How to Store a Coin Collection




Introduction: 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.

Step 1: 2"X2" S

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

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

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

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.

Step 5: Store Your Coins

Now that you know the different types of storage, you can store your coins knowing that they are stored the proper way. Also, while storing coin be sure to keep a pack of silica gel with them in order to prevent moisture, which can damage your coins.

If you think any information is missing and should be added, post a comment, and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Don't forget to rate, and if you have any comments, questions, etc. please post them below.



    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest

    21 Discussions

    It's sad to discover, that your rare precious collectible coin can be easily damaged simply by air and touch of plastic, like this:

    Been looking for such piece for my coin collection, but the condition of this one upsets me too much :(

    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.

    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.

    is there any way to do these myself?

    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?

    Yes, but be sure that you do not scratch your coins with the staples.

    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

    Dude this is a very good insructable! I am going to use this information to start my own coin collection! I LOVE this instructable!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 reply

    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 that bad?

    1 reply

    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.

    do not use the plastic one in step 1!!!!! That causes the coin to get green stuff on it!!!

    I have my 911 commemorative in one.