Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by wasjr, Oct 13, 2020.
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Welcome to the neighborhood!
It's best that you don't try to clean any of your coins. At least for now, and until you've learned how to do it properly and safely. As for storing your coins, as long as the environment is kept cool and dry, there shouldn't be a problem. ~ Chris
Welcome to CoinTalk
The members here will give you great advice.
Pictures are the key to save you time and money
You could layout a group of items and someone will tell you if a closeup is needed.
If you have a smart phone, this is my ‘setup’
And when you post a picture use the ‘full image ‘ option
people hate toning, people love toning. there can be "too much" toning that is detrimental to the surface of a coin, but to reach that stage it is usually a harsh environment, or 100+ year old coins.
Don't "clean" toning for any reason, the toning will return which will lead to more "cleanings". the cleaning agent are acidic that remove toning and while one treatment or two, might not disturb the mint luster, eventually it will, and it's an irreparable condition once it's damaged, so in my opinion, it's only necessarily done when toning has reached a terminal level and could start to damage the surface of a coin, and done as a "conservation/preservation".
Toning is totally natural and totally normal for the lifespan of any metal, some metals are more reactive, some are less reactive, but all metals tone over time. Under the best storage conditions toning happens very slowly, or in bad storage conditions toning happens rapidly.
there are means of care to maintain your collection storage conditions so that it slows toning to a crawl, but that comes with a cost, and you have to maintain it regularly and still toning will eventually occur, it just might take 100 years before you notice a change (toning) occurring.
First off you say the coins are 50 years + old. the storage materials 50 years ago weren't all that great to slow toning and some are downright detrimental with PVCs. I would say you should change ALL of the storage materials, folders, albums, flips, 2x2 cardboard holders, plastic tubes for more modern and certainly PVC free options to take that guess work out. look for "archival quality" or at least PVC free.
If going with cardboard 2x2s, I'd suggest buying a flat clinch stapler, and stainless steel or coated staples, it's worth the investment for not having to hand crimp each staple flat, or deal with rusted staples down the road.
as far as mint or proof sets, some will say remove them from the packaging, some will say keep them intact in the packaging and don't mess with it. That's more of a personal decision, and at least for me, it's one I make on a case by case basis if the set isn't reacting well and looking bad by how it was stored. If it's fine and just toning some, I leave it alone.
Depends on how much work you want to put into this, and if you are going to continue the hobby in which case you'd be checking on things quite regularly, or if you are looking for a way to put everything up for another 50 years and basically look at it every few years or so when the feeling strikes you.
same picture as before, or you still have the can of cream of chicken?
And yes, I have started to inventory everything which was what prompted the question about toning - especially on the unc sets, which I was surprised to see. When I bought software to inventory my stamp collection, I bought the coin module at the same time.
And finally, no, this collection for me is just nostalgia and conservation and not another hobby. I remember as a young kid, he would be going through his coins while I would be working on my stamps. It's odd to think that I am now twice as old as when he died! It's probably heresy to say here, but my stamp collection will probably take the rest of my life to get everything into albums and I would like to see that completed, plus I also collect trains - so I have little time for working on the coins!
I have included a picture of one of the albums that the coins are kept in, plus another showing the proof sets look OK, but the unc sets are toning. These particular sets are better than some, but I have already inventoried the others that looked toned. The coins in tubes are much worse and will need more immediate transfer. I still haven't looked at the coins in the envelopes or white mounts yet.
I think they are as OK as anything else. Moisture will permeate most any holder. I had a lovely slabbed Type 1 SLQ go black on me in the course of several years. Since then I take all my good coins and put them in a Ziplock bag and that goes into a Tupperware container. I haven’t noticed any dramatic change in my collection since doing that.
Where are you located?
Perhaps any member who is in your area could give you some help by phone or in person, if you would.
With a site like this, plus the internet, there's not much I can't figure out. Well, maybe the 70 point rating system! But then again, I'm not too interested in rating but rather preserving. And unfortunately, none of my kids or grandkids seem to be interested in either the coins, stamps, or trains, so I will be someday looking down (or maybe up?) at a large auction ...
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