Coin Collection Storage Tips to Preserve Your Investment

Collectables, Storing Vintage

coins in plastic sleeves

Maybe it started with a coin your grandfather gave you, a shiny gold disc you knew was worth a little something. Then it grew into more shiny coins, each with a history, sentimental value and potentially, real investment value. You realize it’s time to learn more about coin collection storage to preserve what you’ve got.

After all, it’s important to properly store your coins to keep the metal from deteriorating, thus losing value, explains Shaun DuBois, numismatic (or “coins”) director at Pacific Coast Coin and Collateral. He shared his tips for keeping coins safe and organized.

“Most coins are valued according to their condition or state of preservation. Proper storage helps keep coins from degrading or picking up marks.”

In other words, you don’t just want to keep your coins loose in a sack, which can cause them to rub against or hit one another. This is especially true with “uncirculated” coins, meaning those that did not go out in the market to be handled or spent, thus they are free of any wear or damage.

He also suggests using cotton archival-style gloves when handling coins of value such as “proof coins” (special early samples of a coin issue popular with collectors). “Acid and oils from your fingers, if heavily impressed into a coin can cause permanent finger prints etched into the coin. It is very unsightly and therefore a negative to value,” said Shaun. “Also, you should always handle a coin by its edges and never grip or squeeze a coin.”

For coin storage, Shaun has a few suggestions for optimal protection.

There are plastic sleeves often called “coin flips” (see photo, right) made from plastic, vinyl or mylar. You can also opt for plastic 2×2 cases (see photo, left), round acrylic “air tites,” or “coin sleeves,” which are two pieces of cardboard with a mylar window to see the coin. All of these will hold the coin safely in place and protect it.

coin collection storage options including flips and plastic cases

Coins placed in these types of sleeves can then be stored in archival-quality storage boxes.

archival coin storage box with coins in it

More valuable coins can be placed in a “slab,” a thick, snap-close, acrylic case that provides the most protection. If you have a number of loose coins you’re keeping for investment, rather than display, coin tubes are a good way to go.

coin slab cases for storage with coins in them

Or if you prefer to keep your coins in a book style, where you can turn the pages and look at your collection, coin albums might be for you. All of these storage items can be found at most coin shops, or they can be ordered online.

When storing your coins, you want to keep them in their protective casings as much as possible, “Since most metals react with oxygen in some way, even the smallest amount of oxygen in contact with a coin will cause damage,” said Shaun.

And while it’s tempting to polish up your coins before putting them inside a nice, fresh case, Shaun also cautions against cleaning them. “You should almost never try to clean or alter your coins from how they are currently, as the value of most coins is based on their originality and numismatic integrity. If you were to alter them then you can potentially strip the coins of what most collectors prize and look for in their coins, thereby harming their value and causing them to be worth less in the marketplace.”

Lastly, after you’ve packed up your coins in a proper storage holder, find a good storage space for them. Shaun says the environmental elements of that space are important. “Having them in in a space subject to low temperatures could cause moisture to develop and spot your coins. Humidity can cause coins to corrode or spot, as the water reacts with the metal.  Also, if the temperature goes too high, it could accelerate tarnishing that is potentially unsightly.”

Anywhere that is comfortable for humans is probably good for your coin collection too. With some care and proper protection, coin collecting will offer you a hobby than can be both fun and offer the maximum return on your bright and shiny investment!

Photo upload terms and conditions

  1. Maximum file size accepted is 5 MB.
  2. Public Storage reserves the right in its sole discretion to decline to use any photo submitted.
  3. Images must be your own.
  4. You must have permission of anyone featured in the photo before uploading for use by Public Storage.
  5. Photos must not infringe upon the copyrights or trademarks of any person or entity.
  6. By submitting, you agree that Public Storage can use and shall own the photos and all rights therein.
  7. You understand and acknowledge that you are receiving no compensation in exchange for submitting images, though some images may also be used as part of a giveaway if announced on social media for that time period.
  8. Submitting the photo does not automatically enter you to participate in any contest or sweepstakes.
  9. By submitting a photo, you agree that Public Storage may use your image (and the likeness of anyone featured in that image) for advertising or the like and in any media of any kind, including any social media channel, without compensation of any kind. The photo may be used in this matter at any time and without further notification or release. The photo will be kept by Public Storage and not returned to you.
  10. By submitting a photo, you agree that Public Storage may contact you with questions about you and other people and activities represented in the image.
  11. By submitting a photo, you agree to defend, hold harmless and indemnify Public Storage and each and all of the agents, representatives, insurers, employees, attorneys, successors, subsidiaries, parent companies, affiliated companies, assigns, officers, directors, and shareholders of Public Storage, both present and past (collectively referred to herein as “Public Storage”) and the like against any and all claims, including claims of infringement of any intellectual property rights, proprietary rights, rights or privacy and publicity, moral rights and rights of attribution raise by third parties in connection with any photo submitted.
  12. Public Storage is not responsible for any injury, losses or damages of any kind resulting from the submission of your photo.
  13. Public Storage assumes no responsibility for letting you know whether the photo was or was not used.
  14. Public Storage assumes no responsibility for notifying you of why your photo is or is not used.
  15. Public Storage assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, deletion, defect, theft, destruction or alteration of any photo.
  16. You release Public Storage and each and all of the agents, representatives, insurers, employees, attorneys, successors, subsidiaries, parent companies, affiliated companies, assigns, officers, directors, and shareholders of Public Storage, both present and past from and against any and all claims which you have now or may have in the future for invasion of privacy, defamation, violations of rights of publicity or any other cause of action arising out of distribution, copying, display or other use of the photo in any way.
  17. Your submission shall be exclusively governed by the laws of the State of California, without regard to conflicts of law provisions. You (or your parent/legal guardian if you are a minor) submit to the jurisdiction of California and agree that any dispute shall be resolved by binding arbitration to be held in Los Angeles, CA via the Rules for Commercial Arbitration of the American Arbitration Association. In the event that arbitration is prohibited by law, you agree that any lawsuit or legal action with respect to any submitted materials must be brought in the state and federal courts in Los Angeles County, Los Angeles. You and Public Storage agree that claims may only be brought in an individual capacity and in the name of an individual person or entity and that claims must proceed on an individual and non-class and non-representative basis.