What is a Dipped Coin?

A dipped coin is a coin that has been cleaned with a particular coin cleaning solution, and most likely dipped into it. Dipping a coin will remove the dirt and debris from the surface of a coin, but if not done properly it can ruin the numismatic value of the coin. The numismatic value of the coin is the value over face value that the coin fetches.

Coin Dipped into e*Z*est Cleaner

One of the most popular types of coin dips on the market is e*Z*est coin cleaner. With this cleaning solution you dip the coin into the cleaner and remove it. Once the coin is removed you rinse it with water and look at the coin. Most likely the coin has all of the dirt and oil removed from it.

If you leave the coin in the coin cleaner for too long, or use the wrong type of cleaner, you can hurt the value of the coin. When people refer to a ‘dipped’ coin, they are talking about a coin that has had all of the surface contaminants removed, and it is an unnatural shine or luster. This luster gives the coin a nice shine, and can look like it is in fabulous condition. To the untrained eye or novice collector this can look good and increase its value, when in actuality the coin is basically worth only the metal is stamped on. Professional coin grading companies like PCGS and NGC will send coins back ungraded if they suspect that the coin has been cleaned.

A ‘dipped’ coin is one that has been cleaned and leaves an unnatural luster. If you are thinking about cleaning your coins practice on pocket change first so you can make sure you do not damage your collection. Be wary of coins that ‘look weird’, they might be dipped.

Ideas to Keep in Mind When Selling Your Coin Collection

Are you thinking of selling your coin collection? You have worked for a long time on your collection, and you should get top dollar. We want to make sure that you do. We have come up with a couple if things to keep in mind if you are thinking of selling your coin collection so you can get the most amount of money for them.

Whitman RedbookThe most important step is to find out what they are worth. They are probably worth more than you paid for them 15 years ago, but just because the coin was minted in 1885 does not mean that it is worth $150. The best way to determine your collections value is to get the Whitman RedBook and/or Bluebook. The Redbook tells you what the retail price for each coin is, and is broken down by grade, or the condition of the coin. The Redbook is a wonderful tool because it tells you what makes a coin a certain grade so you can get a great estimate of its value. The Bluebook tells what the selling price is for the coin is, so you can expect to get somewhere between the Redbook and Bluebook value. You do not NEED both books, you can get along just fine with the Redbook.

Now that you know how much your coins are worth you can start to sell them. How do you do that? Do you sell them online? In the paper? Or go to a dealer? Some coin dealers are very reputable, and some are not. I have heard stories of little old ladies bringing in their husbands collection that is worth thousands of dollars and the dealer only gives them a few hundred dollars. That is why it is so important to know what your coins are worth before you go a coin dealer. One of the most popular options is to sell coins online. Before listing your coins you can get an idea of what like coins are selling for by looking at the listings similar to your coins. Keep in mind that buyers want to make sure that your coins are real, so everything you can do to gain their trust will increase the amount they are willing to pay.

Selling your coin collection can be stressful, but if you follow these suggestions you can help mitigate that stress. Knowing the value of your coins, taking great pictures of them and not having overvalued expectations of what your coins are worth will go a long way in helping you sell them.

What is a Coin Album?

While there is no definition a coin album that is universally applicable to all coin albums, the best definition would be a storage solution that has pages one can flip through that allows you to see both the front and back of a coin. Some albums have thick cardboard pages, and some albums are made from 3-ring binders and contain vinyl pages.

The most popular type of coin albums are the Dansco, Whitman and Littleton coin albums. These albums are all made for a specific type and year of coin. Each album holds a

Dansco Coin AlbumIn summary, a coin album is anything that holds coins, has pages, and allow you to view your coin collection. Some albums allow you to remove and add pages, and some albums allow you to have a couple of different types of pages to hold different sizes of coins.specified date range for a particular coin, and can hold either just one coin per year or multiple to hold all the different mint marks. These albums are made with thick cardboard pages that have clear slides on the front and back of the pages that keep the coins in place, and also allow you to view both sides of the coin.

Why Everyone Should Use Desiccants

Clay Desiccant

Desiccants are one of the most important things a collector can have. Whether you have your coins in a safe, drawer, safe deposit box, or cardboard box it is always a good idea to utilize desiccants. Desiccants are used all the time in various places. I’m sure you have seen them in your bag of beef jerky or pair of new shoes. There is a little white or gray bag that says ‘Do Not Eat’ on it, that is a desiccant. They are used to remove moisture in the environment and keep the products fresh.

