Coin collecting may not be a passive hobby as some might think. The hobby requires delicate attention to detail and proper handling of valuable coins. So how does one handle and maintain a coin collection properly?
Handing coins can have an effect on the coin's condition. It's important to consider carefully how you touch your coins. The fingers contain bodily oils and grit that might affect the coin's color or cause scratches on the coin's face. In fact, excessive touching may cause it to discolor. To be sure that you handle coins properly, wear latex gloves. Another safe practice would be to handle the coin on the edges since you won't affect the front and back parts of the coin.
Breaking the holder or container would not be a good practice for coin collecting. By doing so, you'll decrease the value of the coin from a mint-issue package. If a minted coin has a holder, then the container is part of the set - meaning it's intended to be intact. Breaking it would make it less valuable.
Constant coin handling will ultimately diminish the value as well. If you have to touch the coin, it's best to wash your hand thoroughly. In addition, make sure that you don't put the coin on a hard surface. Placing the coin on such a surface could cause scratches on the item's surface.
Temperature and Humidity
Coins for collecting should be placed in an area that is as close to room temperature. Coins in a damp or cold basement or in a hot attic will cause coins to oxidize and ultimately age. Rooms that are dry should be what you should seek to store coins. Moreover, storing the coins in the basement or attic will expose the collectibles to an environment that will break down the storage containers.
Storage is also a very important part of coin collecting maintenance. Find containers or plastic pockets that protect the coin from the elements. Some you can find available in sheets at a hobby or coin collector shop.
You should seriously weigh the benefits and disadvantages of cleaning coins. Sometimes cleaning or polishing a coin is not the right thing to do, especially if the coin is in a packaged container. If the coin becomes exposed to air, the metal may oxidize or lose it's toning.
Do not use metal cleaners to clean the collectibles. Doing so will also have damaging consequences such as discoloring.
However, if washing is a must, make sure you wash your hands with soap to remove oil or grit. You can then apply a soapy bath for the coins in a small container. Look for a plastic container since hard surface containers like glass might affect the coin properties. Gently rub the sides of the coins once it's in the bath. When you complete cleaning, dry the coin with a soft towel.
Coin collecting is a hobby that one should be careful in maintaining the assets. Not applying careful coin handling techniques could seriously affect the value of the coins. There are plenty of resources to help you get started with coin handling and care.