Storing the coin collection

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by blackarrow, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. blackarrow

    blackarrow Member


    my grandfather left us a coin collection he was collecting for his whole life. Mostly of the coins are silver WW2 German coins (1933-1945) as well as coins from Weimar Republic. There are other coins as well, probably more than 1000 of them. I have no intention of selling or expanding the collection right now. Instead, I would like to preserve it as best as possible and learn more about them. My hobby is watchmaking for now, and I was able to see how easily the metals could deteriorate.

    If I understood correctly, the coins should not be cleaned at all. I am not sure, but I think that my father cleaned some coins by rubbing dry baking soda on them few years ago. Did that reduced their value? On the other side, I would like to handle them all using the gloves to reduce the acid on my fingers getting to the coins and protect them. However, not sure what would be the best option?

    Should I buy plastic coin sleeves? I heard they are not that good since PVC could leak onto the coins.

    Since there a lot of mostly identical coins, should I put them in coin tubes, although they could rub on each other? Is the insulation from air the most important thing?

    A lot of questions, but I hope you will be able to help me. Thanks in advance.
    Robert91791 and Seattlite86 like this.
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  3. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    Tubes are fine as long as they're going to be stable and not moved around very much. It can be a good first step until you get around to examining them more fully.
  4. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    Correct, coins should never be cleaned, unless you know what you’re doing. Germans are notorious for cleaning their coins, even today.

    There are a few of us who live in Germany who would appreciate seeing some of the coins.

    Rarity will help determine storage methods.
  5. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    The old flips contain PVC most of the new ones are PVC free.
    If a coin looks especially nice I would put it in a flip so that it isn't in contact with other coins.
    Yes, the baking soda damaged the coins value.
  6. blackarrow

    blackarrow Member

    I will try to get some photos, if I remember well, mostly of them are 1, 2 and 5 Reichmarks from 1934-1943, some of them with Potsdam Church and Hindenburg on them. They are in quite good condition. Sorry to hear that cleaning them was a bad move. Not sure if this would be too much for these kinds of coins:


    For other coins, I would put the duplicates in tubes.
  7. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    If you can photo some of them, post them here. Air tites are a fantastic way to go.
    spirityoda likes this.
  8. Robert91791

    Robert91791 Supporter! Supporter

    Round coin holders and get a food saver machine. It will suck any air out and seals them from any moisture.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Sorry but that's not so at all. PVC flips are just as common as they ever were. In fact the vast majority of coin dealers use them with all their raw coins, and even the TPGs recommend using them when sending coins in for grading.

    This is why. For short term storage PVC flips are just fine, they won't harm your coins. It's only with long term storage where they become a problem and start releasing the harmful gasses.

    But non-PVC flips, they can harm your coin the day you put them in the flips, as well as every time you take them out and put them back into the flips. And, they are also harmful to coin even if you don't take the coins in and out of the flip. This is because the coin, while it slides around inside the flip, experience slight wear on its high points because of the harder plastic. And over longer periods of time the amount of that wear increases.

    Bottom line, coin flips of any kind are a very bad idea for long term storage of coins. Same thing for cardboard 2x2 holders, and coin albums. These 3 three things, flips, 2x2s and albums, even though they are the most common storage methods there are - all 3 of them are bad for your coins ! With each one having it's own problems.

    You can however protect the coins. You do that with proper storage methods. First, you place each coin in a hard plastic coin holder. Air-Tite brand coin holders are the least expensive and they will protect the coins every bit as well as any other coin holder, including the slabs used the TPGs. Second, the coins, in their holders, need to be stored in a sealed container, like a Tupperware container as an example. And inside the container you need to place a rechargeable silica-gel pack to help control and minimize humidity. And the container needs to be stored in a cool, dark, place where the temperature remains fairly constant. That's how you protect the coins.
    Two Dogs likes this.
  10. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    Huh, I guess I was mis informed.
  11. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    Yikes! So not true! I have submitted coins over the years to NGC, ICG, and old school ANACS and ALL specify NON-PVC flips.
    calcol and Paul M. like this.
  12. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    I understand the benefits of a soft flip, and dislike some of the harder flips.
    I thought that PVC flips were a thing of the past all together?
    Most of my coins either find the Cabinet or a Dansco.
    What are the best flips to use?
  13. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    The ones NGC provides at their tables at shows are not as hard as Saflip by Kointain, but they are PVC-free and noticeably harder than a vinyl flip. If a vinyl flip is assigned a “stiffness” of 2 or 3, and the Kointain Saflip a 9, the ones they use at their table are about a 5 or 6.
    Pickin and Grinin likes this.
  14. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Been a long time since I actually looked but you're right, they did change their recommendation some while ago. The do however caution not to "slide" the coin into or out of the flip so as to avoid it being scratched by the sharp edges of the non-PVC flips.
  15. p wohn

