Coins are popular items to collect and available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and metals. Rare coins are often quite valuable, and there are many factors that result in them losing value. Learning how to handle, clean, and store rare coins correctly is an excellent way to preserve them and ensure that they remain valuable.
Handling Rare Coins
One of the most common ways owners damage rare coins is by handling them. The natural oils and acids from the fingers can contaminate the surface, causing it to corrode more quickly. When handling rare coins, avoid touching their faces as much as possible. Hold them by the edges and use a delicate touch. Wearing gloves, such as cotton or polyethylene, is a good way to ensure no oils transfer to the coins. Avoid wearing latex, because the powder in the gloves can damage coins.
Cleaning Rare Coins
When coins age, their colour changes as they begin to tarnish naturally. Certain kinds of light tarnishing actually increase a coin's value. However, cleaning rare coins correctly ensures that they stay in good condition, provided the owner does not over clean or expose items to chemical cleaners. This often damages the metal and reduces the coin's value. The only type of cleaning that does not adversely affect the coin is simply removing surface dirt. To do this, gently wash the coin in distilled water at room temperature and mild liquid soap. Wear cotton or polyethylene gloves, and do not scrub the coin. Dry it by dabbing lightly with a cotton swab. Finally, dip another cotton swab in acetone, dab the surface of the coin lightly, and allow it to dry. This removes any potentially harmful oils.
Storing Rare Coins
Storing rare coins correctly is an extremely important part of preserving the pieces. When storing coins for an extended period of time, keep them in a climate-controlled environment with a moderate temperature and low humidity. To help to control the humidity, place packets of silica gel in the storage container. To avoid scratches, put the coins in holders. Some owners with large coin collections often store them in coin collection books or albums. This makes it easy to display them, while also keeping them safe. There are also coin holders, such as cardboard versions, but some have staples that could scratch the coins. Mylar coin holders are a good alternative, and hard plastic is durable enough to keep individual rare coins safe.