Any avid coin collecting enthusiast, or even the more serious and devoted numismatist certainly has a good idea just how important their collection is. Should you be someone who may be thinking of starting a collection, then you need to consider getting a few ideas on how to protect and store your coins, just like the pros do. Taking the proper and necessary precautions to safely secure these valuable items not only ensures the integrity of your collection, but protects the investment of both time and money as well.
Over the long haul, through repeated handling and storage of your coins, a good amount of damage from ordinary wear and tear takes place, and once this happens, the effects are usually permanent. As a result, and as the years go by, the overall quality of your collection will suffer, leaving fewer and fewer coins in the best of condition.
When you compare the total investment of your collection against the cost of purchasing the right storage supplies, tools and handling devices, there really is no smarter nor more financially sound choice to make. There are certainly numerous products that exist throughout the hobby supply industry that claim to provide the most beneficial storage and protection options for coin collecting, but here is our own list of storage tips we think would qualify to be placed in the top ten.
#1 Selecting a High Quality Coin Holder, Album or Folder
One of the most damaging storage practices to any coin collection is using any type of old shoe or cigar box to store them in. Rule number one is to acquire top quality coin holders or folders, and depending on the size or series of your specific coins, a nice album to feature and display your collection. Always make sure that the album or other container uses only acid-free archival components or materials.
#2 Choose a Good Storage Location
Choosing the safest and most secure environment for your collection is equally as important as what you store the coins in. This environment should be just as suitable for your collection as it would be for a human being. This means you must not subject your collection to any temperature or humidity extremes such as in a basement or attic. It is also advisable not to keep your collection stored near a kitchen due to smoke or grease issues.
#3 The Security of a Safety Deposit Box
While this may prove to be a little costly, probably the best and safest place to store a coin collection is in a safety deposit box inside of your nearest bank or credit union. Bank vaults are naturally designed to protect valuables against theft or even fire, though some vaults are constructed with moisture-producing materials or mechanisms to inhibit fire. This issue can be eliminated as a risk to your coin collection by making use of silica gel packs to absorb this moisture.
#4 A Convenient Home or Office Safe
Next to a bank vault or safety deposit box, installing a good quality safe in a den or office is a great place to store your collection. It is certainly more convenient and far less costly than a vault at a bank. If this safe is constructed with the same moisture-emitting components, then the silica gel packs are the best bet in this environment as well.
#5 A Metal Storage Cabinet or Container
Any lockable container or storage cabinet made of metal is significantly better than those made of wood. This is because wood products and materials can emit damaging chemicals or by-products from the coatings or adhesives used to fabricate them. These harmful emissions or residues are then released into the atmosphere immediately surrounding your collection.
#6 Utilize a Flat Cinch Stapler
In the coin storage devices department, this item is extremely important. Quite a bit of damage to coins results from the scratches caused by staples when they are not completely flattened or ‘cinched’. Conventional staples are left somewhat curled, and remain elevated above the surface. This naturally causes the scratches to occur on any adjacent coin, or from natural shifting that takes place in any storage container. Flat cinch staples are designed to compress completely once fully fastened to eliminate this type of unnecessary damage.
#7 The Critical Need for Gloves
Fingerprints on coins is another cause of coin damage. There are minute quantities of oils and acids on the human hand, and these substances will accumulate and subsequently damage your coins over time. Fingerprints will eventually create toned areas on the surface of the coin which, when combined with the acids and oils present, will cause coins to not only be unattractive in appearance, but will certainly decrease their grade and value as well. Thin gloves made of a soft cotton material will prevent this, as well as provide a good degree of sensitivity while the coins are being handled.
#8 The Importance of Silica Gel
One of the most destructive elements to any coin collection is the presence of water, which naturally plays havoc with any type of metal. It is the moisture in the environment caused by humidity that will cause the damage over a period of time. The use of silica gel will go a long way in preventing this by absorbing any moisture in proximity of your coins or storage area. Make sure to purchase enough silica gel to allow for the total size of your storage compartment.
#9 The Intercept Shield Coin Albums
These great albums work not only as a perfect storage and display device, but as an important coin preservation tool as well. The album is constructed with critical acid-free archival components that completely inhibit the damage caused by other album brands made without these features. These albums are made with a protective barrier called Intercept Shield that is built within the linings and cover to absorb the harmful chemicals in the environment before they can affect your coins.
#10 The Intercept Shield Snaplock Holders
These 2×2 snap together holders contain an innovative corrosion-preventing compound that is critical for safe storage of copper, nickel, silver and gold coins. The Intercept insert inside each holder will neutralize any harmful gases in the environment that may cause your coins to discolor or tarnish. These holders do not contain the volatile additives or oils present in ordinary vinyl holders, and therefore won’t contaminate your valuable coins like other lesser quality brands.