The Ten Best Coin Protection Products
If you have a valuable coin collection or you aspire to build one, it is imperative that you take the necessary steps to protect your coins and, ultimately, your investment. Much damage that is done through improper handling or storage of coins can not be reversed. As a result, each passing year sees fewer and fewer original, problem-free coins remaining. The incremental cost of quality hobby supplies and tools for the proper storage and handling of one’s collection is marginal compared to the value of the coins in the collection. While there are countless products on the market that claim to offer the best protection for your coins, we have identified what we believe to be the 10 best coin protection products available today. Take a look at our list and contact Razi if you have any comments, questions or suggestions for the list.
10. Flat Clinch Stapler - One big category of coin damage we see is from staple scratches. Much of this damage comes from staples that are not completely clinched. Normal staplers leave a curl of the staple rising above the surface. This piece of staple can easily scratch adjacent coins as the coin shifts in a box or is removed or inserted from the box. Flat clinch staplers fully compress the staple into the surface of the holder leaving nothing behind to damage other coins. We like the Max HD-50DF because it is full size and uses regular staples. Max also makes half strip and palm size versions for collectors that prefer a smaller stapler. All three staplers completely clinch the staple as part of the stapling process.
9. Gloves - A second big category of damage type we see on coins is fingerprints. The oils and acids present on one’s hands can damage coins if left on the surface of the coin for an extended time. Initially, they can cause a fingerprint pattern toned area that is unattractive and lowers the value and grade of the coin. Left unattended, these oils and acids can eventually etch the surface of the coin making the fingerprint permanent. Even handling coins by their rims still allows the dangerous compounds onto the rims of the coins. Using a pair of soft cotton gloves when handling raw coins helps protect all three surfaces of the coins. Make sure you get a pair of thin gloves so that you can still feel the coin. Bulky “work gloves” make it harder to handle small items and increases the risk of dropping the coin.
8. Silica gel - Metal and water do not go well together! Almost everyone intuitively knows to keep their coins from getting wet but many collectors do not realize that even the moisture present in the air (humidity) can be enough to cause damage. Silica gel absorbs moisture that makes its way inside your safe deposit box, safe or other storage area preventing it from reaching your coins and causing damage. Silica gel can be easily reactivated in the oven when it has absorbed as much moisture as it can hold. Before shopping for silica gel, measure the size of the area to be protected and then buy the appropriate size of silica gel for storage space.
7. Koinsolv - Koinsolv is a neutral coin solvent that removes PVC, oil, tape residue, light fingerprints, and grease from the surfaces of the coins. It is the best solvent on the market, exceeding acetone (which can contain contaminants if not the 100% pure version), alcohol and other solvents in its ability to remove pesky foreign substances from your coins. Koinsolv does not affect the luster or natural toning on coins and won’t change a coin’s color (even on copper coins). It is not a dip or cleaner.
6. Supersafe Archival Coin and Currency Pages - Supersafe’s archival grade pages are made from a polyester material that is free from the softeners and additives that can damage coins and currency. These hard, rigid holders provide maximum long term protection. Mix and match these pages (currently available in five sizes) with Supersafe’s Deluxe Archival 3-Ring Binder and Deluxe Archival Slip Case to make your own archival custom storage album.
5. Intercept Shield 2x2 Snaplock Holders - Corrosion Intercept, the active ingredient in Intercept Shield, is a state-of-the-art corrosion preventing compound used for the storage and preservation of copper, nickel, silver and gold coins. The Intercept insert in these holders reacts with and neutralizes gases in the air that cause coins to spot, discolor and tarnish. Unlike vinyl holders, Intercept does not contain any volatile oils or additives that contaminate the coins it is used to protect. These 2x2 snap together holders are ideal for uncertified coins that collectors prefer not to place in albums. Also available are boxes designed to neatly hold these 2x2 holders and provide a second protective barrier.
4. Saflips - Most collectors know to avoid PVC containing plastic coin storage products. However, many do not realize that even non-PVC vinyl flips and holders can also damage coins. The oils that bleed out of many soft plastic flips can cause coins to develop a cloudy appearance. Moreover, a PCGS study revealed that vinyl flips have tiny particles imbedded in them that can cause hairline scratches on coins as they are inserted and removed from the flips. Saflips not only avoid these problems but they are also manufactured in controlled conditions to assure the absence of sulfur containing paper and cardboard dust and other contaminants. They are then sealed in inert poly bags to assure they reach the final user free of foreign debris.
3. Intercept Shield Albums - These albums are another fabulous innovation from the team at Intercept Shield in turning a popular storage and display item into a coin preservation tool. The album is made with only acid-free archival components so that coins will not be harmed or toned by the album components themselves. Oddly, many other manufacturers do not take these precautions. Intercept advanced the album even further by lining the inside covers with Intercept Shield providing a protective barrier to attract and absorb dangerous compounds before they reach the coins stored inside. Intercept further innovated by making a slipcase standard with all their albums. The slipcase improves appearance and stacking but more importantly it is also lined with Intercept Shield providing a second protective barrier for harmful compounds.
2. Kointains - Kointains, manufactured by E&T Kointainer are so clear and small that they are virtually invisible providing protection with the least amount of distraction and intrusion of any coin holder. Kointains have withstood the test of time having been in use for over 60 years. The completely safe holder is manufactured from an impervious plastic and produced and packaged under strict conditions to prevent contamination of the holders by dust, oil and grease. Kointains are convex so that they only touch the coins on their edges. The combination of safety and near invisibility has made them the favorite choice of museums including the Smithsonian, the ANA Money Museum and many others.
1. Intercept Shield Double Protection Box - Intercept Shield’s Double Protection Box is the first coin supply storage solution designed to protect (not just store) certified coins. The hobby’s more expensive collector and investment grade coins tend to be certified. So, the introduction of a storage option for these pricey pieces that also provided for protection from potential contaminants was particularly noteworthy. The double protection box was not just a remake of an existing product with Intercept added. The introduction of this box was a whole new certified coin storage concept. The box consists of ten inner boxes, each lined with a layer of Intercept Shield. An outer box neatly holds the ten inner boxes and is also lined with Intercept creating two layers of protection.
About the author: Razi is the resident coin supply wizard at Wizard Coin Supply, a global provider of coin collection supplies and coin collection accessories, based in the Washington DC suburbs of northern Virginia. Wizard is dedicated to providing its customers with the largest possible selection of quality coin supplies at deeply discounted prices and to promoting the hobby and enjoyment of numismatics. An advanced numismatist himself, Razi takes a particular interest in coin protection and preservation.