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Coin Collecting Supplies and Handling

Updated on June 4, 2015

Coin Collecting Supplies

While collecting is the fun part of the hobby, protecting your investment is critical. Coins must be protected from physical damage, and from environmental damage. There are many products that can help, and making the decision which you will use is something to think about.

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A good book should be your first purchase.

AAYN Episode 33: Proper Handling of Rare/Collectible Coins, 1884-CC Morgan Silver Dollar


Magnifying a coin can reveal much, including in many cases if the coin is counterfeit. And, imperfections, which are important in determining a fair value, can be revealed. Buy a 3X to 10X magnifier. You do not need to magnify a coin with 100 power.

Plastic Capsules

Plastic holders are quite good, but if the original mint provided holder is available it is much better than anything you can buy. Why? When you transfer a coin to a plastic holder you expose it to the atmosphere. And, you may not get as good of a fit as the mint does. Remember, a tight fit reduces movement, and abrasion.

Plastic holders come in many sizes, and mints usually give diameter specifications of coins. However, it is best to buy in quantity. Plastic holders with washers solve the problem of needing just one or two of each size.

The Beginner's Video Guide to Handling & Storing Valuable Coins -

Those Cardboard and Mylar Holders

The cardboard holders with the transparent window that fold are the least expensive method of adding protection to your coins. They can be kept in boxes that are just the right size to hold them, and can lead to neat storage. Unfortunately, air is always present inside them, so chemicals can cause damage. Another problem is they must be kept closed, usually with staples. He staples on one can damage another.

I had an uncirculated silver coin develop an ugly black carbon spot where a staple punctured the holder. Yes, it devalued the coin significantly.

Cotton Gloves

Cotton gloves are a must if you are handling coins. Moisture and oils from your skin can cause damage years later. Always handle a coin by the rim, but do wear gloves to avoid all contact.


Pressing a coin into a folder is something no serious collector would do, but these folders are essential. They list the coins of a series, and allow new collectors to organize what coins they remove from circulation. And, without this easy way to start, the hobby would soon collapse.


Plastic flips can offer an inexpensive alternative to plastic capsules. However, the protection is much less than the capsules.

Coin Books

Coin books can provide a value, which can help you not pay too much for a coin, but coin books also give great information. They often provide images, lists of varieties of an issue, mintage, and much more. A coin book is well worth the low cost of buying one.

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    • Ahdilarum profile image

      Ahdilarum 5 years ago

      Antiques has it's own value.. It never dips..

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      Coin collecting is such a great hobby and I know many who are interested in having these rare coins.

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 5 years ago

      I collected buffalo head nickles as a child. I remember those flip folders. My brother still collects coins ans stamps. Thanks for the lens. I enjoyed it.

    • digitaltree profile image

      digitaltree 5 years ago

      Nice Lens and info, i always though it was just finding the coins until the time to sell them, now i know you need to protect them, very helpful Lens:)

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      Great resource for both novice and experience collectors - thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great gift ideas here for some of the coin collectors in my family. :)

    • top101 profile image

      top101 5 years ago

      Really neat.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Good info for beginning coin collectors.