Proper handling and storage of collectible coins
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First: do not clean your coins! Cleaned coins almost always loose
significant value over mint state, uncleaned coins. Only an experienced
numismatist should clean coins, and only then if the current state of
the coin is so bad that cleaning is assured to increase itís appeal
Do not store coins loosely in boxes, jars, drawers, etc. This will only
cause the coins to scratch and dent each other and degrade their value.
If you must hold the coins, use cotton gloves or only hold them only by
their edges. Finger prints and the oils of you hand can degrade a coin
Ė both itís appeal and value.
Do not scratch, polish, rub, or apply anything to a surface of a coin.
Do not drop or drag coins against hard surfaces. Consider getting a soft
mat to work on when handling coins (velvet, cloth, or other soft
surfaces work well.)
Keep coins away from moisture and humid areas. (Do not cough or sneeze
near coins, this can actually leave marks!). Use silica gel to protect
against humidity. Consider using a fire safe for storage and protection.
Store coins in original mint holders or use archival quality storage
containers (NO PVC!). These containers can include 2"x2"
cardboard/mylar holders, Non-PVC clear holders, tubes, archival storage
books -- or send the coin in for grading from a reliable grading service
(they will "slab" or encapsulate the coin for you).