The investing process doesn’t end when your precious metals arrive at your doorstep. Once you receive your metals, you’ll need to protect them to preserve their quality. Gold and silver are very soft in their pure form and it’s easy to scratch, dent, nick, or bend them. Precious metals are also susceptible to damages that stem from environmental factors like light, temperature, humidity, and more. These damages can affect the value of bullion coins, rounds, and bars. To keep your bullion in top condition, you’ll need to store them in appropriate, specially-designed materials.
While many storage materials for coins are readily available, it’s important to know which ones are safe to use. Paper products that contain sulfur or other chemicals can cause damage to coins, and plastic products that contain PVC can release hydrochloric acid that can leave a green slimy residue on coins. You should only use acid-free paper products and PVC-free plastic products for coin storage.
Now let’s look at storage materials that can safely be used to store your precious metal bullion.
Single Coins or Rounds
Non-PVC flips are small plastic envelopes that are built to hold and display a single coin or round. They can be reused, but they are not airtight. Using flips can be effective for short-term storage or shipping, but won’t offer lasting protection in the long run.
An ever safer option is using plastic coin capsules, sometimes called Air-Tite capsules. These offer all the protections of flips, and then some. Their hard shell provides more protection against scratches, and the airtight nature of capsules prevents dust or dirt from coming in contact with coins sealed inside.
Multiple Coins or Rounds
Once you invest in enough coins, your storage needs may outgrow capsules. Larger quantities of coins can be safely stored in tubes, each made of durable, archival safe plastic. You can even buy capsule tubes that have a large enough diameter to store coins that are individually capsuled.
For collections large enough, you may have a need for plastic monster boxes. These boxes are designed to hold a number of tubes snugly in place. The boxes themselves can be stacked and stored easily.
Additionally, you can buy slotted boxes that are made to store graded coins in NGC or PCGS slabs.
There are a few things to consider when preparing coins for storage. Most importantly, you should always handle precious metals with clean cotton gloves. This prevents skin oils from discoloring or otherwise damaging coins. Before placing coins into storage materials, blow off dust particles with a small fan. It’s best to avoid directly exhaling on coins, so a fan is a good alternative.
Once coins are safely handled and secured in their proper storage materials, they should be placed in a cool, dry area for long-term storage. Tossing a few packets of silica gel into the area can help control atmospheric moisture around your metals.
Safe storage starts with storage materials and continues to include storage location. Read more about finding the right location for your collection.
What other storage tips do you have? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.