Ultimate Guide to Storing Your Coins

boy holding piggybank; Metalswired Kid’s Corner article

Having a coin collection is so fantastic: you’ve got all these beautiful and valuable coins that are so pretty to look at, but they’re also a big responsibility to take care of. If you want your coins to stay in good shape for a long time, you’ll need to treat your coins with a lot of care. This care includes not just how you handle the coins, but also how you store them.

Coin Dangers

To learn how to properly store your coins, you first need to know the threats to the wellbeing of your coins. The three big threats are:

  • Temperature Changes and Heat: Places where the temperature changes from very high to very low (perhaps like an attic) are not good choices for coins. You want somewhere cool and generally the same temperature.
  • Humidity: Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. Rooms that have high humidity, like a bathroom or a kitchen, would not be good places to store your coins, nor would a garage in a hot climate.
  • Air: When the metals in coins mix with lots of air, it can cause chemical reactions, which can cause tarnishing on your coin. To avoid tarnishing, as well as the dangers of dust and oils, it’s important to keep your coins safely stored in a container of some sort as much as possible.

Top Coin Storage Options

There are a lot of available options to help protect your coins from air and other dangers. Here are some of the most common coin storage techniques:

  • A Foldout Album: If you have a coin collection like the State Quarters, then you might have an accompanying fold out album. These albums usually have a slot for each coin in the series, which helps you keep track of which coins you still need, and are usually made out of cardboard, which is a pretty good choice for collections like these.
  • Plastic Tubes: Plastic tubes are a good option for bullion coins. They do a better job of keeping air out than foldout albums, but the coins do touch each other, so this isn’t your best option if you have some really valuable coins. You’ll want to keep those in their own container.
  • Individual Hard Plastic Containers: These are great for really important coins in your coin collection. They protect the coin from all air, dust and debris.
  • Individual Plastic Slips: These are a less expensive option than hard plastic containers. Try to find slips that don’t contain PVC, which can become stiff and brittle over time.
  • 2×2 Cardboard Holders: A cardboard holder keeps one coin each. They are also a good choice for individual coins and can protect the coin from debris and scratches. The downside is they don’t offer as much air protection.

What type of container you choose depends greatly on the value of your coins, as well as your budget. Whether you’re keeping the coins as an investment or as a collectible will also greatly affect what choice you make. Investment coins are ones that you keep for their silver or gold content. Their condition is less important than a coin you’re keeping as a collectible, also known as a numismatic coin. These coins you’ll want to protect as best as possible.

When it comes to caring for and learning more about your coin collection, we’re here to help!  Keep reading to learn how to properly handle your coins.