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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Coin handling and storage

HOLA! On popular demand I am posting this article on coin storage from which collectors can benefit. It is intended for beginners but I hope that seasoned collectors may also find it useful.

coin storage is always a big headache for all collectors. If you only collect casually and you have only a few coins, then it is easy to put them into some bowl or box or something. But as your collection increases, the need for proper storage becomes an issue. On a lighter note, too many coins can cause property disputes as they take to much space. Anyhow, if you have many coins and put them together in a box for a period of time, it is quite easy for the coins to get worn out when they come into contact with each other, and the value of the coin is lost. Casual collectors may not know this fact that coin values depend on the condition, apart from the rarity. So how to store them?

Self adhesive resealable pouches
clear resealable self adhesive pouchesThese resealable pouches with self adhesive tape are the best low cost alternative for storage of coins. Albums or holders and sheets are costly and space consuming also. Compared to those, these are best for storage of coins, especially if the coin is having low value but we want to presereve its condition. Lets say we have some 1 rupee coins from circulation in UNC condition, then we would like to preserve their condition but wouldn't want to use holders which are more costly than the coin itself. In that sort of situation pouches like these are the best, and if the coin is small enough, we can store two similar coins in one pouch. The coin can be easily viewed through the pouch as the material is clear. It is non-reactive also so anything from silver to copper may be stored, it takes the least space (every collector has to face this problem as his collection grows), and it has a big advantage over the pouches with lock(shown at bottom) as luster is also preserved in these as opposed to the other pouches shown.

Ideally coins should be stored in proper coin holders, and the coins in the holders should be put into coin sheets or albums. The sheets can be put into sheet cover.

Coin Holder
coin holderThe above figure shows a coin holder. A coin can be placed inside a holder , then folded and stapled. This is a good way to store and preserve coins individually. Care has to be taken to hammer the staples flat or they can rub and tear into some other holder.

Coin sheets and cover
coin sheet holder cover The above figure shows a number of coin sheets with holders put inside the slots for holders. The sheets are bound together by a cover. The holders can also be put in an album. Storing your coins this way makes them look good to anyone you want to showoff your collection.

Resealable plastic pouches
resealable plastic pouches different size2 pound coin in pouch
2 pound coin in resealable plastic pouch1 pound welsh leek coin in pouch
1 pound welsh leek coin in resealable plastic pouchWhen you have a small collection(less than 100 coins) then you can easily store in an album or sheets. But if your collection is large, then there is an issue of the cost involved in buying all these holders, albums and all. The more the coins, the more the cost. So I have an economical solution also: You can store in plastic pouches as shown above. These plastic pouches come in different sizes, are cheap and are easily available at your neighborhood store. The smallest size is the best fit for coins. They cost me about 10 rupees (or 0.2$) for a packet of 100 pouches, and that makes possible to store one coin in each pouch, no matter how low the value of the coin may be. (Though I can easily put 8-10 coins in one pouch of the second smallest size if I want to). Then I can group together the pouches by country or according to some other classification, and keep them in spare boxes that I may have in my home. But Please DO NOT keep silver coins in these pouches as the silver reacts with sulphur in the plastic and blackens, which decreases the desirability and mars the beauty of the coin. The coin holder shown above are better suited for keeping the silver coins as the film in the holders is some non-sulphur material, so silver coins kept in it do not blacken.

  • Never keep your coins in one box as they rub against each other and condition goes down.
  • Never bury them underground as they become dirty and also react with the water in soil.
  • Dont store silver coins in the pouches with lock shown above.
  • Never allow air access to UNC or otherwise valuable copper coins as copper is most reactive. It should be readily kept inside holder or self adhesive pouch.
  • Dont use gel to store coppers as they blacken.


  1. Great and Most Valuable information shared on this blog. Definitely this blog will help us(Begineers).

    Thanks once again for your response

  2. your blog really helps man!

  3. After searching for 3 years I have got my destination. I am not a professional collector but occationally collect some coins when it comes to me from others while shopping or so.
    Some times back nearly 3 years or so, I discoverd that my coin collection is not so bad. But the main problem is that I don't know anything about the coins- whether it is precious or not, how it is to be stored, price of a particular coin etc.
    Now it is very essential to know some questions
    1. Where should I find inforation about the rare coins along wiht its price
    2. How I should able to identify the coins about its origin i.e. the mint inforation or sign
    3. I have one Rs.5 coin which is defective, as the simbol of rupee and chakra are place 90 degree opposite direction. I have heard that some times this type of coins may be precious.
    4. Where should I find infortion about new UNC and Prof Coins.. etc.
    Thanking you for initiatives.
    Raja Biswas.

  4. Most of the info you want is already given, though I do not put info on the prices as a standard policy since the rates keep changing, but you can send me mail if you want more info.

  5. Great Info Kulraj.

    Really appreciate it!

  6. Sir,
    I have just started collecting coins and i am very thankful for this information.
    I got a few british india coins from my dads friend and would like to know if they (some being silver) can be stored in coin holders.
    Thanks in advance.

  7. Silver is easy to store, and holders are good for any coin.

  8. Thanks a lot.
    I was looking for this information for a long time.