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November 30th, 2015 - The Numismatist’s Guide to Paper Currency Preservation

November 30th, 2015 - The Numismatist’s Guide to Paper Currency Preservation

Collecting currency is an endeavor that involves many things, both physical and intangible. Aside from sheer wit and an innate ability to learn about currency history and market value determination, the aspiring numismatist must know that the materials used to preserve each piece in this niche market must live up to certain specs, which we shall elaborate upon further along in this post.

Being a savvy numismatist essentially means being able to appraise, collect and store currency. But what separates a numismatist from a collector? Here’s an example: A collector might use any book, like a stamp collecting book, to keep and showcase currency; whereas, a numismatist would seek out and acquire a proper currency album. This is what separates numismatists from collectors: expertise and enthusiasm. Obviously, enthusiasm means passion and excitement channeled into the act of collecting currency. In terms of expertise, though, there are two aspects: Numismatists must know about the history of their pieces as well as how to best maintain their value. The latter of these two aspects is what we elaborate on below. So, allow us to enlighten new collectors while we refresh the memories of the veterans with this guide about how to preserve currency.

  1. Control temperature and humidity. Err on the side of cool, but generally try to keep your paper money and banknotes in a room that is around 70°F. Be sure to keep it consistent, too, and control humidity. Paper absorbs moisture like the dickens.
  2. Avoid UV light from the sun. Sunlight not only makes paper brittle, but it also bombards it with ultraviolet rays, ultimately leading to fading. No one wants brittle, faded money.
  3. Don’t handle the paper currency if you can help it. But, alas, use cotton gloves if you absolutely must touch your collectibles. Cotton gloves provide a shield against the human body’s natural oils and other contaminants our hands collect.
  4. Avoid acid at all costs! It is of the utmost importance that your currency albums and sleeves are completely devoid of any and all acids, which means pages absolutely must be free of plasticized PVC and other chemical stearates.
  5. Check out our downloadable catalog of archival storage solutions for items to keep your paper money and banknotes up to spec and properly preserved.

We’ve been in the collectible business for almost 50 years, and our selection of materials for numismatists in unmatched. Whether you need currency sleeves, currency holders, currency albums or any other materials for any set of collectibles. Check out our options and give us a call with any questions!