    p wohn New Member

    Coin holders 101318 006.JPG Blackarrow, please see the attached photos for what I use, and I know other "copper" people use. The right side of the first photo shows the Intercept Shield product, and the lower left is the cotton envelope which I store my US half cents and large cents in - only then do I put the coin in the non-PVC flip [coin on one side, sale and pedigree information in the other side. The item in the upper left is the hydrosorbent silica gel which I put in the main container the coins are stored in, such as NGC plastic boxes and safe deposit boxes. I change them out every three months. I have the vendor information for the cotton envelops if needed.

    Attached Files:

  16. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Those are a very bad idea, they cause a lot of hairlines on the coins resulting in problem free coins becoming problem coins and ungradable.
  17. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    The EAC boys love those cotton liners. I use soft flips for one thing- transporting otherwise loose coins from where I obtain them to their ultimate resting place in my collection.
  18. spirit

    spirit Member

    You did not mention how your grandfather stored them. You must make a quick inventory of the coins and separate the valuable ones from the common ones. The ''nicer'' ones should be kept in individual non-pvc hard plastic to minimize movement. If the whole collection is valuable to you, whether emotionally or financially, store all of them this way and then keep them in a cool, dry and dark environment, especially if your plan is to pass them on to the next non-numismatic generation. This way, the preservation work will already have been done and the distribution of the coins to multiple family members will be a lot easier and a lot safer. There will also be less of a chance of anyone mishandling or cleaning a coin that is ''sealed'' in a plastic case compared to a raw coin that could be rolled onto the sidewalk.
    Tina Lynch likes this.
  19. blackarrow

    blackarrow Member

    Thank you all, I got really useful answers and I appreciate them very much.

    Some of the coins in the collection were stored in plastic flips (in what looks like a book) and most of them in open thin drawers kept in one bigger closed drawer.

    First task would be to go through the collection and separate valuable and less valuable coins. Valuable coins would get hard plastic case, the other would be stored in coin tubes and closed. Idea is to put the whole collection in one Excel document, which could be printed out.

    Since I noticed that for a lot of coins there is one additional duplicate, what to do with them? Store them in tubes and put just one in hard casing? I guess they were meant to be exchanged in the future.

    How to organize the best the coins which will be put in coin tubes?

    Also, what sources to use in order to determine the valuable and less valuable coins? Should I get some official catalog and which one?
  20. spirit

    spirit Member

    Remember, any source that gives you coin values are only guidelines. Start with the ''red book'' or officially known as ''a guide book of US coins''. You will discover, different sources will quote different prices for the same coin so just average them out. These are usually retail values which means a dealer will offer you 50-75% of the average value that you think your coin is worth. These are gross generalizations just to get you started so you don't get overwhelmed. Each coin is a case-by-case situation. Even nice duplicate coins you may have deserve their own separate housing.
  21. blackarrow

    blackarrow Member

    Thank you. The first step is to see what is all there and to put everything in database. I found Numista website, which has nice catalog of all coins, and also it is possible to export all of the information in Excel files.

    Also, if I understand correctly, it gives an opportunity to swap coins. Any other good website where I could put my coins in, and see if anybody is willing to do swapping?

    About the storing, as I said before, I would go with the hard plastic coin holders, at least for the coins I am going to keep for myself. Others could be stored in the coin tubes. Since I have a lot of different coins (from 19 - 40 mm) there are a lot of different diameters of holder needed. However, I am not sure if the following rings are good idea to use when storing them:


    So, it is basically a 40 mm plastic coin holder, with these rings which allow the diameter to be lower and thus fitting coins better.
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