Coin collectors have the natural instinct to love and protect their coins. However, some very innocent and well-meaning activities, like touching and cleaning the coins, can be disastrous for both the coins and their value. The following tips are provided to help you prevent your collection from suffering avoidable damage.
No matter how much we wash our hands, our skin will always contain traces of oil and debris. As soon as this material comes into contact with a coin, it contributes to damaging it. Protective gloves are a vital investment, and it is good practice to always handle loose coins by their rims (edges).
The best piece of advice when it comes to cleaning coins is “don’t do it”. Even when coins look dirty or worn out with age, they are still more valuable than coins which have been newly-cleaned. Over time, coins naturally undergo a process known as toning, when oxygen or sulphur reacts with the metal. While it may not look pretty, the surface under the toning still contains the reflective quality known as mint lustre. Cleaning products will not only remove the lustre, but will add tiny scratches and fibres that will render the coin worthless.
If you are truly concerned about the condition of a coin, contact a professional coin dealer or conservator for advice on your best options.
If you purchase proof or uncirculated coins, keep them in their protective folders or capsules. Collectors of just about anything know the special value that objects have when they are kept in their original packaging. Coins are no exception to this, not just because the packaging makes them stand apart from loose coins, but their containers also protect them from being exposed to the elements and suffering from damage over time.
If you are collecting loose coins, it will be beneficial to carefully choose storage containers for them. Visit our eShop to find a range of items to help you protect, preserve and present your coins in the best possible way.