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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage  |  Topic: Do I store and present my coins well? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Do I store and present my coins well?  (Read 2931 times)
lolman1c
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« on: January 21, 2015, 08:37:58 am »

Hello everyone.

I have collected historical items for over ten years now but the majority of these have been modern and so I simply display them in a fully glass case. However, I have moved into the world of coin (I have coins for ancient Greece, China and Rome through to modern 20th century coins) collecting as I find them easier to story and I like to research the history behind each coin (easier to do than most objects). This is where I reach my problem. Currently all my coins are displayed, again, on a black piece of cloth in glass case with all my research and pictures on my computer. I never even attempt to clean any coin and as soon as I obtain them they go straight in the case in order of their age. I know that cleaning the coin can be hard, lead to damage, removes detail and even might be removing its natural protective shields (plus I love the aged look of them).


I was wondering if this is all okay for me to do if I want to prevent damage? I'm thinking of obtaining a "Safe Coin Flips" from this forums as I hear they protect them (also my coin case is getting very cluttered and it looks like a storage rather than display). Does anyone have any suggestions or feedback on how i display everything Again, it's a full glass and plastic case (no wood) and is on a black piece of cloth. 
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areich
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2015, 08:46:30 am »

It's important to make sure they're stored dry. If necessary, get some silica gel packets. Otherwise there's not much to worry about. Once you have more coins (which seems to be the case with you), some kind of tray system works best, or a case. Plastic flips are impractical and since they can trap moisture, even the PVC-free ones are not unproblematic. Most ancient coins are not so fragile that you can't store them in cardboard boxes and even travel with them but of course that's no way to store an actual collection.
As you say, when in doubt, do not try cleaning them.
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lolman1c
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2015, 09:08:02 am »

It's important to make sure they're stored dry. If necessary, get some silica gel packets. Otherwise there's not much to worry about. Once you have more coins (which seems to be the case with you), some kind of tray system works best, or a case. Plastic flips are impractical and since they can trap moisture, even the PVC-free ones are not unproblematic. Most ancient coins are not so fragile that you can't store them in cardboard boxes and even travel with them but of course that's no way to store an actual collection.
As you say, when in doubt, do not try cleaning them.


Thanks for the information. Do you have any suggestions where I can get a sliding case as you have suggested? I have thought about this but have never seen any.
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areich
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2015, 10:35:08 am »

I meant a case like this:



Then there are the cheaper trays from Lighthouse/Lindner.
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cmcdon0923
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2015, 12:16:08 pm »

How one displays their collection is often largely a matter of personal taste, with a bit of practicality thrown in too.

If you go through and check out some of the other topics posted in this discussion board category, there are numerous discussions about various storage methods, ranging from simply putting them in flips, to various types of trays, coin cabinets, etc., etc....

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Meepzorp
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2015, 01:46:41 pm »

Hi lol,

Everything that areich told you is correct. Even the PVC-free (Mylar, etc.) plastic flips are not perfect. But that's what I use. Why?

There are 3 reasons:

1) That's what I started using from the very beginning of my collecting. And I don't feel like switching over to trays or cases or whatever at this point.

2) I like to keep as much information as possible with my coins. I find that Mylar plastic flips are best for this. I write the information on home-made paper tags and insert them into the opposing pocket of the flip. Doing that isn't as easy with trays or cases, and the tags can get lost.

3) My collection is too large. Trays or cases take up much more space than plastic flips. If you only have a few coins, then yes, trays or cases may be practical. But once you get beyond a few hundred coins, trays or cases, in my opinion, are not practical. They would literally take up so much space that it would be ridiculous. My own ancient coin collection consists of approximately 2,000 coins, possibly more. If I stored all 2,000 of my coins in trays or cases (instead of in Mylar flips), I'd probably have to rent out a storage unit just to store my coin collection. Or half of an entire bank vault. Smiley By using Mylar flips, my collection is in a more compressed state. It is more efficient use of space.

Of course, I know that areich will disagree with me. Grin

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benito
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quousque tandem abutere Sadigh pecunia nostra


« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2015, 01:49:47 pm »

How one displays their collection is often largely a matter of personal taste, with a bit of practicality thrown in too.

If you go through and check out some of the other topics posted in this discussion board category, there are numerous discussions about various storage methods, ranging from simply putting them in flips, to various types of trays, coin cabinets, etc., etc....



