In this case 1:1 is better, i.e. closer focusing. With 1:1 you could take a picture of a coin, develop your film, place the coin on the film, and the coin in real life would be exactly the same size as the coin on film.
With the 1:2.9 ratio lens, the coin on film would be 2.9 times smaller than the real coin. (I completely stole this analogy from here
. You may wanna check it out.)
If you can find something where the first number is bigger in the ratio instead of the second, that'd get you even closer (the example wikipedia has is 5:1).
Hope this helps!