Numismatic and History Discussions > Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage

Coins&More Cabinets, Thoughts and Opinions

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Nathaniel N2:
I have been collecting for about a 8 months now and want a better way to organize my coins, store them safely, and display them beautifully. My collection consists entirely of roman bronze and silver pieces. I have done some searching and I really like the cabinets designed by Coins&More. They are made from birch and fir wood. The trays for coin storage are velvet. They advertise no harmful solvents or glues. As I'm new, I recently came across words like "degassing" and concerns over archival quality of different woods, and not knowing where to look everything went way over my head. I'm hoping I can get some help.

If you use a wooden cabinet:
What qualities should one look for in an ancient coin storage cabinet?
         What wood is safe? Are woods safer as they age?
         How long should degassing, if needed, take?
         Should you store in capsules in the cabinet?
         Anything else I should be aware of?

If you have a Coins&More cabinet:
Have you noticed unnatural toning or damage to any coins caused by storage?
What is your impression of the quality of the cabinet?
Did you have to wait a period of time for the cabinet to degas?

Let me know your thoughts. I'd really like to hear from some of you fine people here before I pull the trigger.

Ron C2:
I don't have a wooden cabinet, nevermind the company you are referring to, but I will say before the advent of plastics, velvet or felt-lined wooden cabinets were the norm for literally centuries and the coins survived just fine - often with very attractive cabinet toning.

I'd say if you like the product, consider buying it, but recognize your coins will air tarnish over time - which is natural - though very different than how coins age in archival plastic flips.

Virgil H:
Ron,
I am curious as to the difference between a wood cabinet and archival flips as far as toning. I have had some coins in flips for years and haven't noticed anything that noticeable. Although I am not really looking for it and gradual change can go unnoticed. I also often get coins that are in the really cheap flips that I immediately discard. I often wonder how long they were in storage like that, or paper flips, etc. I have no wooden cabinets, but use the Light House (or whatever the German company is) boxes with trays that look like velvet, but I think are synthetic. Plus all the coins are in the archival flips. I often wish I had a setup like the ANS with the little archival boxes and cabinets to hold them, although on a much smaller scale. One of the sad things is that the company the ANS got them from went out of business quite a while ago as did almost all other companies in the US making these kinds of things.
Thanks,
Virgil

Ron C2:
Archival flips won't react with the metal, and and don't circulate enough air around the coun to see differences in your lifetime.

Coins sitting on felt or velvet will see moisture fluctuation as the fabric absorbs and releases ambient humidity, and the facing side will see comparatively more air flow.

Open cabinet tray coins will tone much faster than archival flips coins.

In a cabinet the side touching fabric tones more rapidly.

That said. A nice toned silver coin can be very attractive, more so than an aggressively cleaned coin.

Virgil H:
Again, thanks for a useful response. One thing I have often wondered about with old collections is the impact tobacco smoke had on toning. The smoke could get everywhere, even into cabinets. I can envision a couple of collectors getting together each with a pipe, cigar, or cigarette in hand and a glass of whiskey. It really hasn't been a long time since smoking in the house was the norm. Even Peter van Allen has mentioned how curators and researchers would use the collection back in the day, tobacco smoke everywhere.

Virgil

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