Tips For Safe Handling Of Coins

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Keeping coins safe and in good condition is just as important as finding and/or buying them in the first place. Most of the time, coins aren't just a straight piece of a metal. They are nearly always a combination of multiple metals (the amount of metals like gold and silver can affect the overall value of the coin) and are composed a way that might be hard to maintain. For example, pennies aren't straight pieces of copper, nor are they straight pieces of a combination. Pennies starting from 1982 are actually a zinc core with a covering of copper. Meaning, if mix an acid that only corrodes zinc, you will be left with a shell of copper. This change was made because of the varying prices of zinc and copper.

One of the most important things to remember is to not wash coins too many times. Really the only time a wash is appropriate is when you give a light wash when first examining the coin, as circulated coins have passed through many hands and come in contact with a large variety of different objects and places. Not surprisingly, many diseases can be transferred by coins if care is not taken. Washing coins excessively will slowly wear away at the outside, subsequently rubbing away at the design as well. Most of the time, rusts, tarnishes, and other changes to the metal itself will not be able to be washed off, and any attempts to do so will be detrimental to the coin itself. If anything seems to be washable, it is probably removable without the use of water.

To store your coins, you can either make your own display, which at best will allow contact with mere tape and cardboard, or you can purchase coin folders. Coin sleeves are also designed to keep coins safe and sound. These guys are made of vinyl and also make great coin displays. When handling coins, be careful, as excessive contact will damage the coin. It is suggested that you wear cotton gloves while handling coins and keep any contact to the coin limited to softer surfaces. Rougher surfaces will obviously scratch the coin (don't want this).

In general, keep your coins exactly the way that they looked when you first received them. Chances are that any sort of change will not be a good one (it doesn't seem possible that you can improve the state of a coin). Make sure any surface that comes in contact with the coin is softer. If you're not sure, you can try to scratch a coin that has little or no extra value beyond face value; the metallic composition should have no drastic deviation from the coin at stake.

You can find US coins for sale like the Draped Bust dime at our website.

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Bonafide Coin Collecting Software: Five Things To Look For

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Whether you are a novice or an expert at coin collecting, you can truly benefit from purchasing some kind of software.  There are numerous benefits to having software to work with including organization, inventories, and coin related links.  Here are five things to look for with legitimate coin collecting software.

1. Managing data
Perhaps the number one reason why you will want to purchase coin collecting software is to help you manage your data.  It can become overwhelming trying to keep up with the numerous statistics and features that come with your collection.  Having software that can organize all of this data in one system can be extremely helpful.

2. Built in coin inventory
Many of the commercially available software will have built in coin inventories for you to take advantage of.  This will allow you to keep an eye on modern, ancient and medieval coins.  In addition, many of these programs are capable of organizing existing web resources and coin links so that you can keep up to date on recent coin values that are updated frequently.

3. Coin glossary and dictionary
If you are a coin collecting expert, having a glossary and dictionary specifically for coins is probably not all that important.  However, it certainly cannot hurt.  But if you are a novice, it is important you understand all of the terminology and wording that is used within the coin industry.

4. Reports and summaries
In addition to managing your data, you will also want to be able to write reports and summaries regarding your coins and coins that you may want to purchase.  It is important your coin collecting software has some type of feature or program that will allow you to write reports and keep summaries of numerous things.

5. Readymade templates
The last feature that you will want to look for with coin collecting software is readymade templates.  Although this is not at the top of the list for things to look for, it can certainly make life easier on you as you attempt to keep track of your collection efficiently.

The market is filled with different coin collection software you can purchase.  It can be difficult deciphering one from the next making it all the more important you take the tips listed in this article into consideration.  Look for software that will allow you to write reports and summaries, manage your date, and has a built in coin inventory.

Tom Lindstrom is a coin collecting expert. For more great information on coin collecting software be sure to visit

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How To Handle Your Coins

Friday, March 27th, 2009

The higher the coin grade, then the higher its value should be. Proper coin handling helps to reduce the risk of putting any harmful substances that may lead to spots or changes in the coin’s color, to help retain its value and grade. The coins you cherish and collect should always be carefully handled, in order to reduce the possibility of causing unnecessary wear and tear on these. Highly-valued coins (see how to value your coins here) should as well, be properly cared for, because they will be given a 'coin grade' (see this guide to grading coins) depending on its actual condition and state, and its price as well would be determined by the grade.

Uncirculated or 'Proof' coins should never be touched or clumsily handled. These should also not be held on the edges, since mere fingerprints may do a lot of damage, and reduce not only the coin grade but the coin value as well. Whenever you need to place down a coin outside of its holder, ensure that it’s laid down on a clean and soft surface. You may also lay down a coin on a soft velvet pad, or on a clean, soft cloth or sheet of paper. In addition, avoid holding coins in front of your mouth, because small amounts of moisture could lead to the formation of spots on the coin’s surface. More importantly, you should never drag coins across any surfaces, so that you would avoid scratching or tearing its edges.

Some collectors even wear clean white cloth or surgical gloves when handling valuable or rare coins, to make sure that their coin collections remain neat, shiny and in tiptop shape. A number of specialized coin holders are available today, and these help to provide adequate protection to the coin, and ensure it stays prized and valuable.

While you may think that clean and shiny coins offer better value, the most seasoned of collectors would rather opt to have coins that retain their original appearance, since unsafely cleaning a coin may lead to a reduction of its value by half or more. Wiping a coin is also seen as a no-no, because even using a soft cloth would be enough to cause tiny, minute scratches on its surface. Properly cleaning coins should be done in a manner that is comparable to the way an art collector tries to restore a classic masterpiece. If unsure, coin cleaning should then be best left to the professional cleaners, who have the skill and experience in different coin cleaning techniques. Some expert cleaners for example, soak a coin in olive oil or soapy water for days, to safely remove dirt and other foreign substances, and then rinse these with tap water and then dry it with compressed air.

Expert coin collectors stress that coins normally go through a natural process called 'toning' which refers to a chemical reaction wherein the atoms on the coin’s surface react with sulfur compounds, often leading to the tarnishing of the coin’s surface. This is a non-reversible process however, although some professional collectors indicate that the coin may be repaired through a dipping process, which should strip the unwanted particles or substances from the coin’s surface. Natural toning, on the other hand, may also help towards increasing a coin’s value.

Herman Klein is a coin collecting expert. For more great information on coin care be sure to visit

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