For people who are fond of coin collection, their collection becomes one of their most prized possessions. Each coin they have tells a story- of the era it was minted in, what the world looked like during that time, and most importantly how they came in possession of it. Maybe it was through an exclusive foreign trip, an inheritance passed down from a dying uncle, or the first ever coin brought home by Dad as a gift. It is, more or less, a story in itself.
And hence, it is important to preserve this collection so it can be kept safe for generations to come. Else, if you plan to have the collection sold at some point, then its good condition will help you to fetch a higher price.
What stands in the way of preservation?
Except for gold coins, most coins are made of copper or silver. Both of these are substances sensitive to oxygen and can be deteriorated by a variety of easily-present outside elements.
Below are the top four factors which will work against you and your coins:
Sorry, you aren’t allowed to be butterfingers when you handle your coins. The resulting fall could lead to irreparable damage. To top it off, if you touch the coin directly, marks and oils will be left on the surface which will reduce their overall shine.
You would not be unfamiliar with how many chemicals and acids are present in the everyday items that surround us. These include wood furniture, cleaning solutions, vapors from cooking, packaging adhesives, etc. Even the coin collecting supplies which are made from cardboard and standard paper can harm your coins. Over time, the acid will seep out of these materials to tarnish copper and silver coins.
An almost ever-present factor, humidity is present in the environment around us to varying degrees and can trickle into everything. Do not be fooled by the promise of ‘airtight’ holders and spend a fortune on them. No holder is ever completely airtight.
Chlorine is bad for the appearance of your coins. If exposed to chlorine, coins can gain an unpleasant tone or even corrode.
The Safekeeping Guide
Now that you know what you are up against, you can take the appropriate steps to safeguard your collection. Below are two critical things you need to keep in mind:
- Choose the right placeAny place that is too hot or too cold is a big no-no for your collection. Avoid attics, basement, and rooms close to the kitchen and bathroom (else, hello humidity). Your bedroom would make for a suitable location. Inspect the location frequently to ensure your coins are in good shape.
- Choose the right containerSimply tossing your collection in a drawer, box, or jar is going to bring untold damage to them. So go ahead and invest in a good quality coin holder, coin folder, or coin album. Other options include:
- Acid-free envelopes
- Coin tubes
- AirTite binders
- Coin slabs
- Mylar protectors
Depending on the type of coins you have, you can store them in the right container and then in the right place.
Aware of the above tips, you can start taking better care of your coins and grow your collection by leaps and bounds. Here’s to the well-preserved and rare coin collection you are building!