Color: For paper money, tokens, etc.
Edge: Description of milling or transcription of edge lettering.
First Date: The date after which the object was issued, in terms of CE [AD] system; dates BCE [BC] are entered as negative numbers. For coins bearing a date in the Hijra or other non-CE systems, the first year in the range of CE dates is given. For restrikes, this is the date of the actual manufacture of this specimen, if known.
Last Date: The date in range of issue.
Date of Object: The date of issue indicated on the object itself; not entered when it is the same as the First Date.
Non CE era: The name of the dating system other than BCE-CE.
Ruler:  Standard form of the name of the person identified on the object as its issuer. Forms of names follow standard Library of Congress usage, with regnal dates for rulers and life dates for artists.
Master: Name of responsible magistrate or mint master when indicated on coin.
Workshop: The designation of the workshop or officina as indicated on the coin.
Series: The designation of the series in numismatic discussion, e.g. ‘small flan,’ ‘pre-reform’.
Region. The English name for the largest political unit of a series of issues: Greece, Syria, France, China
State: The next geographical level below region, often called the province.
City: Usually the same as the name of the mint.
Type and Legend descriptions for Obverse and Reverse:
Figure: the name or identification (e.g. emperor) of the individual depicted, with description of the part of the person (e.g. bust), orientation (e.g. right), any further descriptive text and attributes.
Legend: A transcription of the text on the face of the coin, using as close to the original script as modern technology allows.
Artist: When known, in standard Library of Congress form of name.
Subject: When different from ruler; for events commemorated on pieces; categories of collecting, etc.
Reference: Standard and collectors’ references for the piece with full bibliographical citation. Short title abbreviation used for sort ordering is the most comprehensive standard catalogue, e.g. RIC, MEC, MIB.

Coin Description
Those aspects of the coin that vary from specimen to specimen.
Size: Diameter in millimeters. For approximately round pieces, largest diameter. For rectangular pieces given as height x width.
Die axis: Clock positions from 1 through 12.
Weight in grams: for holed, mounted, or otherwise incomplete pieces this field is left blank and the information is entered under Public Information.
Technique: If not struck for western coins and cast for Asian.
Counter Stamp: Description and reference; for overstrikes, the overtype is entered as the coin issue, and the description of the undertype is entered here.
Analysis: Results, method and date of scientific analysis of contents.
Public Information: Any other information on this specimen.
Find: Location, find date, feature and locus information on excavation or other findspot of this specimen.
Accession: Information on the source from which Princeton received the piece.
Provenance: Information on known earlier collections for the piece, generally before that of the donor or vendor to Princeton.
Coin Reference: Reference for published information or illustration of this specimen (as opposed to the issue referenced in the general Reference field).


Alan Stahl
Curator of Numismatics
(609) 258-9127

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2001 Princeton University Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, New Jersey 08544 USA
Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
Email: rbsc@princeton.edu 
Tel: (609) 258-3184
Fax: (609) 258-2324

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 Last modified September 6, 2006