When you first start out in the fascinating hobby of coin collecting, you may not give enough due consideration to the aspect of where and how you store your coins. There is always the erroneous tendency to assume that just because coins are durable, and many of them have survived for centuries, that no special care needs to be taken of them. That is a total misconception that could have grave consequences, if you do not take the trouble to learn the methods that established experienced collectors use to preserve and enjoy their collections.

Hardly any beginners give enough consideration to the environment in which the coins are to be stored. Most indoor environments will have the necessary moderate temperature, but consideration also needs to be given to humidity levels. These should ideally be as low as possible. Many experts recommend the use of silica gel packets in the maintaining of a suitable humidity level.

There are many different types of containers available for storing coins of every different grade. Common coins without any great investment value can be stored in just about any kind of packet. Glass or plastic jars, plastic or paper bags, or cardboard boxes will suffice for most circulated coins.

It is common for collectors to use paper packets or envelopes for storing individual coins, but you do have to be very careful in doing this. Envelopes, which have not been specially made for the purpose of holding coins, can easily cause discolouration. This is because of harmful chemicals contained in the paper. Use of special packets from numismatic suppliers will eliminate, or at least reduce, this problem.

Many common types and series of coins can be stored in special folders specifically made for them. Again the danger here is, as they are meant for cheap coins, the materials will contain chemicals that in time will discolour and degrade the coins. These types of folders are rarely use by experienced collectors for the higher grades of coin.


Plastic appears, on the face of it, to offer the best solution. If anything, cheap plastic that contains PVC can be even worse. This material will eventually decompose, and this will ruin the surface of any stored coins completely. If you are going to use plastic, make sure that it is an acetate or Mylar and will not decompose. Even then, because the surface is hard you have to be very careful in handling the coins; especially with inserting and removing them from the packets. This is a reasonably economical choice for medium value coins that will not be moved in and out of the packets.

Mylar lined cardboard is also available, and pretty much the same considerations apply here. Again it is best suited to the middle range of coins, that will always be stored in that same packet.

Plastic tubes are useful economical storage for coins which are all the same size. The big disadvantage here, of course, is that the coins cannot be viewed without taking them out of the tube. This is a useful form of storage for bulk-circulated coins, but it can even be used for higher value coins - provided the coins do not move. This is because the surfaces of the coins are not coming into contact with the plastic.

At the high end of the market, there are hard plastic holders, often called slabs, which contain no harmful chemical materials. These are ideal for individual high value coins, and more valuable sets of coins. Because of the cost of sonically sealing these holders, they are only suitable for the more expensive coins.

A small amount of preparation now can save a lot of heartache later. As well as reading up on the coins themselves, make sure you become knowledgeable about the different types of storage.

Article Source: Coin Collecting Guide
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