Bullion coins are some of the most beautiful objects to collect. Since all bullion coins are minted from precious metals that are easily susceptible to tarnish or markings from mishandling or exposure to the environment, proper storing and handling of bullion coins are important to preserve their beauty and collectible (some say resale) value. We can even went as far as to surmise that collecting bullion coins requires skills, knowledge and investment far more advanced than normal coin collecting as proper know how in acquisition, storage method and handling is essential to preserve the value of your coin portfolio. Because bullion coins are generally high priced, a single tarnish, scratch mark or even thumb print could devalue the coin very substantially, in the case of Proofs or Brilliant Uncirculated(BU) coins, to less than half of its original value.
The first and foremost rule in handling bullion coins is to handle them as less often as possible, better yet, never at all. Gold bullion coins can easily show dent marks or scratch even from the slightest „accidents“ as gold are very soft and malleable metal, this is more prevalent with coins that have exceptionally high purity like the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf (.9999 fineness). Silver on the other hand is notorious for being easily tarnished when exposed to even minute amounts of moisture in air or even human skin. Therefore if you must handle your coin, there is a few guidelines that should be taken into consideration:
1. Hold your coin by its edges, never touch the surface of the coin with your bare fingers as the acidity of human skin would result in color change or wear marks that would tarnish the surface of the coin. Preferably, wear a soft cotton glove when handling bullion coins.
2. Be very careful not to drop, bump or rub your coin against hard surfaces as this might easily result in dents or scratch marks, place foam or soft pads on the table when you are examining the coin to prevent the coin from scratches, ensure that the environment that the coin comes into contact with is dry, clean and free of contaminants.
3. Never breath onto the coin surface, the moisture from human breaths can cause discoloration which would be hard to remove if ever possible at all.
There are many solution offered in the market in storing and displaying your coin collection, in fact nowadays many fresh-out-of-the-mint bullion coins comes in plastic containers that does an excellent job in protecting your investment.
1. For display and short term storage purposes for lower value coins, coin albums and flips provide adequate protection and effective display for large selection of coin, however since albums and flips are not fully air tight, the coins might suffer discoloration from air moisture and contaminant after long periods of time. Therefore this method cannot be applied for the more valuable coins of your collection. One should also take note that the coin albums and flips should not be made of PVC as PVC decompose when reacting the heat and light , the resulting chemical reaction releases hydrochloric acid which will slowly render your coins worthless!!!
2. The most common and economical solution is to use 2×2 cardboard containers lined with Mylar plastics, the coin can be placed on the Mylar and the container can be fold over to enclose the coin and snapped shut. This provide a high level of protection at an affordable price for the majority of your coin collection.
3. For the most valuable coins in your collection, a coin slab provides maximum protection against the elements albeit at a steeper investment, they are made from hermetically sealed hard plastic holders in which individual coins are encased.
Practicing proper care in handling and storing bullion coins is very similar to learning how to protect your financial investment, which in the long run can insure you against disappointment and protection from serious financial losses due to deterioration of your coin collection, therefore making your coin collecting experience much more rewarding.
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Source by BlocksandModels