This is Part 2 of our series on Coin Storage. If you have not read Coin Storage Part 1 you can read it here.
One of the most popular methods of storing coins so they can be displayed well without handling them again is to use coin albums like those from Dansco, Whitman and the like. They have the benefit of organizing and displaying your coins and they also serve to protect them. The downside is that in the cheaper versions of these, the cardboard may tarnish your coins over time.
There are 2 main types of coin albums, those with slots for the coins that are held in by pressure and those that have slide over covers once the coins are inserted.
The albums that have open faces so the coins are not covered can allow the coin to be damaged in handling and do nothing to keep out the air or humidity. One should use some care when using this type of album as I have many times seen someone take their thumb and push their coins into the slot leaving a big thumbprint on the coin.
Coin albums with clear vinyl covers that slide in after one has inserted the coins are a better choice, as these have the advantage of protecting the surfaces on all sides.
One should be careful when sliding the vinyl covers back in place as those can scratch the surfaces but this is easily done by making sure the coins are fully inserted into the slots before replacing the covers.
Once a coin is in one of this type of album they can now be displayed without further handling. While a good choice where display is important, these albums do allow small amounts of air to enter and over time this can damage the coins.
Hard plastic holders are also a good choice, particularly for more valuable coins. They are not known to contain any materials that harm coins and offer good protection against scratches and other physical damage. They are available for individual and small sets of coins such as a year set. There are several brands and styles out there to give a variety of different display possibilities.
Some types of hard plastic holders have gone one step further and have air tight seals or are even glued together. This type of holder is by far and the best choice for longer term storage of coins and the holders themselves can be placed in specially made albums for display.
The better coin certification companies use an expanded variety of airtight coin holder that allows for the display of the coin as well as some basic information about that coin on a label. These are generally called slabbed coins. They are sealed together permanently and the theory is that a coin so encapsulated will remain as it is during storage. Sometimes this does not fully work perhaps due to impurities either on the coin or in the small amount of air entrapped with the coin.
In summation, use this knowledge with planning and forethought in order to ensure that you have the immediate benefit of enjoying your collection and the future benefit of preserving your collection and investment for yourself as well as future generations.
Remember that coin collecting is a hobby and for the most part your enjoyment of it is the most important factor, so how you store and treat your coins is totally up to how you want to do it. One can go overboard and lose some of the fun so take a look at how you want your collection to appear within your budgetary and time constraints and enjoy coin collecting for yourself.