Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How and Where to Store a Coin Collection

storing coins

Collecting coins is an enjoyable pastime and one that has potential investment value if done properly. Information on how to store a coin collection is valuable for anyone engaged in this hobby, as improper storage can significantly degrade the quality/value of the coins in your collection. Guidelines on how to display a coin collection are also important to understand, as displaying your valued treasures in, for example, holders made from PVC will typically cause gradual destruction of a coin’s quality and appearance.

Storing Coins in Holders, Folders and Albums

While gold coins are an exception, most coins are made using combinations containing silver and/or copper, which are both quite reactive. Knowing how to store silver coins is critical. Unless properly protected, most coins will fall prey to various environmental factors, including humidity, air pollution, and various oils and acids. Add to this the single most damaging factor affecting your coin collection, improper handling. When handling valuable coins one should only hold them by the edges and, if possible, only with gloved hands. This will prevent acids on your skin from contaminating the coin surface.

Most coin collectors know that simply keeping their coins in an old box, dresser drawer or glass jar will cause them harm. You may not know, however, that many coin folders, holders and albums, though sold specifically for the purpose of protecting the coinage they hold, may also be responsible for doing some damage themselves. Holders made from cardboard and/or PVC, for example, may contaminate your coins with acids or chlorine, which can cause toning, corrosion and even pitting. Mylar or other hard plastics, however, don’t have this problem and should be considered for both the safe storage and display of your coins.

Storage Locations

Besides keeping your coins in quality protective holders, folders or albums, the location of where to put the containers is also important. Some with valuable collections may opt to keep them in a safety deposit box at their bank, although this adds expense and somewhat defeats the purpose of having a collection that’s locked away and rarely viewed. A better choice may be a home safe or metal lock-box. Coins should be kept at room temperature and should not be subjected to high humidity.


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