Provenance Search

CoinCabinet's provenance search AI is a powerful tool for collectors and dealers to trace the history of their coins.

Sign up and get unlimited searches for free. Only pay when you've successfully found a match. Please see below for more information.

  • How does the CoinCabinet provenance search work?

    When you upload an image of a coin, the provenance search AI compares it to hundreds of thousands of images from old auction catalogues. Within ~90 seconds, it will return the top ten obverse and reverse matches. It is up to you to make the ultimate determination whether any matches are correct. You will only be asked for payment if you find a match and choose to view the provenance.

    The AI is trained to find exact matches only. If it cannot find any good matches, the top ten results may appear quite random; this is by design for the current model. Future versions of the model may behave differently.

  • How much does it cost?

    The provenance search is free to use. Full subscribers to CoinCabinet will see it embedded in the application. You are also welcome to use the feature on a standalone basis by clicking "Get Started With Provenance AI" below.

    Only pay when you've successfully found a match. Most of the provenances are $45. Pre-1950 provenances and others from certain elite sales are $60. Most auctions/sales between 1985-2000 are $25.

  • How accurate is the provenance search?

    Current metrics indicate >75% accuracy for either the obverse or reverse match to appear in the top ten. Most commonly it will find both the obverse and reverse. That is, if your coin is in the database, there is a >75% chance that the AI will find it. These metrics will improve as more provenances are found and the model is retrained.

  • What kind of technology is used?

    The provenance search uses a vision model trained with thousands of examples of present-day coin images matched to their old provenance images. This breakthrough technique solves for the wide variance in photography techniques across the last hundred years. As more provenances are found, more training data is created, and the model is retrained periodically to improve accuracy and speed.

  • How many catalogues are being searched?

    There are currently 765 auction catalogues and reference documents in the database, with more being added regularly. An emphasis is placed on acquiring pre-1970s catalogues; we expect to have most of the 886 catalogues in John Spring's work (Spink 2009) within the next 6 months. There are many catalogues from the 1980s and 1990s as well.

  • What kinds of coins are worth searching for?

    Older auction catalogues (pre-1970) tended to only publish images of the highest-value Greek and Roman coins, primarily because of the difficulty of photography and print.

    Here are some examples of coins that the provenance search is highly likely to find:

    • High-value Greek large denominations
    • Roman aurei
    • High quality sestertii or dupondii

    Here are some examples that are less likely, but still worth trying:

    • Common tetradrachms of Alexander or the Seleukid kings
    • Uncommon Roman Republican denarii
    • High-value Byzantine coins
    • Tiny denominations (the image resolution of tiny coins in old auctions can be a limiting factor)

    You are very unlikely to find matches for common denarii, late Roman bronzes, common Byzantine solidii, etc.

  • What if I make a mistake?

    Don't worry, it happens to all of us! If you accidentally purchase a provenance that you decide later is not actually a match, please email [email protected] and we will refund your purchase.

  • How can I contribute?

    If you have a library of catalogues that you would like to contribute to CoinCabinet, please contact us.

Provenance Search is Free to Use.

You do not need a full subscription to use the Provenance AI. Only pay for what you find.

Get started right away!


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