Pictures and images on Numista

Written on June 24, 2013 • Last edit: July 5, 2019
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Obverse, reverse and sometimes edge pictures of coins of the catalogue often facilitate the identification and comparison of variants, both through coin files and forum. A picture is worth a thousand words! As long as we are authorized to use it and that it is properly prepared.

Here you will find useful information about images on Numista; from usage rights to how to publish an image on a file through the essential steps of cropping.

Usage rights
Preparing images
Publishing images

Usage rights

Numista is based on a simple principle: images published both in the catalogue and on the forum remain the property of their authors. For this purpose, any image on coin files shall be accompanied by a © reference as well as a hypertext link to the member's profile or to the site of the organization that authorized the publication.

So you can publish your own images without problems but will have to get permission from the author before you can publish images that are not yours. In addition, images on Numista can not be used for commercial purposes.

In order to facilitate the development of the catalogue, a list of organizations that have already granted Numista the right to use their images is available here. You can therefore use images from these organizations on Numista without having to ask for authorization first; you only need to specify the source when adding an image to a file of the catalogue. If you want to add a source to this list, you can transfer the proof of authorization to a catalogue administrator, or ask for help on the forum to get this permission.

When publishing an image from an authorized organization, it is requested not to remove any watermarks identifying the author of the image. This may be less aesthetic but is a matter of respect for Numista vis-à-vis these partner organizations.

If you think that an image on Numista does not respect these rules of use, do not hesitate to post it on the Numista Catalogue forum.

Preparing images

Clipping and cropping


Several choices are available to you to take pictures according to the material and resources you have. You can of course take an image of a website that allows Numista to use its images or take pictures of your own coin, either by taking a photograph or by scanning your coin.

In all cases, it is important to favor a high resolution in order to obtain a clear image making it possible to identify all the details of the coin. A resolution of 720dpi will give very good images; a resolution of 1500dpi will ensure optimal image and crisp details even after magnification.

In addition to the resolution of the image, its size also matters. An image of high quality but 150 pixels by 150 pixels will not be a good addition. The minimum suggested size on Numista is 600 pixels by 600 pixels; the optimal size suggested on Numista is 1400 pixels by 1400 pixels. Do not worry, the site takes care of resizing the image for displaying thumbnails on the file.

If you choose to take a photograph of your coin, make sure you:
  1. Place your coin on a solid background, such as on your table top or on a white sheet, and avoid checkered tablecloths, kitchen rags, transparent tables, etc.
  2. If you keep your coins in holders or cases, take your coin out of the holder before taking the photograph.
  3. Make sure to take the photograph as close to the coin as possible, with as little background as possible on the final shot.
  4. Take a photograph of sufficient size to see the coin and its details; the larger the image, the better it will identify the coin.
  5. Do not use the flash of your device, it will only add reflections to the reliefs of your coin.
  6. Favor indirect lighting so as not to add reflections to the reliefs on your photograph.

Clipping and cropping

While a picture is worth a thousand words, it is still necessary that the main object of the image is correctly put forward. Even if the tablecloth of your grandmother is beautiful, only the coin interests us and not what is around. A small clipping and cropping of your image may then be necessary.

For this you can use any software or image processing program. Below we show you the basic steps to follow with GIMP, a free program available here and supported by the majority of operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, GNU/Linux, etc.).

Once the program is downloaded and installed, open your raw image file with GIMP. For illustration purposes, we start from the image below which obviously can not be added as is.

We have to isolate the obverse and reverse that are here on the same image and get rid of these black features surrounding the image. To do this, select the Ellipse tool, highlighted in red at the top left on the image below. With the tool now enabled, select the area of the image you want to keep. This implies that the part of the coin (obverse or reverse) must be entirely inside the selection square as shown below. If a part of the coin is outside the selection square, simply place your mouse on a corner of the square to stretch the selection area.

The part we want to keep is now selected, but rather roughly. To refine our selection, use the GIMP magnification tool, highlighted in red on the following image.

The magnification will allow you to refine your selection by moving the limits of the selection square. For example, moving the side of the square to the left as suggested by the arrow below.

Now that your selection is refined, create a new file in GIMP. The size of this new file is not important because we will then crop the image, and for simplicity you can use the same size as your original file or larger to be more comfortable. Depending on your configuration, you can do this quickly by using keyboard shortcut Ctrl + N on Windows or Cmd + N on Mac.

Once this new file created, you will see it then appear in miniature, framed in red on the image below. While staying on the image file on which you have just refined your selection, right click on the image and select Cut in the menu that opens. The area you have selected disappears from the image as shown below. You can also do this faster by using keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + X on Windows or Cmd + X on Mac.

Select the new file you created (remember the red frame above), then right-click in the new file and select the Paste option. The selection that you made disappear from your initial file, then appears on the new one. You can also do this faster by using the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + V on Windows or Cmd + V on Mac.
You can now select the cropping tool, framed in red on the left below. Once the tool is active, and as for the Ellipse tool used at the beginning, select an area of ​​this new file which obviously includes the image of the coin.
Note that if GIMP prevents you from selecting an area of ​​the image, it indicates that the image you just pasted is locked. To unlock it, simply click on the small checkerboard, framed in red on the right on the image below. You can then use the cropping tool without problems.

