Beginner Coin Collector Mistakes
Coin collecting fatal mistakes can be committed under the most innocent circumstances and even with the best intentions. Sometimes you may think that you are taking care of your coin but you may actually be destroying it. So read on and you might be surprised to know that you are committing the fatal mistakes.
Common but dangerous substance.
Acid is commonly found just about everywhere in small amounts. On food, spittle, sweaty hands and even on paper. If you are not too careful with your coins, you may damage them by unwittingly exposing them to acid. You may think you are protecting your coins by wrapping them in a piece of paper or stuffing them in an envelope or a box, but the truth is you could be destroying them. Unless you are 100% sure that this paper is made from acid-free material, never put your coins in anything else then coin containers. When paper age, it releases acidic chemicals that speed up the oxidation process. This can also cause discoloration and spotting on your coins. Other elements that speed up the oxidation process are humidity and extreme temperature. Too much heat and humidity also accelerate the breaking down of coin containers. To find a dark and dry place of storage for your coins.
Innocent but a criminal offense.
Yes, you admire your coin collection and you are very proud of it. So, you touch them, hold them in the light and show them off to your friends. This is a grave criminal offense to your collection. You may not be aware, but your hands are filled with acid and bacteria from all that sweating, holding objects and touching whatnot. Not to mention that fingerprint on coin surfaces can sometimes become permanent thus ruining your mint coin. And of course, it’s normal to tell your friends about your coin and brag about its value. That is expected, especially if you have a very rare and valuable collection. Bragging and showing off is not a crime, but doing that with your coins exposed is. The spittle you or your friends might be sprinkling while talking can also damage your coin with spotting and discolorations. So, show off, but back off.
The good intention with the worst result.
You thought you doing your coin collection service by regularly cleaning them.
You thought polishing would make them more appealing and therefore worth more.
Photo: Polishing a (fake) coin with a metal sponge, never do this!
Wrong! If you try to clean up the toning on your coin by yourself, you might scratch or strip it off of whatever mint luster that is left on it. It’s better to have toned coins than to have clean but stripped coins. They are worth more. So, before cleaning up your coins, consult an expert first. There are safe ways to clean coins but in general, you should only think about cleaning them when you find a coin with a metal detector in the field and not because of a silver toning that will come back after some time anyway!