Coin Collecting Supplies and Handling
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 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 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 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.