Once the area is selected, you can then refine the selection to be cropped by adjusting the selection square to the room on the image. The image below shows the fit of the square on the right but not yet on the left nor on the top or bottom.

When your selection is correctly adjusted to the coin as shown below, simply press the Enter key on your keyboard.

You have finished clipping and cropping your image and can now save it or export it in a format of your choice via the File menu of GIMP.

This method allows you to easily and quickly clip and crop round coins. For other shapes, you can use the different GIMP selection tools instead of the Ellipse one, including the Rectangle or Free Selection tool. These will then allow you to adjust your selection on the raw image used at the beginning; the following steps remaining the same as those illustrated above.


Numista voluntarily supports a limited number of image formats but still the main formats. Images added to Numista must use a JPEG or PNG or GIF format, so the names of your image files must end with .jpg or .png or .gif.

Graphic Interchange Format
Image format very used to create avatars and animated. Compressed without losses.

  • Small-sized file.
  • Can deal with transparency.

  • Only deals with 256 colors.
  • Requires specific program to create animated.

Joint Photographic Experts Group
Best known file format. Offers unparalleled compression rates.

  • Adjustable file size via compression ratio.
  • Universal format read by all digital devices.

  • Cannot deal with transparency.
  • Degradation of quality with a high compression ratio.
Portable Network Graphic
Format very present on the Internet. Competitor of the JPEG.

  • Can deal with transparency.
  • Enables lossless compression of data.

  • Bigger-sized file than JPEG.
  • Less universal than JPEG.

The majority of image processing programs will allow you to save or export your image in various formats including the most common ones supported by Numista. If your program does not allow it, you can also use one of the many online platforms to convert the format of an image like this one.

Note that the quality and format of your image will affect the size of the corresponding file. For practical reasons, Numista limits image files to 5 MB.

Publishing images

Uploading an image to a file
Adding an image to a comment
Publishing an image to forum

Uploading an image to a file

Now that we have well prepared images, we can easily add them to the file that corresponds to the coin.

To start, click on the Modify or add information about this coin link at the bottom of the coin file to open the edition page.

Scroll down to the part gathering the information concerning the obverse, the reverse or the edge of the coin according to the image that you wish to add. At the bottom of the corresponding section, you will see the mention Photo. To select the image you want to add, click the Choose File button next to it; a window will open, allowing you to search and then select the image on your computer.

Once your image is selected, its name will appear next to the Choose Filebutton. An asterisk also appears on the line below at the end of Source of the photo.

Before submitting your add request, it is important to indicate the source of the image you want to add. To do this, click on the dropdown menu next to Source of the photo. Three options are available to you.

If the image you add is an image of your coin, you can select the first choice I made the picture myself. A text field will appear below, allowing you to enter your name or nickname if you wish.

If you have taken the image from a website, you must first make sure that it is part of the list of sites that authorized Numista to use their images. This list is available here at any time. If your image actually comes from a site in the list, you can then select the option I copied the picture from a website that gave permission. A dropdown menu will appear below with the complete list of authorized sites.

Click on the dropdown menu to open the list and select the one from which your image comes from by clicking on its name.

If the image you want to add comes from another source, you can then select the third option The photo comes from somewhere else. A text field appears below allowing you to indicate the name of the source that will be displayed below the image once it is published. Watch out, to use this option you must still have the permission of the author of the image.

Your image and its source are now added and you just have to go to the bottom of the edit page to indicate any information about the source or the reason for your change request (image added, image replaced, etc.).

Operation is similar when you want to add an image, for example of better quality, to a file. Simply select the New picture option as shown below.

The operation is the same for the obverse, the reverse and the edge, Reverse and Edge sections being simply further on the edit page than the Obverse one. Remember that the obverse of a coin bears the indications to identify the issuer of the coin (name of the country, coat of arms, etc.) but not necessarily the face value or the main drawing of the coin. If you notice that the obverse and reverse images of a file are reversed, you can open the edit page and select the option Exchange obverse and reverse pictures as illustrated above.

Remember that the obverse and the reverse must be added in two separate images, not on a single image. The image of the edge should be horizontal and not vertical.

Adding an image to a comment

If you want to add an image to the Comments section of the page of a coin, open the page for editing it in the same way as described above for adding images of obverse, reverse and edge.

Once you have opened the edit page, go to the Comments section and click on the image button just above the text field where you can write a comment.

A window opens from which you can add your image. To do this, click the Choose File button as shown below. A window will open allowing you to search and select the image on your computer.

When your image is selected, its name appears next to the Choose File button. Just click the Send button below.

Your image is then added to the comment section via a code starting with [img mini] and ending with [/img].

If you wish, you can then add under the image the mention of your name, your nickname or the source that authorized the use of this image.

All you need to do is submit your change request by going down to the bottom of the page and clicking Submit after indicating the reasons for your request.

Publishing an image to forum

If you want to add an image to one of your publications on the forum, all you need to do when creating your message is click the icon representing a landscape with a green sign +, framed in red in the image below.

A window will open allowing you to select the image on your computer. When your image is selected and you click Add or Open depending on your computer configuration, the image is automatically added to your publication.

To add an image to a specific place in your publication, simply place your cursor (as if you wanted to type text) at the desired location and proceed as explained above.