About coin cabinet

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Basileus Antialcidas, Jul 11, 2022.

  1. Basileus Antialcidas

    Basileus Antialcidas Active Member

    Hello to everyone. I recently bought a very good quality cabinet from a well known coin cabinet creator that I will not name. Everything is perfect and the craftsmanship fantastic. The thing is though that I came in to realization that underneath every drawer there is a plastic wood looking sheet that covers the bottom of every drawer. I was confused and asked what was it made of. In the begging he didn't answer but in the end he stated to me that it is PVC sheet with wood print. Now I am thinking, I got this cabinet and got rid of everything that could contain PVC and payed so much money to be completely plastic and PVC free and then here it is again. My question would be, the bottom of the drawers doesn't get in contact with the coins, but at the same time they are basically underneath it so they are in the same space, also the pvc is rigid and not flexible. So should I stop worrying about it or ask for a refund? Could it long-term damage the coins? He says that his cabinets are sold to museums that way and no one ever had a problem. I rey don't know what to do. I am a student and it was not cheap to buy.
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  3. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    I would think you are ok
  4. Sulla80

    Sulla80 Well-Known Member

    I think there is some (probably very small) risk that degradation of the PVC will produce gasses that over a long period of time, perhaps some heat required too, that could damage the coins. For me the bigger problem is the aesthetic one : I would not expect PVC components in a traditional mahogany coin cabinet.
    See: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaap.2013.01.006 for a model to predict the amount of gas that will be produced from PVC-based materials upon thermal treatment
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2022
  5. IanG

    IanG Well-Known Member

    I own a mahogany coin cabinet myself and for what it is worth I would have been extremely upset if I had found PVC materials in the cabinet when I bought it. A quick search of 'PVC' and 'outgassing' produces numerous articles talking about PVC products releasing potentially harmful gases to some degree. Now it may well be that the risk is limited at normal temperature and that the risk recedes as the PVC ceases to be new (think about a new shower curtain becoming less pungent with the passage of time.) Nevertheless, a well-made coin cabinet is a closed environment which will largely trap any gases that may be released. In truth, I just don't know how risky it is and I would not want to be looking over my shoulder. There are good reasons why coin collectors are wary of PVC and I am very surprised that a maker of mahogany cabinets would do this. I was interested to see that he claims that similar cabinets are sold to museums who do not have a problem with this approach. If that is so, I don't think it would be unreasonable for you to explain your concerns and ask him to put you in touch with a curator from one of those museums who can put your mind at rest.

    This may have happened because the price of quality timber has increased exponentially over recent years and the manufacturer is looking for cheaper ways of construction.

    I wish you well whatever you do.
    sand, Silphium Addict and Broucheion like this.
  6. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    My understanding is that PVC residue accumulates on coins in PVC flips, so they are in direct contact with the PVC plastic.

    I am not sure what the effects over time would be, if any, for PVC vapors on coins stored in the cabinet. Is there felt or some other soft material covering the drawer bottom? That material might serve as a buffer against any potential PVC vapors. Also room temperature might have a role in the creation of PVC vapors.

    Yes, I think getting an opinion from an owner with a similar cabinet would be very helpful.

    Good luck.
    Carausius likes this.
  7. ziggy9


    Ut is my understanding that the problem is not eith PVC itself, but the plasticizers used to make the PVC flips pliable. Rigid PVC would not have any plasticizers and therefor should be safe
    Orielensis likes this.
  8. Basileus Antialcidas

    Basileus Antialcidas Active Member

    So to be exact when I asked about the PVC he attacked me and started rampaging about being top quality and that I am paranoid and insecure as the coins don't come in direct contact with the PVC. I talked with ebay and started the return. Here is a photo of the bottom. See how he used PVC to cover probably a part that is not made with real wood.

    Attached Files:

    sand likes this.
  9. Basileus Antialcidas

    Basileus Antialcidas Active Member

    Also I am thinking now to order an other from an other seller. I found one that he doesn't use chemicals, solvents or plastic. His velvet is viscose and he uses for wood dry fir and toulipier. Would it be okay as it is not mahogany? I can't find someone who makes with mahogany.
    Pickin and Grinin likes this.
  10. Dwarf

    Dwarf Active Member

  11. sand

    sand Well-Known Member

    I recommend searching CoinTalk, and Forum Ancient Coins, and Google, to find out, what effects, the various types of wood have, on ancient coins.
    I read somewhere, that mahogany is best, because it causes the least amount of toning and patina, on coins. Search, and find out, if that's true.
    Myself, I don't worry about toning and patina, because I like toning and patina.
    For myself, I use Abafil velvet trays, and Abafil cases. I read, that Abafil velvet trays, won't harm ancient coins, except perhaps to cause the coins to tone and patina. Each tray has silk, or something like that, on the bottom of the tray. Also, the cases are lined with silk or something like that. I don't know, if the silk or whatever, has any effect on coins. I've only had the Abafil trays and cases, for 4 years, so I haven't had enough time, to find out, if they would harm coins.
    Regarding the PVC in your new coin cabinet, I don't know enough, to know, if the PVC in the bottom of each tray, would harm your coins.
    If you had to, perhaps you could remove the PVC sheets, and replace them, with sheets of acid free paper or velvet or silk or something that is known not to affect coins much, using wood glue or something to glue them on.
    Now that I think about it some more, perhaps acid free paper would not be a good idea, because if a coin is thick, then the coin may rub against the paper, and get worn.
    It seems silly, to use PVC sheets, in a coin cabinet, because "PVC" is a dirty word, among coin collectors.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2022
    Pickin and Grinin and Bing like this.
  12. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    This is correct. I'm not aware of any risk to coins being "near" PVC plastic. The harm comes from storing coins in PVC flips with direct contact. The PVC degrades and can leave a film or crud on the coins where touching. I can attest from experience, as I had an old collection from my teen years stored in PVC flips. 30 years later, a few of the coins had some green, PVC crud on them. Most were not affected at all.

    But I share the opinion of others above that a "quality" coin cabinet should not contain plastic.
    sand likes this.
  13. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't put any of my coins near a PVC element.
    As someone said above the glues and elements used for bonding are probably worse on the coins than the solid PVC.
    sand likes this.
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