They no longer make really fine cabinets for small collections.
# 1. For coins from Alexandria.
# 2. For roman coins
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cmcdon0923
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2015, 02:56:27 pm »

You could always tone it down a notch or two....or three, or four.......    Cheesy
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areich
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2015, 03:23:08 pm »

I personally found that I handled my coins much less frequently when I had them in flips. It's an effort to take out each and every coin, which is very easy with trays. If you care about paper inserts, you can easily store all the tags for all coins in a tray in one of the compartments. Or you could put them in the compartments but then I'd recommend cutting small plastic inserts to put between paper and coin.
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lolman1c
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2015, 08:40:18 am »

Some interesting ideas. It might be a good plan if I have both flips and a nice cabinet. I could put my more common smaller coins in the flips while keeping the rarer favorite coins on display. I obviously don't have anywhere near 2,000+ but I would estimate I have around near 100 old and common coins. If I had a nice booklet I might even put the flips in that and use it as a stand in my cabinet by putting some nice material on it to keep it protected. This means everything can stay in a nice controlled environment but looks a lot more tidy than I have. I do some display work in museums sometimes so I've always liked the black back drop with the coins spread out. Obviously with the amount of coins I have now this is no longer possible.
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Andrew McCabe
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2015, 10:43:13 am »

I don't think space should really be the issue. A large Abafil box with 14 trays of 40mm compartments (large enough for 99% of ancients) holds 680 coins. Three such boxes and even a 2000 coin collection is done. Include a mix with some 28mm compartments and some 40mm compartments, and 1000 coins can be stored in one box. A box size is about 0.3 x 0.2 x 0.2m. That's one-hundredth of a cubic metre. Not really so space hungry. I suspect the flips equivalent might be half-again smaller, but in absolute terms, one can store masses of coins in a well packed Abafil case, or one can store masses of coins in some boxes of flips, but the difference isn't huge. In my case, I store my coins in two Abafil boxes that contain a mix of 40mm compartments, and deep aes grave compartments. Despite the aes grave, there's no problem fitting a 1200 coin collection in two such boxes, and both boxes fit in a 0.04 sqm safety box that also has room for quite a lot of other junk.
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lolman1c
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2015, 04:02:40 am »

It's intresting to see how everyone displays their collection. I actually have a friend who wears some of his ancient Asian coins around his neck! (often pre- 1000 AD) I kinda cringe when I see this but at the same time I must admit they do look good. He says that they are so common that he doesn't mind and I understand he is free to do what he wants but still a small part of me thinks there is something wrong...
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areich
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2015, 10:35:51 am »

I don't see anything wrong with this. They are extremely common and they're already holed.
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Athena15
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2015, 03:09:47 pm »

Hi, I've just joined this site, though have bee reading for a while.

I want to buy a safe to put my coins in, but due to space issues, can't get one quite big enough to store the Abafil case. So was just thinking of placing the trays in there by themselves. That shouldn't be a problem.

I have a few archaic tetradrachms that are quite thick and stick out above the height of the insert, so thought to purchase another Abafil tray of the same size to place on top, thus making the insert twice the size and keeping the coins covered in the safe.

Lot of money for a tray to sit on top of another tray. So getting to my point, would one of the cheaper Abafil felt trays serve tis purpose ok? Have heard felt is bad for coins, but is this only if they are touching the felt? Or is there some other problem with felt affecting coins?

Thanks for any advice. Will appreciate the feedback.
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areich
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2015, 04:41:01 pm »

I don't see what good it would do to put another tray on top. Coins do not have to be stored air-tight. It might actually be a promblem if your safe is air-tight, since it will trap moisture. In that case you should add some silica gel packets.
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Carausius
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« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2015, 06:43:04 pm »

Quote from: Athena15 on January 24, 2015, 03:09:47 pm
Lot of money for a tray to sit on top of another tray. So getting to my point, would one of the cheaper Abafil felt trays serve tis purpose ok? Have heard felt is bad for coins, but is this only if they are touching the felt? Or is there some other problem with felt affecting coins?

Welcome to the Forum. Friction from felt can cause wear to coins (commonly called "cabinet wear") as the coins move against the felt from handling the trays and coins. Short answer - if there is no contact witht the felt, then there is no problem. However, I agree with Andreas that a cover is really not necessary. If you are not able to stack your abafil trays because the tetradrachms sit too high, then you might invest in one of the extra-deep Abafil trays. I use these extra-deep trays for Roman aes grave, so they are certainly deep enough for Athenian tetradrachms. I hope that helps.
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cmcdon0923
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« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2015, 09:33:51 pm »

Quote from: Athena15 on January 24, 2015, 03:09:47 pm
I want to buy a safe to put my coins in, .....

Be careful if you're buying one of the less expensive, mass marketed, safes commonly sold for home use.......generally labeled as a "fire safe".  The way many of these safes protect their contents in a fire is that the material filling the walls of the safe gives off moisture during the fire.  But that also means it is providing an internal environment that is also relatively high in moisture.  I used to have one, but got rid of it because of the noticeable "damp smell" every time I opened it.


