Coin collections are known as the "hobby of kings" as it was originally practiced by royalty. An ancient royal coin collection was maintained for monetary value as well as for the meaning and stories attached to the coins. Coins provide a glimpse into the history of international commerce and world politics. Coin collections are increasing in value in today's market, so it is important to care for your coin collection carefully.
Here are some simple steps that you can take to help protect your coin collection.
- Hold coins with clean hands or while wearing gloves made of cotton or latex. Be sure to have a soft surface underneath in case you accidentally drop a coin.
- Hold a coin by its edge using your thumb and forefinger and avoid touching the faces of the coin. Natural oils found on your hands can be corrosive and damaging to the metal.
- Refrain from cleaning coins, which can greatly reduce their value. The visible age and discoloration found on older coins increases their desirability and value.
- Store coins in a cool, dry place without changes in temperature and relative humidity, which can promote tarnish that may devalue an item.
- Consider storing your coin collection in a safety deposit box or home safe for added protection.
- Maintain any packaging or holders when you purchase coins. Commeratives and sets should be stored and sold in their original cases. Avoid any container comprised of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which can erode metal surfaces.
- Have your coin collection re-appraised on a regular basis to establish replacement values and update your insurance policy as needed.
- Maintain thorough documentation of your coin collection including purchase receipts, photographs and full descriptions of each item. For high-value items, you may have auction and/or provenance documentation. All collection documentation should be kept in a safe location.
One of the most important steps you can take to protect your coin collection is to purchase insurance designed specifically to protect the full collectible value of your items.