1.3. Best practices for coin care and storage
Storage tips for your coin collection
Preserve the value and longevity of your treasured coins
Your coin collection is not just an investment, but also a journey through history, art and culture. Proper storage is crucial to preserving the value and aesthetics of your collection. Below are some important storage tips and what to avoid to ensure your coins stay in top condition for years to come.
1. The Ideal Environment:
Temperature and Humidity: Store coins in a stable environment with constant temperature and humidity. Rapid fluctuations can cause coins to tarnish. Maintain room temperature and low humidity.
Light: Prolonged exposure to light, especially direct sunlight, can cause discoloration. Store your collection in a dark or dimly lit location.
2. Use the right mounts :
Coin Holders: These are individual plastic holders that are ideal for particularly valuable or unique coins. They allow a clear view of the coin while providing protection.
Coin Albums: These book-like folders are ideal for thematic collections. They provide an easy way to display and browse your coins.
Coin tubes: Tubes are very efficient for storing large quantities, especially coins of the same size. Make sure they are made of non-reactive materials.
Coin Plates: For coins of high value and of different grades, it is recommended to use coin plates – sealed plastic blocks that protect the coin from all environmental influences.
3. Materials to avoid:
PVC: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) can degrade over time and release acids that can damage coins. Always opt for PVC-free storage solutions.
Paper and cardboard: Some paper products contain sulfur, which can tarnish coins. If you use paper envelopes, make sure they are sulfur-free.
Rubber bands: These can decompose and release sulfur, which can cause tarnishing. Avoid using them near coins.
4. Handling your coins:
Wear gloves: Oils and dirt from your fingers can attack the surface of a coin. Therefore, always use cotton gloves. Hold the coin by the edges: Hold a coin by the edges to avoid touching the face.
Clean surface: When placing your coins, make sure the surface is clean and free of contaminants. To do this, use a soft cloth or pad.
5. Avoid cleaning:
Although you may be tempted to polish up an old coin, cleaning it can reduce its numismatic value. If you need to clean a coin, contact a professional to learn the best methods, or better yet, have your coin cleaned or restored by a professional PCGS or NGC service. The restoration service removes foreign materials that appear to have been intentionally added to the coin, including materials such as putty and grease commonly used by coin counterfeiters. In addition, contaminants caused by improper handling or storage, such as PVC and verdigris, are removed. It is also possible to remove fresh fingerprints.
Safe deposit box: A bank safe deposit box is ideal for particularly valuable collections. However, keep in mind that the coins may be exposed to moisture there.
Home Safe: A home safe provides easy access. Make sure it is both fireproof and waterproof.
7. Regularly review your storage methods:
As your collection grows and new storage solutions emerge, it is important to regularly review your storage methods and improve if necessary.
Storing coins may seem simple, but given the numerous materials and environments that can affect their condition, it’s important to take the time to store them properly. Whether you are a casual collector or an experienced numismatist, protecting your investment and the historical significance of your collection should always be a top priority.
Be careful when cleaning:
Seek advice first: If you think a coin needs cleaning, you should consult a professional first. Improper cleaning can drastically reduce a coin’s value.
Avoid Abrasives: Never use abrasive materials or solutions as they can scratch and damage the surface of the coin.
In conclusion, it can be emphasized that effective collection management requires both careful documentation and conscientious care so that each coin retains its value, aesthetics and historical relevance. By following these principles and continually expanding your knowledge of numismatics, you will secure and expand your legacy for future generations.
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