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Picture of How to store a coin collection
Do you have a large collection of coins but do not know how to properly store them? Then read on and learn the many ways of storing coins, along with their pros and cons.
 
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Step 1: 2"X2" s

Picture of 2
One of the most popular types of coin storage is a 2"X2" cardboard container lined with clear mylar. The coin is placed on the mylar, and the case is folded and stapled shut. With this method, the coin will not slide around in its case while handled.

Pros: Inexpensive, easy to label, compact.
Cons: Coin may be scratched by staples, the plastic in close proximity to the coin can possibly contribute to toning and spotting.

Step 2: Coin flips

Picture of Coin flips
Plastic coin flips provide a good mean of storage, allowing you to view the coin without removing it from the holder. Coin flips are not air tight, but they are a good mean for short term storage of coins intended to be untouched. Avoid flips that contain PVC, for over time it decomposes with disastrous results for coins.

Pros: Relatively inexpensive, easy to label.
Cons: Coins can easily slide around inside slides, which could result in small scratches on the coin's surface.

Step 3: Air-tites

Picture of  Air-tites
Air-tites are manufactured using clear acrylic and a non-yellowing agent. These are compose of two sides, which snap together, creating an air tight seal. This method allows you to see both sides of a coin, without touching the actual coin.

Pros: Compact, low risk of coin damage, highly durable.
Cons: Expensive, difficult to label.

Step 4: Slabs

Picture of Slabs
Slabs are sonically sealed hard plastic holders, in which hold individual coins are held. Slabs offer excellent long-term protection but, are expensive and are generally used to store coins greater value.

Pros: Perhaps the best way to store your coins.
Cons: Expensive.
JasonMck1 month ago
Well its a good form for individual coin storage. As for a whole collection.Ive only been collecting for a few years but everyone says a air tight cool place. So what i did was bought a large iglo cooler. When closed it is air tight. I keep a pack of instant rice inside as well just incase there is any moisture. But i keep my collection in there nice and tight in the back of my closet where it is always cool and dark. I may be wrong here but it is air tight and cool and dry. Just my suggestion.
lbrewer424 months ago

Don't be fooled that slabs are airtight and therefore the best way to preserve a coin - they are not. Although sonically sealed, coins in them can, and do tone. Humidity can, and will alter a coin in a slab. Slabbed coins also need to be stored in airtight containers to hinder toning.

According to the (many) dealers I have talked with, the 2X2s holding the coins will preserve them best (not including Air Tites and similar non-name brand holders like Air Tites). A Mylar flip like on your silver Eagle is next best.

The Mylar flip has an air pocket surrounding the coin, and therefore allows more airborne humidity/particles that might harm the coin to contact the metals surface area. Whereas a 2X2 presses the coin between two sheets minimizing exposed surface area of the coin.

If they are not to be displayed, then put the coins (in their holders) in an airtight container with a silica gel pack (ask a local, private furniture store as they get packs with kits they have shipped to them and only throw them away). Zip-lock bags are not airtight over time.

When displaying coins, it is likely best to put them in a 2X2 (or the Mylar plastic flip like on your Silver Eagle), and then get some of the pages made to hold 2X2s that fit in a 3-ring binder. Even the more expensive coin albums hold coins in cardboard-sided holes with plastic covers. They look nice, but again, the cardboard will tone the coins as it absorbs/retains humidity.

BTW - PVC plastics will harm silver coins over time (green slime forms over time!) . Make sure when buying holders that they are PVC free. PVC is not normally used in modern coin holders, but some old albums did use.

BBFNN3 years ago
is there any way to do these myself?
Flumpkins6 years ago
If you staple the envelope, wouldn't that let air in?
plane phanatic (author)  Flumpkins6 years ago
Yes, which is why these holders occasionally contribute to toning and spotting. Another downside to this type of storage is that during the manufacturing process, a type of "cardboard dust" is created, which may contribute to unusual toning on your coins, if it is not removed.
I'm going to my (very) local Coin shop for the first time tommor. Are staples okay?
plane phanatic (author)  Flumpkins6 years ago
Yes, but be sure that you do not scratch your coins with the staples.

see is this ok insted of removing the staples i slide my fingernial around the coin to free it from the 2x2

Okay, cool. I'm prob gonna go within the next 3 hours. I'm so excited. It's like the night before a child's christmas. wow I'm a nerd
acdc12265 years ago
Dude this is a very good insructable! I am going to use this information to start my own coin collection! I LOVE this instructable!!!!!!!!!!!!
plane phanatic (author)  acdc12265 years ago
 Thanks!
I started collecting coins...I have a couple wheat pennies and foreign coins, I am also suckish at the states quarter collection. So... if I would put a piece of cloth in a plastic toolbox, put my coins on the cloth carefully, add another cloth layer and close the box, would that be a HORRIBLY HORRIBLE thing to do?! P.S. A foldout album for quarters...is that bad?
plane phanatic (author)  DaRealNapstah6 years ago
You should be fine to start off with the cloth - as long as it is cotton. As you begin to obtain more valuable coins, you should look into the types of storage mentioned in this Instructable. As for the foldout album for quarters - these are fine for circulated coins. If the coins are mint or Uncirculated, you should look in to a holder like this. This type of album is more of a book than a folder, and shows both sides of the coin/s.
drmjj556 years ago
do not use the plastic one in step 1!!!!! That causes the coin to get green stuff on it!!!
Flumpkins6 years ago
I have my 911 commemorative in one.
Flumpkins6 years ago
5/5, fav + book vote
plane phanatic (author)  Flumpkins6 years ago
Thank you!
anytime
Gjdj36 years ago
Wow! More great coin instruction. You could write one of those beginners books for starting a collection. 5 stars and favorited.