If you collect silver coins, you need to keep your collection as safe and secure as possible. To keep your valuable coins in the best condition, handle them infrequently and store them in air tight containers free from moisture, humidity, dust, grime, and dirt. Several companies and brands make different styles of coin storage containers. Here are some of them:
Individual Coin Storage System - It is important to keep all valuable coins from touching each other. Each coin should be encased in its own container and then boxed together so that they do not touch. Here are several very good coin containers that are available at local coin shops or online at coin identification and evaluation websites:
- Encapsulated Slabbed Coin Holders - These containers hold one coin sandwiched between two pieces of acrylic plastic that snap together with space on one end to insert a label before closing. These containers are approximately 3" x 4" in size. Insert coin and snap sides together to seal.
- Vinyl or Mylar Coin Flips - These containers will keep valuable coins safe while stored. They are 2.5" x 2.5" when folded. They do not contain PVC or oil and are heat sealable.
- Cardboard and Mylar Coin Flips - These containers are made from heavy-duty cardboard with different holes from 17.5mm to 40mm to fit all U.S. minted coins. When loaded, slip them into their mylar envelopes and folded over for storage.
- Boxed Coin Containers - After you have placed your coins in any of the above containers, store each of them standing up in coin collection boxes. These boxes are big enough to accept one row of coins and have interior cardboard stays that keep coins from touching each other.
Handling and Evaluating Valuable Coins - When you examine the coins in your collection, never touch their surface with your bare hands. Always wear plain cotton gloves and handle your coins only by the edges. For accuracy, use the following equipment to measure and examine your coins:
- Digital Calipers - These calipers accurately measure coins. Slip the coin between the two outside jaws and move the thumbwheel to close the jaws around the coin. Set the lock screw in place and turn on the caliper. The measured coin dimension will be displayed.
- Microscope - Buy the best microscope that you can find and only use it for examining your coin collection. Keep your microscope covered at all times and only unwrap it when you examine coins.
- Balanced Lighting - Get two or three small task lamps that have balanced sunlight bulbs. These lamps will give you the best possible light to correctly see the small engravings, writing, and anomalies in your coins.
- Magnifier - A hand-held jeweler's magnifier is ideal for examining coins. Get an 18mm - 10x triplet that folds out and allows you to look at your collection without touching it.
As a U.S. silver coin collector, you need to accurately identify and keep records of all of your coins and store them safely. The above equipment and storage holders will allow you to keep your collection safe and secure. These initial equipment and storage investments are invaluable tools for your collection. Contact a local company, like Beaverton Coin & Currency, for more help.