Be Mindful of These Three Things When Storing Rare Coins

I used to store mine in a sock drawer…

When I turned 9 years old, my Father gave me a set of Lincoln Cent coin collecting booklets for my birthday. Excitedly, I gathered up all of the loose change in the house and went to work filling in the empty spaces in my booklet. When my booklet was full, I ran to show my dad my “completed” Lincoln Cent coin collection. He laughed, and gently explained that each spot in the booklet was for a very specific coin, not just any penny. We popped all of the misplaced coins out of my booklet and started going back through the pile of change I had amassed, carefully examining each coin to determine if it would fill one of the empty spots in my booklet. 

 

A week later, while going through several rolls of pennies obtained from the bank and looking for ones I needed in my collection, I asked my dad if I could see some of the coins he had in his personal coin collection. He told me that he didn’t have all of his coin collection at our house, but he would happily show me what he had. I was surprised when, instead of pulling his coin collection out of his dresser drawer (where I had been keeping mine) he went to the fire safe that was in the back of his closet and pulled out a few coins that were in cases very different from my little booklet. When I asked why he kept his coins in a safe, he began to explain that valuable coins needed to be stored a bit differently than the pennies I had been collecting.

 

There are three main considerations that you have to weigh when deciding where and how to store your coin collection. There are also three main locations that can be used to store coin collections. Here are the pros and cons.

TOP 3 Considerations When Storing Coin Collections

1. Ease of Access to Your Coin Collection

Ease of access is a big consideration when deciding where and how to store your coin collection. It’s great to have your coins close on hand or easy to get to for a variety of reasons:

 

  • It can be fun to go through your collection on occasion or be able to show it to friends and family.

  • When you have a coin to add to the collection, it’s easy to put it in place.


But, if your coin collection has a lot of value, consider keeping it somewhere secure, with 24/7 access. This balance between ease of access, and keeping your coin collection secure provides peace of mind and convenience. 

Cut to the chase and schedule a tour of our Private Vault facility – secure storage with 24/7 access to your coins.

2. Keeping Your Coin Collection Secure

A small Lincoln Cent collection can most likely be stored safely in a sock drawer. However, when you start collecting coins with higher value – especially if you are using coin collecting as an investment vehicle – the security of your collection is very important.

 

When assessing location security for your coins, remember the 3 “A”s: Anonymous, Access, & Absorption

 

  • Anonymous: Who would have knowledge of where your coin collection is stored?

  • Access: Who could get access to your coin collection? How determined would an individual have to be to take it?

  • Absorption: Is your coin collection in danger of fire, flood, or another disaster?


To reduce the risk of theft, store your coin collection in a place where very few people have knowledge or access to it. 

Determined criminals can gain access to coin collections even when they are stored in a large in-home safe!

 

Typical home fire safes can only withstand an average home fire for about 30 minutes. At that point the internal temperature can quickly reach temperatures that will char or melt the paper and plastic coin holders. Although the fire itself will likely never reach the point of melting the coins, the chemical reactions from the charred paper and melting plastic can pit coins and cause other irreversible damage to the metal. 

As it turns out, even fire rated safes won’t stop many threats to your coins.

 

If not at home where? 

 

There are three main locations where you can store your coin collection:

 

1. At Home – low level of security.

2. At a Bank – mid level of security.

3. At a Private Vault – high level of security.

 

Details on the advantages and disadvantages of each of these storage locations will be given in the following post. (Read that post here.)

Whichever location you choose to store your collection, you will want to make sure that the storage environment will protect your collection, and will significantly decrease the risk of damage or theft.

 

Interested in a personal tour of our climate controlled, multipoint-secured Private Vault facility?

3. The Environment Where Your Coin Collection is Stored

Regardless of where you chose to locate your coin collection, it is best to keep your coins inside of a protective container, and to store silica packets with your collection. 

 

  • An airtight container such as a safe or vault can seal in humidity in the air which can affect the contents of the container, i.e. your coin collection. Hence, having a silica packet will help protect against humidity and moisture.

  • There are a wide variety of options for encasing individual or several coins for storage. The most important thing to consider when selecting packaging is to be aware of how this will protect the coins from moisture or chemicals in the air. 

Caution on Paper or Cardboard: most paper and cardboards are made from wood pulp, which contain organic acids (lignin). Over time these acids may be released and could damage coins that are in contact with the wood or paper.

 

Even after safely encasing your more valuable coins and placing silica packets into the container with your coin collection, it is wise to consider the overall environment of your coin collection.

 

  • Try to select an environment that is temperature controlled, with lower levels of humidity, and without high levels of air pollution, or indoor VOC (volatile organic compounds) pollution. Private vaults and banks usually provide safer and more stable environments than do most homes. 

  • Temperature by itself will not damage a coin collection, but high and low temperatures can compound with other issues in the environment (like humidity or pollution) and cause damage.

  • Pollutants in the air will react with most metals and cause discoloration, decay and degradation of the surface of the coins.

Be mindful of chemicals and substances (paints, sprays, varnishes, cleaners, etc. will produce indoor VOC pollution) that are used in the area of your coin collection to avoid potential damage

Schedule a guided tour of Safe Haven Private Vaults Today!

As a Summary…

 

When you are storing a valuable coin collection, it is imperative that you store your coins safely. The three main things to consider when evaluating a potential storage location are: 1) Ease of Access, 2) Security, and 3) The Environment where your coins will be stored. 

 

There are three main locations for storing your coin collection: at home, at a bank, and at a private vault. Read about the advantages and disadvantages of each of these locations, and how ease of access, security, and environment factor into each of these locations in our post The Three Main Storage Locations for Coin Collections.

 

Interested in a personal tour of our climate controlled, multipoint-secured Private Vault facility?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.