If you are starting to collect gold coins and want to eventually sell some of them, you need to learn how to keep them in good condition while you look for a buyer. Coins that are in good condition will fetch better prices from buyers. Here are three tips to help you store and handle your coins so that they stay in good condition.
Get the Right Storage for Your Collection Size
You don't want to just put coins in just any can or box since the container itself could scratch the coins. If you visit a jeweler, they will have the right storage container for your collection. For smaller collections, you can get air-tight capsules or tubes. Air-tight capsules prevent dust and dirt from coming into contact with the coin. These storage containers also have hard outer shells that can protect coins from scratches. Since gold coins can be softer than other coins, a harder outer shell can prevent the metals from warping.
Some gold coins, like bullion coins are shipped in "monster boxes," which are good storage devices for larger collections. Large and medium-sized coin collections work well in books that have polyethylene flips. Coin flips are plastic pockets that protect rare coins and hold the information for the coin. Flips are good for shipping and temporary storage, but they may not be as good as capsules or coin boxes since they aren't completely air tight.
Lastly, whatever storage method you choose, be sure to keep the coins away from humidity, sunlight, and extreme temperatures.
Handle Them the Right Way
If you must handle a coin, it's a good idea to wash your hands and then put on a clean pair of cotton gloves. If you use your bare hands, your skin oils can actually discolor the coin. If you must handle a coin without gloves, hold it by the edges — don't put your fingers on the face of the coin. When setting down coins, place them on a soft cloth so that they don't get scratches. If you need to reinsert them into their storage after handling them, use a small fan to blow off dust particles. You definitely don't want to blow on the surface of the coin to remove particles, as moisture from your breath can damage the coin.
Leave the Cleaning to a Professional
Some professionals may clean your coins with an electrolysis method since the current will separate non-metal debris from metal. However, you shouldn't try to manually scrub the coin with abrasive products or cleaners at home. While pure gold doesn't tarnish, a lot of gold coins have a gold alloy, meaning they are mixed with other metals and can tarnish or discolor if they are exposed to moisture, air, and chemicals. So don't try to wash or clean your gold coins.
In fact, some collectors may want to buy your coins in their original state, so what you might perceive as dirt or an aberration could actually be a finish or mark that gives the coin distinguishing characteristics and value. If you try and clean a rare coin yourself, you risk reducing its value.
Reach out to gold buyers in your area for more information on maintaining and selling your gold coins.