When pressed coins first start appearing at Walt Disney World, they seemed like a great cheap souvenir to get. In the beginning, there wasn't that many and since they were just souvenirs, there didn't seem to be a need to catalog or properly store them. As more coins appeared, we started a simple database to basically keep track of the locations and what designs were available. At the time, we really didn't see a need to catalog them since we still considered them to be souvenirs.
Our first attempt at cataloging them was nothing more than putting the coins in a holder and writing what location it came from. This worked for awhile, but it was getting more difficult to keep up with them as more coins kept appearing. Our first attempt at using a catalog system was to use what somebody else had already started. Over the years, we've probably seen at least a dozen different catalog systems come and go. The problems we had with trying to use a catalog system that somebody else developed was that the catalog numbers would change and we usually had to wait a long time for a number to be assigned for new coins. The biggest problem was that many catalog systems just stopped being updated which made them totally obsolete.
It eventually became apparent that if we were going to continue to try and use a catalog numbering system that it would be best for us to develop our own. What we were calling cheap souvenirs in the beginning had now become more of a hobby. Using catalog numbers to help keep up with them made sense to us. We realize that there are a lot of collectors that feel they don't need to use catalog numbers. One thing we know about this hobby is to do whatever works best for you.
Many years ago, we started assigning very basic catalog number to the coins we had. By that time, we were also keeping more information about the coins we had in our database. Eventually, it occurred to us that we should also put coins we didn't have in our database. We were already getting pictures of coins we didn't have from other collectors or saving pictures of the coins we saw on eBay. It made sense to add our "Wish List" to our database. Doing this created a little dilemma, since in the past we were trying to assign catalog numbers in the same order that the coins appeared. We could do what some people had done and renumber the catalog numbers or change the catalog numbering increment from 1 to 10 or 100 to allow insertion of numbers. Then the question was what do you do with the coins where nobody seems to know when or where a coin came from? The approach that we took was that it really doesn't matter if the catalog numbers are in date order as long as a catalog number doesn't change and a particular design can be referenced.
When Presscoins.com was started, we were glad we already had catalog numbers assigned to every design in our database. This catalog number is used to retrieve the information and images on our website. For a long time, our catalog number was only used in the background and our visitors probably didn't even notice it. Some eBay auctions started putting links to our website, but it would be easier if they could put a link directly to the coin that they have for auction. In addition to displaying our catalog numbers, we have also added the ability to do a search by entering our catalog number. If you enter EPC0082 in our search box, it will retrieve the information and image for that catalog number.
Our main catalog numbers is nothing more than a 2 or 3 characters prefix to identify the location within Walt Disney World and a 4 digit serial number. The commemorative quarter series are each given their own prefix of the year the celebration started. The serial number is separated by a hyphen and is only 2 digits instead of 4 like the main catalog numbers have. Whenever, a new coin is added to our database, it's given whatever the next serial number is. It doesn't matter if it's a new coin or an old coin that was just discovered. The prefix that is used is based on the name of the location at the time the coin was believed to be first available. Below are the prefixes used in our catalog numbers: