Coin holders are supposed to protect collector coins, but they often do the opposite. Poor quality coin holders can scratch, stain, tone, ding and wear down precious coins. Coins are especially prone to this kind of damage when they are taken out of coin holders. Removing a coin from a coin holder must be done with great care. Failure to follow a few simple steps can greatly diminish the quality and value of collector coins.
Wash your hands. There are oils on your fingers that can leave fingerprints on coins. The slightest touch can irreparably stain a collector coin. Get in the habit of always handling coins with freshly clean hands.
Use coin tongs or wear gloves. Even clean hands can damage collector coins. Use the tongs or gloves as an extra level of protection. Only handle coins by the edges.
Carefully examine the coin holder before attempting to remove the coin. Understand exactly what seals it together. This could be staples, glue, tape, screws or a snap together mechanism. Many times the sealing method is not obvious. If you see a seam along the edge, you can probably pry it open. If there is no seam you will probably have to cut the coin out.
Gather the proper tools for the job. Cover your work area with a soft, clean towel to absorb the fall of a dropped coin. Use something with a narrow flat edge like a butter knife or flat head screwdriver if you are prying the coin out of the holder. Get a good quality pair of scissors if you are cutting it out.
Gently work the coin out of the holder. Pry open a seam by inserting a flat edge into the seam then wiggling it back and forth. Do not push down on the coin holder. It could slip out of your hand and damage the coin. After opening a small gap, rotate the coin holder and do the same from another spot. The coin holder should pop open after doing this two or three times. If you are cutting open a sealed coin holder, cut in a circular pattern around the coin. When you cut around 75 percent of the coin, carefully pull the holder apart and allow the coin to fall on the towel.
Things You'll Need
- coin tongs or gloves
- flat head screwdriver or butter knife
Take extreme care not to touch the coin with your tools or the holder when it is removed. The slightest touch can damage the coin and reduce its value.
- American Eagle Silver Proof Coin image by Luke Haverkamp from Fotolia.com