Paper or Plastic?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Dec 5, 2019.


Paper or Plastic?

  1. Paper

    3 vote(s)
  2. Plastic

    5 vote(s)
  3. Other (trays, 2x2s, etc.)

    7 vote(s)
  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    My most recent coin arrived in one of those hard plastic saflips(?). The flip itself was cracked at the seams and it was most difficult removing the coin without running the risk of a scratch! It's hard enough removing coins from these inflexible flips let alone running a gauntlet of sharp jagged edges. Am I the only one who experiences this kind of thing?

    Thankfully the coin was removed unharmed and is now in a safer place.


    Paper envelopes encourage the handling of one's coins, which is what this glorious hobby is all about. Plus, envelopes are so much cheaper than plastic flips!

    I ask you, which is more aesthetically pleasing, traditional paper or plastic?

    Oh, and here is the coin.

    T230.jpg Titus
    Æ As, 12.12g
    Rome mint, 80-81 AD
    Obv: IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P COS VIII; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, l.
    Rev: PAX AVGVST; S C in field; Pax stg. l., with branch and caduceus
    RIC 230 (C). BMC 212. BNC 219.
    Acquired from London Ancient Coins, November 2019.

    A common carry-over Pax type from Vespasian's reign. She is seen here with an olive branch and Felicitas' caduceus. The perennial propaganda value of advertising and taking credit for peace on the coinage cannot be underestimated.

    NB: No offence is intended towards those who have chosen plastics flips. I just personally can't abide them.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
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  3. CoinBlazer

    CoinBlazer Numismatic Enthusiast

    I keep them in clear plastic 2x2s because I wouldn't want to take the coin out if showing someone who is non-numismatic. Truthfully I don't even trust myself not to ding the coin. I rarely hold my coins without being in some sort of containment
    Deacon Ray and Roman Collector like this.
  4. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    To be honest, I understand this sentiment completely. When I was exclusively collecting silver I kept them in cardboard 2x2s for fear of leaving fingerprints that could leave unsightly toning marks. I got over that fear and realised these coins are meant to be fondled (albeit by the edges and not the surfaces!). I quickly moved them into envelopes and have been very satisfied ever since.

    I'm a bit of an antiquarian, so the idea of using a storage method that is over 100 years old is very pleasing.

    Heck, even one of the lenses I use on a regular basis is vintage.

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Then you should be using the Sulzer catalog!

  6. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Bad habit from my days as a US collector


    But these days I've moved to smaller staples for the flips. Though I'm not re-doing 130+ holders... so I'm using the smaller staples for the newer acquisitions.


    Eventually in 3-4 years when it's time to replace the old cardboard holders for new ones all of them will have the smaller staples... or maybe by that time I'll have finally had a wooden coin cabinet with velvet lining commissioned for the coins. :cool:
  7. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Great coin and I continue to use the plastic flips, mainly the ones from forvm.

    I’ve said it before, if 2x2 paper envelopes could be found with a window on the front like normal mailing envelopes, I would switch in a heartbeat. I’ve searched and nothing. And glassine stamp envelopes don’t cut it.
  8. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    So far I've used a single tray with 26 slots and a glass lids designed for holding pieces of jewelry, and I intended to get a second one this month to help me expand my collection over the next year. Instead I decided to buy an aluminium case with trays and space for around 200 coins. That way I can keep the majority of my collection stored safely but with easy access, but also I can have a rotating selection of coins in my display case easily to hand.

    So far I've used hand written cards in the larger slots of the jewelry tray, but from now on I'm going to make a ring binder folder with a pocket for each tray slot containing a printed page covering the history of each coin with a photograph and any provenance or relevant documents.

    I have felt no need for a flip or envelope at present, but in a few years I may feel the need depending on how quickly my collection grows.
  9. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    I use Leuchtturm Quadrum mini, with drawers. They're made of inert material (i.e. safe for the coin), are translucent, and come with different insert diameters (I believe 10 mm - 30 mm or so). I like the symmetry. Downside is the price (€5,50 for 10, times ~ 20 different diameters is ca. €100; trays are ca. €20/piece and can contain 30 coins).
    Below some pictures of low quality; I will post a thread about it someday.
    WhatsApp Image 2019-09-21 at 21.09.12.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-09-21 at 21.48.45.jpeg
  10. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I prefer to look at coins without plastic separating us so whatever they live in, coin will be taken out to be seen. They are easier to remove from paper. I miss having my coins in trays but I have too many coins for trays to be practical. There is no right answer for this question - at least none for me.
  11. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    Great coin David

    I use Abafil trays in an abafil briefcase. I inlay have around 100 coins so this works for me
    Spaniard and Deacon Ray like this.
  12. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Amen-Ra-Hotep

    Paper for me. Got tired of flips cracking or breaking. There actually is a chance for a coin to slip out through a crack, which is a horrifying thought.
  13. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    I love trays for actually sharing and handling coins. There are more efficient methods for storage(and I'm not even using the trays themselves efficiently) but it's hard to beat the convenience of being able to quickly see and browse all your coins. My "storage trays" all have tags and cutout SAFLIP material to avoid the coins being scuffed on the tags but I have some spare trays just for sharing coins as well


    I liked my envelopes as well too but after a few years of using them I had some envelopes starting to fall apart from opening them so often. I also found myself often regretting my envelopes when visiting other collectors and having to open and close a bunch of envelopes to share coins, so for me, trays are perfect. Since I buy at most 20-30 coins per year, I've got enough safe deposit box space for many years to come. For some other collectors I'm sure SAFLIPs are the best choice and for others, envelopes. In my opinion there's really no wrong way to do it as long as you're still taking time to appreciate and experience your coins.
    Spaniard, Orielensis, Orfew and 2 others like this.
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