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Should I add Silica Gel to My Storage?

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Valued Member

United States
62 Posts
 Posted 01/10/2011  5:08 pm Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add mbird to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

Hi --

I am storing my banknotes in book with 3-pocket polyester currency pages. I am storing the books in a polypropylene box. Should I add silica gel to that box to keep it dry or is it enough that they are in the box (capped/closed box but I would not call it air-tight). I live in New England so we have dry winter but several humid weeks in summer. I was thinking maybe a 10 gram indicating silica gel packet (wonder how long they last?) Is this OK for currency storage?

Thanks!

Valued Member
United States
314 Posts
 Posted 01/10/2011  5:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ayejay1974 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It certainly will not hurt. I use them where I store my coins/bullion. They can last almost indefinitely. Drying them out them in the oven will recharge them.
Pillar of the Community
Australia
8751 Posts
 Posted 01/11/2011  02:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have my most valuable coins in a safe. Silica gel works fine in that sort of enclosed environment. Most of my less valuable coins are in albums of various sorts, and are not enclosed, so they miss out on the drier atmosphere that silica gel helps to provide.
Valued Member
United States
62 Posts
 Posted 01/11/2011  09:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mbird to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
One of the things I am concerned about is: would Silica Gel make the atmosphere too dry in an enclosed box such that that would be bad for the banknotes -- will too dry make them brittle over time or otherwise adversely affect the notes? Or is this is non-issue. I could use a humidity card in the box but what is optimal humidity for banknotes?
Edited by mbird
01/11/2011 09:09 am
Pillar of the Community
3660 Posts
 Posted 01/11/2011  12:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add zeewool to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would think that keeping them in an air conditioned house would suffice.
New Member
United States
3 Posts
 Posted 01/11/2011  4:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add billwright to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A simple 10 Gram Indicating Silica Gel Packet will not make even a tiny safe "to dry". You will need to use a LOT of Silica Gel to really make something to dry, I'm talking LBS for a small safe.

Only thing to watch out for is the "Blue" Indicating Silica Gel which contains Cobalt Chloride which can be corrosive (not much more then salt) and is know to be cancerous and a harm for the environment.

So stick with the "Orange" type Indicating Silica Gel which does NOT contain Cobalt Chloride.
Valued Member
India
265 Posts
 Posted 01/11/2011  6:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add palaniappan to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
i have not tried silica gel, I live in india, I store my note bundles in a box made of cardboard. other individual notes in albums.

warm wishes.
Pillar of the Community
Australia
8751 Posts
 Posted 01/12/2011  03:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
palaniappan: Where you live in a coastal district means high humidity at least some times in the year. In your case, I would think it prudent to at least store some of your notes in the drier atmosphere, even of a box, with silica gel added.

The area of Chennai can be like the Gulf states in America.

Some Southerners may be able to chime in with a comment at this point.
Valued Member
United States
451 Posts
 Posted 03/07/2012  4:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add brokencompass to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I store my coins in a tool box like the one pictured below. It is not completely airtight but I am afraid that the coins I have might lose it's luster because of moisture.



I am thinking of popping a 8 gram packet of silica gel in each of these small drawers. Would that work given that it is not a completely airtight container?

I have read from many posts on here that Orange silica packets are safe. Anyone have any product recommendations?

Thanks
Valued Member
United States
62 Posts
 Posted 03/09/2012  11:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mbird to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi --

Since your system is not very air-tight the silica gel packets will get absorbed too quickly to make them cost effective in that setup.

I keep my coins in SAFLIPs and then those in the blue plastic 2x2 storage boxes. I then keep those boxes as well as other miscellaneous coins in capsules, etc. in a larger box. The larger box has a lid and is more air-tight. I keep a 45 gram silica gel canister in there to keep the whole system dry. I like the canister since it can be recharged in the oven so I don't have to keep spending money on more silica gel packets over time.

I get my silica gel from eBay (silicadesiccants)
http://myworld.ebay.com/silicadesiccants
They have a four-pack of canisters for $35. I have used them for years and they recharge great in the oven.

I use a Cobolt-free humidity card just to monitor the system -- but you can also just use the orange indicator in the silica gel to decide when to recharge the canister. The cards say Avoid Metal Contact so I am not sure if it is a problem only with direct contact or if it may not be good to have them in the atmosphere -- perhaps it would be better not to use them? I have not seen any problems in the years I have used them.

Large boxes: I use KIS and Really Useful Products boxes -- available at Staples or online. Make sure you use only PVC free plastic!

Disclosure: I am not an expert -- I am just saying what I do and what works for me :)


Edited by mbird
03/09/2012 11:13 am
Valued Member
Canada
287 Posts
 Posted 03/11/2012  09:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Baanos to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A little off topic, but are there climates in which one does not need to add such gel to the storage ? And would putting a collection in a vacuum(an environment without matter, thus air) do the trick ? For example, a box like in mbird's post, but with the ability to suck all the air out.
Valued Member
United States
62 Posts
 Posted 03/16/2012  4:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mbird to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
>would putting a collection in a vacuum(an environment without matter, thus air) do the trick ? For example, a box like in mbird's post, but with the ability to suck all the air out.

I think if you are going to try that you should put a humidity meter in there to see if it in fact remains dehumidified (and to be altered if there is a breach). Many plastics are porous enough to allow moist air to creep in over time.

With the air-tight system you will have to re-evacuate all the air every-time you open and re-close the container. Using the silica gel solution you can open your system anytime then just close the box and the silica gel can re-dehumidify (fun word!) the area again.

Please note: this is just my opinion... I have no expertise in these matters!
Valued Member
United States
62 Posts
 Posted 03/16/2012  4:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mbird to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just a quick note on this topic...

It started as a question on banknotes but turned into a discussion on storing coins (which is fine :). I think it should be considered though to keep in mind that if you are storing banknotes you may not want the same humidy as coins. I think too dry can cause problems for paper as well as too wet! I am not really sure what is the optimal humidity level for coins or for banknotes (I just know that when it is 90+% here in summer I don't want that!).

Just my thoughts :)
Please note: this is just my opinion... I have no expertise in these matters!
Edited by mbird
03/17/2012 10:11 am
Valued Member
Canada
287 Posts
 Posted 10/27/2012  4:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Baanos to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hey mbird. I don't know if you are still subscribed to your topic, but do you happen to notice a strong plastic smell everytime you open your storage box ? I have bought a KIS box myself, and I notice this smell everytime I open it. It is not a strong chemical smell however.
Valued Member
United States
62 Posts
 Posted 10/27/2012  5:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mbird to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi --

I just checked the ones I have (that are about 1-2 years old). I smell a very very light smell. Maybe the box manufacturing? I assume the box and the manufacturing process is all PVC-free so I don't mind it (I never noticed it before and my coins seem exactly as they were the day I put them in -- and I have a lot mint red copper (Euros) and silver (mint and older) in there all still like the day they went in). It works good for me but I am not an expert so please no one use this just based on me :)

Edit: perhaps the smell is benzaldehyde from the manufacturing process?
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fr.../a00EyeiQiH0
Edited by mbird
10/27/2012 5:31 pm
Valued Member
Canada
287 Posts
 Posted 10/27/2012  6:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Baanos to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Exactly what I thought originally, benzaldehyde. However I have read from several sources that the smell of benzaldehyde resembles that of almond, which I cannot say is the smell coming out of my box. And I've had 2 other people smell it and they say it's a light smell of plastic.

I know, I'm only basing myself on you because I don't know any better and what you do makes sense to me. Also, there isn't a lot of information out there regarding this.
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