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Do Coin Albums Eventually "Ruin" Copper Coins?

 
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United States
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 Posted 03/21/2019  7:00 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add howell1018 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I am 68 years old and consider myself a casual coin collector. I usually collect Morgan dollars, but recently I thought it might be fun to try and complete my boyhood Harris Coin Album of Lincoln cents. To give you an idea of how long I've had this album it only goes through 1962 when I was 11/12. All of the coins from when I was a kid are brown. I'm sure some of those were originally red when I placed them in the album in the early 60's. Is this an inevitable outcome of using folders like the Whitman folders and others? I'm not sure of the effect of the folders on copper. I do understand that some folders impart rim toning to silver coins (I do not use folders for my Morgan dollars. They're all slabbed.)
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 Posted 03/21/2019  7:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Folders are one of the worst way to store coins and unfortunately have ruined or caused a lot of coins to have to be conserved.

As far as albums some are better than others. A lot will at least turn the rims (or the third side of the coin) dark/black. Red copper is more likely to become RB or even Brown in an album than using other available methods. They're a lot better for circulated/heavily circulated coins than they are for high grade examples especially with red copper.
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 Posted 03/21/2019  7:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add KenKat to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have used Dansco albums along with the Dansco slipcase. I place the entire album and slipcase in a ziplock bag, throw in a dessicant pack and then store it with additional dessicant packs outside as well. I periodically change out the dessicant packs as well. I've not noticed any toning on my red copper or silver going back 10 years or so.
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 Posted 03/21/2019  7:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Most albums will eventually turn the outer edges of fully red coins to a slightly different color, sometimes attractive and sometimes not. Less so with RB coins and no appreciable change is likely with AU or lower coins. Many collectors like to see their best red coins in albums along with lesser dates to have a "complete" look. Not a good idea in my opinion.
Edited by Coinfrog
03/21/2019 7:44 pm
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 Posted 03/21/2019  8:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have some Whitman albums stored in zip-loc bags with dessicant packs 6/7 years now seems to be ok . But most of my coins are in 2x2's in loose leaf binders Which I find much better. These binders are also kept in 2 1/2 gallon zip-loc bags with dessicant . All coins Cents to halves are doing well .
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 Posted 03/21/2019  9:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have never considered using press - in cardboard albums. I think they are a no-no, especially in the way I think about them.
Why?
If the coins have often been pressed into the holes with ungloved fingers, there is a big risk of fingerprint stains on the coins, and especially with untoned bronze coins.
Some albums have residual chlorine in the cardboard from the fact that Cardboard is often made from recycled chlorinated paper, as one of the ingredients.
Some of the glues used in the manufacture of cardboard albums, have a high sulfur content.
The gassing out of oxidizing agents (principally chlorine and sulfur based compounds), present a risk to the chemical attack (albeit slow, BUT unnoticed, due to long term storage), of the coins.

Anther problem with cardboard albums, is that the design of some of them allow the collector to see one side of the coin only.

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Coin album pages made from PVC free plastic offer virtually NO risk to bronze and copper coins in long term storage.


Edited by sel_69l
03/21/2019 9:42 pm
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 Posted 03/21/2019  9:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add llewellin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Pro tip: Paint a thin layer of clear nail polish over all of the coin, then allow to air dry. It will seal out moisture and oxidizing agents from the atmosphere so you don't need to worry about fingerprints, album acidity, or humid storage conditions.

When you want to remove the nail polish, just soak in acetone and the coin looks as good as new.
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 Posted 03/21/2019  10:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BadThad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Pro tip: Paint a thin layer of clear nail polish over all of the coin, then allow to air dry.


Disagree, sorry. I would never recommend that.
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 Posted 03/21/2019  11:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
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 Posted 03/22/2019  12:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Clear acrylic laquer protectives (a typical example being nail polish), should have little or no injurious effect on bronze coins.
However, two problems arise:
1. The chemistry of the nail polish may vary from product to product, and probably contains other ingredients, of which the chemistry is unknown.
2. Nail polishes stick very well to nails, but not necessarily to the metal surface of a coin. The polish is inclined to chip off in tiny areas, leaving those areas differentially unprotected. This may, over time, result in blotchy areas, some toned, and some untoned.

A non nail polish clear spray acrylic lacquer may be OK, but the hardened lacquer still has to be protected, perhaps in a hard clear screw sealed acrylic capsule.
The upshot of all of this is that you are probably better off using a hard plastic acrylic capsule only.
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Hardened acrylic lacquer is very easily removed with acetone.
Edited by sel_69l
03/22/2019 01:54 am
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 Posted 03/22/2019  2:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have been using Dansco albums for over thirty years. No problems, no complaints. How you store them is key. Low humidity. Stable temperature. Clear air.

Regarding my sets, most coins minted before the late 1970s are low to mid-grade circulated while just about everything modern is AU/BU. I have also included modern proofs in my sets. There are no high-dollar high grade coins in here. For those I would recommend TPG or air tites.
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 Posted 03/22/2019  3:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
How you store them is key.


Where you live will play a role as well.
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 Posted 03/22/2019  5:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Where you live will play a role as well.
True. A climate controlled storage location is best.
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 Posted 03/22/2019  8:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Climate-controlled safety-deposit boxes are expensive. Most MS coins, especially in slabs, will not react to normal climate variations. Even fewer AU coins, if any. Think it through.
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 Posted 03/23/2019  10:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
By climate controlled storage I was thinking more along the lines of a house with HVAC. If not central air, then at least in the room in which the coins are stored.

Most banks are going to have HVAC and therefore a stable environment. By extension the vault should be rather stable, at least temperature wise. Adding some desiccants to the the box will help with any humidity issues.
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 Posted 03/24/2019  08:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Original post says both Albums and Folders. Please note the differences between the two. Folders are basically open to the air. Albums have at least a plastic slide covering the coins. I have been using Whitman Albums for a long, long time. I keep them in a Zip Lock bag and no problems of any kind yet.
just carl
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