Coin collecting is an enjoyable hobby that appeals to a wide range of people. As your collection grows, you will find it becomes essential to protect these coins. If you don’t store your collection properly, you’ll find it extremely difficult to maintain the value against the elements or keep track of the coins you own.
Like the hobby itself, coin storage doesn’t have to be an expensive or overwhelming process. If you learn how to store coins well, you’ll preserve the value and guarantee a lifelong satisfaction with your collection.
The most significant challenge in determining how to store your coins is finding a balance between clear, visually appealing viewing, and the best protection. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of options below to help you make an informed decision for the type of coins and collection.
Your storage method only protects your coins when secured. How you treat your collection when it is out of its holder affects your storage setup’s success.
Always wash your hands before handling the coins to minimize the potential oil transfer to the coins. For more valuable items, consider wearing cloth gloves and making contact only with the edges of the coins instead of the faces.
When you can, avoid storage methods that require significant touching to secure the coins into the slots. Some folders need you to insert the coin into a tight hole that typically involves pushing the entire face of the coin with your thumb.
Lay a cloth or special pad on your work surface when handling the coins to avoid any damage if you happen to drop the coins. The protective layer also prevents any damage from contact with oils or unseen residue on the table.
Use a magnifying glass or magnifying glasses to observe the coins. These tools allow you to see the details without handling the coin or bringing it close to your face—your breath has moisture that can damage the coins over time.
Coins easily fall victim to damage from external elements—sunlight, heat, water, humidity, extreme cold, acid, salt, chlorine, and air pollution cause coins to discolor or deteriorate. Choose a coin storage method that keeps these factors in mind.
A common storage location for valuables are safety deposit boxes, but these are not suitable for coins. The boxes are not moisture-controlled, and you should avoid these if you want to preserve your collection.
If you live near the coast with salty air or in a home with high levels of humidity, it is best to take extra precautions to protect your coins. Exposed storage options won’t be a successful choice for your collection. You will need to choose a sealed option for the best results.
Whitman Folders are blue cardboard folders that many people associate with coin collecting. It has been around since 1940 and includes labeled spaces in which you can insert the coins. It is a helpful way to track what your collection is missing, too.
Whitman Folders are less than ideal for long-term storage, however. From an enjoyment perspective, you can only see one side of the coin. It’s harder to show off your finds, and you’ll find yourself tempted to handle the coins more often, risking further damage.
The coins are also in continual contact with the cardboard on the back. The material will leech into the currency and cause minerals to degrade. These folders do not offer any real protection from the elements, either.
If you’re on a budget and just starting your coin collection, Whitman Folders are better than nothing. When your coins are not extremely rare or valuable, the level of protection is more relaxed. Even seasoned collectors will sometimes use these folders for current coins that are widely available.
In terms of logistics, few other storage methods keep coins as well-organized as the labeled spaces of the Whitman Folders. It is also a lot of fun to fill in the gaps in your collection and experience the obvious visual feedback as your collection flourishes.
Another benefit is that Whitman Folders are incredibly affordable from any hobby or big box store.
Danco-Style albums are similar to the Whitman Folders but allow for better viewing and protection. The coin holders run all the way through the sheet to facilitate the viewing of both sides of each coin.
There’s also space for plastic sheet protectors in each folder, which block UV rays from sunlight and indoor fixtures, along with potential damage from finger oils or moisture. Your investment will remain protected for many years.
There are some downsides to the Danco-Style coin storage albums, however.
The first disadvantage is the price—almost ten times the price of Whitman folders. If you have an extensive collection, the folders quickly become an expensive choice. You might even find yourself forced to choose between new coins and the methods to store them.
Secondly, Danco-Style folders are much larger than Whitman Folders, so you will need more space to keep all your coins organized and protected.
Even the most unique or rare coin will lose its value if it is damaged. Specialized tools protect the coins as you transfer them into your chosen storage or display method.
As you invest more resources into your collection, it’s also crucial to ensure that your coins are authentic (not counterfeit products). These specialty tools give you the certainty to check that each coin is genuine so that you don’t waste time on fake ones.
Digital calipers allow you to handle and measure the coins without touching them, for example. A variation in size can signify that a coin isn’t genuine. Calipers also help you to position coins without using your hands.
A stereo microscope enables you to examine the small details without moving your face too close to the coin. It’s easy to lean too close to your currency and breath on it when using magnifying glasses. A microscope helps you to maintain proper distance to protect the coin.
Advanced coin cataloging software with digital pictures enables you to track your collection even when it’s not in organized file folders. When you have high-quality images of the coins, you can leave them in storage more readily.
You won’t have to handle the coins as often to authenticate, sell, or share your collection.
Seasoned collectors invest significant time and money into their coins. It makes sense to want to show off the collection in a way that’s beautiful and uncompromising on safety.
Specialized coin holders allow coins to be seen and handled without any risk of damage. It is much more expensive than the folders described above, but it provides a protective seal for each coin.
You can also purchase display cases with glass lids for easy viewing that hold the coins in place and prevent exposure. Some coin collectors even frame less-valuable parts of their collection to create unique artwork for their home.
It’s important to find a balance between a stunning display that matches your home decor and satisfactory protection for the coins.
Coin grading services, also called a third-party grading service, authenticate and encapsulate your rare or special coins. The expert will ensure the currency is real and seal it inside a custom storage container.
The method is not always the most aesthetically pleasing for future displays of your coins, but it’s the best way to ensure that your investment remains damage-free for many years.
There are stylish storage options for encapsulated coins so that you don’t have to choose between the lifespan or safety of the coin and your desire to keep it available for viewing.
As your coin collection becomes more valuable, it’s crucial to prevent any theft of the items. It is recommended that you store your most expensive or rare coins in a fire-retardant safe to minimize the risk of losing coins in a robbery or fire.
If you have the resources, consider a display safe, a traditional safe with specialized display shelves designed for protecting and showcasing coins. Keeping your most valuable coins in a display safe protects the collection while making it possible to show it off to friends and family.
Regardless of how you store the coins in your collection, it’s vital to plan for the worst-case scenario. Many collectors don’t disclose the full value of their collection to avoid potential theft, but all serious investors should consider an additional insurance policy for their coins.
In a disaster situation, rare coins might be irreplaceable. However, an insurance policy on your coin collection guarantees that you’ll have financial assistance replacing the coins in the event of a fire, robbery, or similar situation.
INSIDE THIS INVESTMENT GUIDE YOU WILL LEARN:
• How Gold & Silver can protect your savings & retirement accounts
• Types of Gold & Silver products available for Home Delivery
• How a Gold & Silver IRA can protect your Retirement account