People have been collecting coins for thousands of years. Today, coin collectors have much more reliable methods of keeping their collections in good condition, preventing some of the negative effects associated with exposure to certain environmental factors.
To know how to properly store your collection of old coins in Mill Valley, CA, you need to understand what you are keeping that collection safe from. The biggest environmental problem for coins is humidity—moisture can result in significant damage to coins over time, including fading and corrosion. But there are other factors to consider as well. Heat itself may not cause damage to the coin, but it can reduce the amount of time it takes for humidity to damage it. Meanwhile, cold can result in damage to the surface of uncirculated coins by allowing moisture to condense on the coin’s surface.
Other types of substances, such as chlorine and various acids, can cause damage to coins over time. Acids can leach out of paper or cardboard, causing toning and tarnish on coins (particularly those made of silver or copper). Chlorine can seep out of plastic that contains PVC, and can cause toning and corrosion resulting in surface pitting.
Finally, improper handling can also cause some damage. Touching the coin directly with your fingers leaves oil and acid deposits that can damage the surface, and dropping the coin on a hard surface can cause irreparable damage.
The best storage solutions
So, what are the storage solutions you can choose from that will help you avoid the above issues? While you won’t find any 100 percent foolproof option, here are some of the best solutions:
- Using the proper coin holder: You shouldn’t keep coins in a loose pouch, jar or drawer. This will result in significant damage over time. Instead, you should keep the coins in a coin holder, album or folder specifically designed for protecting coins from the elements and potential damage. You can then insert labels with dates, mint marks and other information to categorize your collection.
- Store in the proper location: Location is crucial when it comes to preserving the quality and integrity of your coin collection. Avoid extreme conditions with high or low temperatures or high humidity. Most basements and attics are unlikely to have proper insulation to ensure consistent temperatures. Instead, consider keeping your collection in a bedroom or den, as far away as possible from a kitchen or bathroom where oils or moisture could find their way to your coins. Safe deposit boxes can work, but if you like to look at or show off your collection on a regular basis, this probably isn’t the best idea.
- Careful of wood: Wooden bookshelves, cabinets and other such surfaces can result in chemicals getting into the environment around your coin collection, as those woods are likely to have certain coatings and adhesives that can affect the metal. It’s generally a better idea to store your collection in a locking metal cabinet or safe.
For more information about proper storage of old coins in Mill Valley, CA, contact Collectible Coins & Jewelry today.