We are looking at two options for inventory design. I wanted to get some opinions about both options. To give you a little background; this is a retail system, which users can buy and sell unique items - Coins, Currency, Bullion, and Books.
We have Type Set reference tables for Coins, Currency, Bullion, and, books. These tables contain predefined attribute values based on unique number or type. These reference tables allows users to quickly input a unique number and pre-populate the inventory entry screen with the predefined item's attribute.
Now, for storing the inventory record in the database. We can either do, Option #1 - We record items attribute values pulled from the typed reference tables or Option #2 - we store the primary Key ID from that typed reference table.