Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by ldhair, Mar 21, 2015.
What do you know?
Log in or Sign up to hide this ad.
That is a nice cabinet. When the prolific numismatic author Q. David Bowers uses the term "cabinet" in his publications, I can envision just such a storage system that looks like the one pictured. An old fashioned way to love and store coins.
Unbelievable. If that were full of coins in would weigh a ton!
Yeah. That's just unfortunate that with that wear they're no longer mint state. That is to say, in a condition-based system. In a market-based system, ah, well, I think we can overlook that one. After all, it's not circulation wear, as the coin has never been in circulation, so how can it be? No, this is a different kind of wear, it's uncirculation wear. If a coin has uncirculation wear, one must understand, it's still uncirculated, and that means it's still mint state. For the money, anyway...
Paul and Doug will be around shortly to debate this.
Ah, please, no invitations. Troublemaker.
To understand old coin storage methods one must first realize that back then, just like today, there were different categories of collectors. There were the collectors who would simply take their coins and toss them into a drawer in a dresser or hutch. Then there were those who would go a bit further and use the commonly found round tins with tight fitting lids (think of a cookie tin that you might have seen). Then they would progress to the next level, those would try to keep their coins individually. Far and away the most common method of coin storage for them was small, plain manila envelopes, or tissue paper. Which would then be kept in some other sort of container, perhaps even a tin. Lastly were the upper echelon of collectors, let's just call them the rich folks, the ones who could actually afford something like a coin cabinet. And that goes back well over a thousand years. And in some cases, almost 2000 years. Coin collecting was after all the hobby of Kings for many centuries.
Now some might question this and ask something like - if that is so then how do we have so many untoned coins today ? Easy answer, they were dipped. Over 80% of all older coins have been dipped at least once in their lives, some of them several times. Or they might ask - how do we have so many coins without hairlines or other signs from these storage methods. Again, easy answer, we don't have so many. Yes we have some, just not very many. Storage in envelopes and tissue paper actually did a pretty good job of protecting the coins, they were just conducive to toning and dip took care of that.
Now yes there were exceptions of course, there are always exceptions. Sometimes coins were tossed into a clay pot or jar of some kind. Some were even buried. And depending upon things like soil conditions, local climate, and just plain luck, some coins fared well under these conditions. But for the most part things were as described above.
And let us not forget "cleaning". For hundreds of years it was perfectly acceptable, even desirable, for a collector to "clean" his coins on a regular basis. And this was true across the board for all categories of collectors right on up to the very top level such as museums. Coins would routinely be taken out and wiped with a cloth or rag, maybe even washed. And it has only been in the last few decades, within my lifetime, that this practice has declined. But even today it is still practiced by some, even the museums.
Once one understands all of this it becomes all too clear as to why there are so few coins that are actually in top condition.
You can find more info on this Google page: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=coins cleaned by hotels
Separate names with a comma.