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How Should I Store My Silver Coins and Bars? – Patriots Coin

How Should I Store My Silver Coins and Bars?

If you plan to store silver coins or bars yourself, you are very likely a coin collector (numismatist), a survivalist or a precious metals investor. For any collectable coin collector, maintaining the best appearance and condition of each coin or piece is critical in determining and maintaining market value. Things nicks, scratches, tarnish, bag marks and other blemishes can negatively alter the value by as much as 20%-40%.

Alternately, survivalists and precious metal investors are more interested in the underlying value of the silver or gold content of the coins. The serious collector needs to be more concerned with storage and handling, that being said, the survivalist and investor should also be very aware of the physical risks involved in storing silver coins and bars.

Where Should I Store My Silver Coins and Bars or Other Precious Metals?

Despite there being an entire industry devoted to the storing precious metals, we will focus on the two most common storage facilities for the ordinary collector or investor,  your home and a bank safety deposit box.

Storing Silver Coins and Bullion at home:

Security is the major consideration when storing at home. If you have a significant collection, investing in a high quality wall safe is a good idea. A false wall or false cupboard can also be utilized.  Keep your storage location secret. Keep in mind that a fire can melt and damage precious metal coins and bars.

Storing Silver Coins and Bars in a Bank Safety Deposit Box:

Most banks offer the rental of protected safety deposit boxes. Charges for Safety Deposit Boxes typically range from $50 to $150 annually depending on the size of the box. Overall safety deposit boxes provide excellent security and a tightly controlled environment however there are several additional things to consider:

  • Choose a bank that is in strong financial condition.
  • Choose a bank close to your home for easy access.
  • It is important to note that in the case of a disaster or national emergency you might not always have easy access to your bank safety deposit box.


Important Storage Container Considerations

Major storage considerations for Silver Coins, silver bars and other precious metals are air, environment, and containers.

Exposing silver to the air oxidizes metal, changing its color. It is advisable that if you’re storing your coins for a long period of time you store them in a climate controlled environment. A constant, moderate temperature and low humidity are preferable for appropriate long term storage of collectible silver coins and bars. Because small particles of moisture can cause spots, placing packets of silica gel in coin storage area may help control atmospheric moisture.

There are several types of suitable “containers” for coins are that are available. Most any type will do for coins with little numismatic value. Airtight containers made of inert materials are a much better idea for valuable coins.

Paper envelopes of various sizes are sometimes used for one or more coins. Be sure to use envelopes are designed explicitly for holding coins, or your coins may end up with changes in color (tone) over time. This is due to reactions with sulfur or other chemicals present in the paper.

Properly used, these paper envelopes do offer some protection from wear and handling. Over several years coins may tone due to reaction with sulfur or other chemicals present. As such, they may not be the best choice for long term storage of higher grade silver coins and bars.

Hard plastic holders are better suited for more valuable coins. They should not contain any materials known to harm coins. They can offer good protection against scratches and other types of physical damage.

There are several easy techniques for silver hygiene that professional jewelers have developed to maintain the beauty of silver. Silver is a soft metal that can be scratched easily. It’s important to be careful and rub gently when cleaning your silver coins and bars. Never use anything but a clean nub free cotton, soft flannel cloth or a specially designed sterling silver cleaning cloth. You follow up by buffing with a soft cotton cloth.

For best results, if appearance is a concern, cleaning at least on a monthly basis is a good practice. 

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