From guest poster, Chris Iannucci: When I first began collecting coins and other collectibles about 10 years ago, I never gave much thought to proper storage and preservation. I just bought what I liked, and kept most items in a display case so I could view them from time to time or share them with friends or family. This gave me much enjoyment over the years.
To be fair, while I have literally spent thousands of hours researching coins and other items over the years, I have probably only invested one tenth of that time researching storage. In the past, my mindset was always about the ability to collect what I liked, whether it was coins, comics or even currency and enjoy what they have to offer. However, as I learned more about the collectibles themselves, and how rare and precious some items can be, I switched from a collector to a steward (i.e., someone that has the responsibility to shepherd and safeguard the valuables of others). To that end, I feel personally responsible and believe that if you collect rare items, your duty is to protect those items and either maintain or improve their condition if possible, for future generations to enjoy. This is the main reason I started Coin Armour, a company devoted to putting the best in class storage and preservation products directly into the hands of collectors.
Proper storage and preservation is something I am passionate about. Unfortunately, I have seen many coins over the years improperly handled to the point where certain rare items are probably worth only their intrinsic value of gold or silver. Mishandling can be as common as actually touching the surface of a coin or paper collectible without wearing gloves, or as severe as testing a rare coin for gold content, to allowing corrosion to continue on the surface of an item without properly removing it. All of these things can contribute to degradation to the point where the item sustains irreversible damage.
In my studies over the past year or so, I have talked to many collectors about proper storage. While some do understand and appreciate certain basics, many do not fully understand all the variables that exist and steps that need to be taken. For example, some collectors believe that just storing items in a safe deposit box is proper enough, but not realizing that corrosive gases can circulate within that environment. Similarly, when transporting collectibles, changes in atmospheric conditions and temperature can impact the environment surrounding the collectible.
Comic book collecting has more recently moved to the forefront of valuable collectibles. In today’s market, many comics from the 1950’s – 1960’s are worth hundreds of dollars if not upwards of $1M for the rarest and highest graded specimens. However, many collectors in this area do not fully appreciate how fragile paper can be (especially paper used to print comics), and the conditions under which paper can deteriorate, whether it is from light sources or harmful gases. Many believe that storing comics in ordinary plastic sleeves is sufficient.
Whether you collect coins, currency or comics, the first step to safeguarding your collectibles is to have them graded by one of the major grading companies. This process will not only authenticate and grade your collectible, but also encapsulate your collectible in a holder so you can view it without damage from improper handling. However, it should not end there, since the holders are not airtight.
This is why Intercept Technology is the perfect solution to safeguarding your collectibles. Intercept storage bags offered by Coin Armour provide the perfect medium in which to store and protect your graded collectibles from the harmful gases that can cause corrosion or tarnish on metals, or contribute to acid hydrolysis in paper. Intercept reactive barrier packaging contains copper, which neutralizes any harmful gases that can penetrate the holder.
Do the right thing: use Intercept for your collectibles. Visit Coin Armour.
Photo of Coin Armour bags containing collectibles provided by Chris Iannucci.