Coin Collecting - How to Store and Organize Your Collection

Coin Collecting Album

If you are new to the hobby, you will need some way to store and organize the coins in your collection. The easiest way to do this is to purchase a coin album. These albums have slots in which the coins fit and they make a handy display that is easy to store. Furthermore, empty slots clearly show which coins are missing from your collection. Another useful feature is that the albums usually include technical and historic information about the coins contained therein. One disadvantage is that most (but not all albums) only allow you to see one side of the coin. Coin albums can be easily purchased in hobby stores and online. Most albums organize the coins as a series (coins with a particular design minted over a period of time).

2x2 Coin Folder

Another option is to seal your coins in 2"x2" cardboard coin folders (held closed with staples). These have clear plastic windows built into them (sized for different denominations) that allow you to view both sides of the coin at the same time. Thus, there is an advantage over most coin albums. However, if you use such folders, you must organize your collection yourself, which can be considerably more time consuming. Clear plastic pages with slots for your folders are available and can be stored in standard loose-leaf binders. Owing to the size of the cardboard folders and bulk of the loose-leaf binder, this method of coin storage is somewhat less compact than a standard coin album (most of which are small in size and fold flat). You may write information about your coins directly on the individual folder with a pen or pencil. Many coins purchased from coin dealers will be contained within such folders.

Hard plastic containers are also available for individual coins. Like the 2x2 folders, these allow you to see both sides of the coin, but they are less amenable to compact storage. Nevertheless, they are sturdy and provide excellent protection.

Stacks of coins may also be organized and stored in plastic tubes sized for different coin denominations. These are sturdy and somewhat compact, but the coins must be removed from the container to view them, and the coins may be damaged if they are allowed to bounce together. All in all, coin tubes should be avoided, but are better than keeping coins loose in a bag.

Many fine books have been written on coins and coin collecting and are often filled with tons of useful information. In some cases these works may be highly detailed and constitute an indispensable resource for the serious collector. There are also several magazines devoted to the hobby that are worth examining.