The same goes for your coins, the desiccants remove the moisture that may damage coins or the holders that you keep them in. Moisture can cause a number of problems for coin collectors. Some of these issues include mildew appearing on coins and rusting
Silica DesiccantWhether you are storing coins, guns, important papers, or family keepsakes, it is very important to think about getting a desiccant. They are relatively inexpensive when you consider the amount of damage a little bit of water canoccurring on staples used to close cardboard 2x2s. The desiccants are not able to remove 100% of the moisture in the air, but they do a superb job of removing most of it.


Keeping Coins Secure in Safes

Coin SafeMany collectors prefer to keep their coins protected in safes. Safes are great for many reasons, they keeping prying eyes out of your collection, they minimize the amount of moisture that comes in contact with your collection, and most importantly they keep your coins safe and sound. Many safes are quite heavy, and when loaded with a collection some safes can weigh a few hundred pounds. This means no one is going to walk out the front door with your collection under their arm.

Once your coins are safe and secure from outside threats it is important to also protect your collection from threats inside the safe. Once a safe is closed the amount of air circulation between the inside and outside is minimal, and all the moisture that is trapped inside the safe has nowhere to go. This can be an issue as moisture is bad news for coins, but you need to do is place a desiccant in your safe you will be fine. A desiccant will remove the moisture from the air, meaning mildew and water damage are less of a concern. Another thing to think of is what type of container or holder you are using to store your coins. Sometimes collections are left alone for many years, and proper protection is a must. You do not want to come back in a few years to a damaged collection due to inadequate holders. In looking at coins holders, look for PVC free or Archival Safe holders. These will keep your coins safe for years so you can close the safe door and not worry.

One last thing to worry about is making sure that you properly stack any tubes, boxes or folders. You would not want to move your safe and have all of your tubes fall over inside your safe and damage your coins. In addition to the damage, your coins may fall out of their tubes if they are knocked over, and that can be a mess if your collection is painstakingly organized.

There are a lot of things to consider when storing your collection in a safe, but if you can remember these three you will be better off than most.

  1. Get a desiccant to remove the moisture
  2. Look for PVC or Archival Safe holders
  3. Stack your collection so it will not easily topple over

Buying Coins Online: How to Avoid Fakes

Buying coins has changed a lot in the last 10 years. 10 years ago you could buy coins online and not have to worry as much about the coins being fake, nowadays you have to worry about any coin you buy being fake. I am not saying that every coin you buy online today is fake, but you have to be a lot more cautious today and try to follow a few rules to keep you from being fooled.

Counterfeit Silver Dollar

Fake Silver Dollar

There is not a specific coin or type of coin that is being faked. No longer are the counterfeiters making the coins that would be worth hundreds of dollars, that have begun to make coins that are being sold for only a few dollars. These include silver dollars, half dollars, quarters and more. One of the more profitable types of coins they make are the fake silver coins, especially the silver dollars. A Morgan silver dollar is worth over $10 in silver content alone, and the counterfeiters have been making excellent quality low grade silver dollars for years.

What can you do to stay protected? If you want to buy your coins online there are a couple of ways to keep yourself protected. The best way is to buy coins that are slabbed from KNOWN coin grading companies like PCGS and NGC. There are made up coin grading companies that the counterfeiters use to try an lure some into a false sense of security, please don’t be tricked. If the coins you are looking at are not professionally graded you have a couple of other options.

  1. Look at the sellers feedback. If they have none, be weary.
  2. See if you can get high resolution pictures of the coins. If there are cracks or raised bumps in the coins proceed with caution. The cracks or raised bumps could be made from the smelting process they use to make the coins. US coins are stamped and will not have these.
  3. Check the coin’s composition. If you have purchased silver dollars hold a magnet up to them. If the magnet sticks you have a fake coin.
  4. Check the coin’s weight. If you have a scale you can check the coin’s weight, silver dollars are 26.73 grams. Being off by a few hundredths of a gram is not bad as that can be caused by the wear on a coin. Being a gram or two off is cause for concern.
  5. If you are not sure take your coins to your local dealer to see if they are real.

Professionally Graded SlabsBuying coins online is risky and in a day an age where counterfeiters are becoming increasingly prevalent and better at what they do, you need to be constantly on the lookout. If you follow these suggestions will be informed and hopefully not be duped into buying fake coins. If you have any questions about coins you are looking at buying we will be happy to try and help you discern if they are real or not.

