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Coin and Paper Money Collecting/discolored coins in album


Mr. Anon wrote at 2013-02-17 21:18:44
Yes it's an old post, and the answer was long, but very incomplete.

If you've several albums stored beside each other, and ALL the coins in 1 album are all tarnishing at an alarming rate (by comparision to the other albums).

Consider what that albums pages are made of.

For example:

PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) will quickly tarnish and even react with the coins.

Cellophane is a water/moisture attractant, and we all know that water is not good for coins.

Paper consider it to be very bad for coins, the acids will react and tarnish coins.

Archival grade paper/mat boards can be good.  But make sure you do not use buffered paper it contains calcium chloride which attracts and holds water/moisture...

Glassine made before the mid-1990's has acids etc and will react with coin

Don't use Polyurethane

PP (Polypropylene) is preferred for coins

But PE (Polyethylene) can also be used, just keep PE out of sunlight.

LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) could be used ie ZipLock bag

But make sure the ziplock bag is PP or PE and not one of the many, many other harmful Poly's

Cleaning PVC tarnished/damaged coins should be left up to the experts.

But I would recommend giving the coins a clean before putting them in a new album.

Use a glass/ceramic bowl/dish.

Put a drop or two of liquid dishsoap in distilled water.

Dip the coin in briefly, with rubber tipped coin tongs.

Then rinse in a second dish of distilled water.

Place on clean fine cotton towel and Carefully Dab the obvious water off, then let sit for a few minutes.

Any oils or whatever from the old album page should now be removed from the coins surface.

So, place in album when they look dry.

But if any of these coins are worth $100.00 or more, then have a professional (ANA &/or RCNA Registered) coin dealer assess and recommend a coin cleaning service.

Personally, I'd ask 2 or 3 different coin dealers before a cleaning.

Coin and Paper Money Collecting

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Ronald Fern


I can answer most all questions relating to US coins, tokens, and currency. I'm not strong on world coins or ancients. Primary field of expertise is errors and varieties. Over 55 years experience in coin collecting. Part time dealer since 1976. Employed by McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for over 34 years as an Industrial Engineer/Technical Specialist before retiring in 2002.


Worked weekends for "Lonesome" John in the late 1960's to mid 1970's processing error coins, packaging, and preparing orders. Worked with John Devine and Fred Weinberg on several California Error A Rama's in the early 1970's. Served as display judge at annual Error-A-Rama coin shows. Opened and operated mail order coin business DBA "CAL ERRORS" in 1976. Contributor to Alan Herbert's "Official Price Guide To Mint Errors" and Fivaz/Stanton "Cherrypickers' Guide". Worked Saturdays at Huntington Beach Coin Exchange 1980-1999. Had table and sold coins at a number of coin and gun shows in So CA, AZ and NV. Sell coins, tokens and currency on Facebook. Past "Errorscope" Editor. Presently CONECA Examiner.


Errorscope, Numismatic News, Civil War Token Journal, Error and Variety News

AA Degree LBCC pre Engineering, 1964 BS Degree CSULB Ind Technology, 1968

Awards and Honors
1st Place EAR Trophy for Civil War Token Errors, NLG Author of Year Award for best monthly coin column "Error News and Views" in small Numismatic paper, owned and published by Ray Anthony.

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