The following comes from a website of a company that sells fire safes, where they describe the way many lower priced consumer safes function:

"Another major drawback to fireboard based safes is most fiberboard panels contain high levels of moisture. The moisture increases the level of fire protection during a fire but will create a constantly damp environment inside the safe, causing corrosion of metal belongings and wilting of paper based items.  Fireboard tends to loose it's fire resistance over time as the moisture continues to seep out."


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Athena15
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« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2015, 04:35:20 am »

Thanks for the replies. I had thought about leaving the top tray uncovered in the safe, but just thought to cover it. But it makes sense not to worry. Will just place my thicker coins in the top tray, where they won't get touched from above.

As for the safe, had looked at a couple with fireboard lining, but had read bits and pieces about moisture, but the quote above is the most definitive thing I've read. Will steer clear. Mainly want it just to keep things out of the way and hopefully safe. Might steer clear of a fire safe all together and just go with a security one. Am going to get a small de-humidifier to put in the safe to hopefully keep things dry.

Once again, thanks for the friendly replies. Will be sure to have more questions no doubt!
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Meepzorp
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« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2015, 07:15:54 pm »

Quote from: Athena15 on January 24, 2015, 03:09:47 pm
Hi, I've just joined this site, though have bee reading for a while.

I want to buy a safe to put my coins in, but due to space issues, can't get one quite big enough to store the Abafil case. So was just thinking of placing the trays in there by themselves. That shouldn't be a problem.

I have a few archaic tetradrachms that are quite thick and stick out above the height of the insert, so thought to purchase another Abafil tray of the same size to place on top, thus making the insert twice the size and keeping the coins covered in the safe.

Lot of money for a tray to sit on top of another tray. So getting to my point, would one of the cheaper Abafil felt trays serve tis purpose ok? Have heard felt is bad for coins, but is this only if they are touching the felt? Or is there some other problem with felt affecting coins?

Thanks for any advice. Will appreciate the feedback.

Hi Athena,

About 4 years ago or so, the ANA's "The Numismatist" magazine had an excellent article about safes. It described different types of safes, theft ratings, etc. Maybe someone can scan it and post it here.

It may help you to make a decision.

Meepzorp
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cmcdon0923
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« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2015, 09:33:26 pm »

It is in the April 2011 edition.  Hopefully this link will work and doesn't require you to be an ANA member......

http://onlinedigitalpublishing.com/publication/?i=64474&p=38
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Meepzorp
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« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2015, 01:40:05 pm »

It is in the April 2011 edition.  Hopefully this link will work and doesn't require you to be an ANA member......

http://onlinedigitalpublishing.com/publication/?i=64474&p=38

Hi cmc,

Yep, that's the article I was thinking of. You hit it on the head. I didn't even know that such a website existed.

It's an excellent article, isn't it?

Maybe a moderator can create a new thread containing that link, and make that thread a "sticky thread", one that appears at the beginning of this section.

Meepzorp
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cmcdon0923
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2015, 10:35:09 pm »

The link is from the ANA's online archive of "The Numismatist".  If you're an ANA member, you should have access. 

I no longer get a hardcopy of the magazine each month, but get it online via the website. (Saves shelf space !!!)

The article concentrates more on the aspect of having a safe for protection from burglary, which I assume is a more likely threat to our collections than fire.
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Meepzorp
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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2015, 11:29:58 pm »

The link is from the ANA's online archive of "The Numismatist".  If you're an ANA member, you should have access.

Hi cmc,

I'm an ANA member. But I didn't have to enter a code or password or anything like that in order to access it.

From my ease at accessing it, I assume that everyone, even non-ANA members, can access it.

Meepzorp
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Meepzorp
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2015, 11:33:06 pm »

The link is from the ANA's online archive of "The Numismatist". I no longer get a hardcopy of the magazine each month, but get it online via the website. (Saves shelf space !!!)

Hi cmc,

I still receive the printed copy of the magazine each month. I guess I am "old school" like that. I like to have a physical object in my hands when I'm reading. I'm the same way with newspapers.

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« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2015, 11:41:02 pm »

The article concentrates more on the aspect of having a safe for protection from burglary, which I assume is a more likely threat to our collections than fire.

Hi cmc,

I agree. Collectors should be more concerned about loss from theft than from fire.

I think Athena understood that, but I'm not 100% sure.

As that article states, most fire-proof safes are not theft-proof. But most theft-proof safes are also fire-proof.

Of course, you are going to pay more for a theft-proof safe. And it is also going to be much heavier. The extra weight will also raise your shipping and/or installation costs.

Meepzorp
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