When to Start Coin Collecting

When is a good age to start coin collecting? Any age! There is not a perfect age to begin coin collecting, any age is great. Whether you are 10 or 75 years old, you can start a coin collection. Many people begin their collections by going to their local banks and getting rolls of coins. They then take the rolls home and look through them to see if there is anything worth adding to their collection. Once you get good at looking for the tiniest difference in coins you can branch out in other areas.

Some people like to continue looking through rolls, but only focus on one type of coin. This could be pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters or more. Many people like to look through pennies because there are so many good coins still in circulation. Some of these coins include wheat back pennies, Indian head pennies and many error coins. With the nickels, dimes and quarters some collectors can even find silver coins still in circulation. The silver nickels are a little more difficult to find because they were only made during WWII in the 1940’s, and any dime or quarter before 1965 will be silver.

Whether you start a coin business to help feed your desire to grow your collection or keep getting rolls of pennies from the bank, there is no right or wrong age to begin collecting. At the end of the day as the most important thing is that you are happy with coin collecting, it is in fact a hobby and not a job.

Clay vs Silica Gel Desiccants

The two main types of desiccants available for coin collecting are silica gel and clay. Both of these types of desiccants are extremely popular, but silica gel is preferred by many. A lot of collectors like silica gel because it is reusable, unlike clay. All you need to do is place the silica in the oven, wait the specified amount of time and the moisture that has been absorbed by the silica is gone and it is ready for another use. You could try the same thing with clay, but you will never be able to remove all of the water that has be absorbed.

There are a few other differences between silica gel and clay when it comes to their absorbing properties of moisture. They both have a very good rate of absorption, but silica get works a little bit faster. Silica gel obtains the maximum amount of absorption before clay does, and once they both reach the maximum amount they retain the moisture pretty well. Another large difference between the two is silica gel holds more than 40% more moisture than clay does.

Overall silica gel may be the best desiccant to choose. It can be reused multiple times, captures significantly more moisture than clay, and also gets the moisture out faster than clay. They are both the best types of desiccants to choose from, and whether you go the silica gel or clay route, you can rest easy knowing that your coins will be properly protected from moisture damage.

Why it is Important to Store Your Coins Properly

It is very important to store your coins in the correct holders because not doing so can lead to their damage and destroyed values. Not all coin holders are created equal, and we are here to help you make the proper choices to choose the best holders.

Some companies offer certain types of very inexpensive holders, but in buying these you may not be saving any money. Quite a few of these types of holders contain PVC, oils, chemical softeners, and plastics that over time can leave a damaging residue on the coin, or even start to corrode it. The problem with these holders is it is not easy to determine which coin holders are good or bad immediately. Most of the time the damage occurs when the coins are just sitting in a safe, box or cupboard for a few years. While they are just sitting in storage the PVC or chemicals start to seep out of the holder and cause the damage.

PVC Damaged Mercury DimeThis is an example of PVC damage on a coin. The PVC can leave a green residue on the surface of the coin. The PVC can be removed by placing the coin in an acetone bath and then rinsing with distilled water, but there will still be surface damage left behind.

How can you avoid this? Choose your coin holders wisely. Look for coin holders that say ‘PVC free’ or ‘Contains no softeners or damaging chemicals’. The best thing to see on in the product description is that the product is Archival Safe. That means it is safe for long term storage, and you can place your coin in the holder and not worry about it.

How To Display Your Coins

Some collectors love to keep their collections a secret from everyone but their closest friends and relatives, while other love to display their collection for all to see. If you are wanting to display to your collection then your should keep on reading.

Displaying your coins does not require them all to be in coin slabs or holders that cost $10 or more per piece. You can display a nice collection of coins in cardboard 2x2s and they will still look tremendous. One of the most popular and inexpensive ways of displaying coins would be to use easels like the ones pictured below.

Coin Display Easels

These easels will prop up all kinds of coin holders including coin slabs, cardboard holders, Air Tites, and coin flips so you can proudly show your collection. Using easels could not be simpler, simply place the easel on a flat surface, then place the item you want to display on the easel. We carry a number of different sizes of easels to choose from so there is no coin or case that is too small or large for our easels.


Coin Display TrayAnother very popular ways of displaying coin collections would be to use display trays. These trays are designed for cardboard holders, coin slabs and we even have a completely flat tray for display almost any size holder you want. For added security we also offer display cases that house the display trays. These cases have a tempered glass lid and a double locking mechanism to keep your coins safe.

No matter what type of display you choose to use for your coin collection, you can rest knowing that your coins will look amazing. These are just
two ways of displaying your collection, there are countless other ways that we did not cover. In the end the only thing that matters is if you are satisfied at the end of the day. Coin supplies for every collector.