How to look after your sovereign collection
You’ve started your sovereign collection and enjoy adding world-first and limited edition coins to your portfolio, such as New Zealand’s first-ever gold quarter sovereign. The journey doesn’t stop there, though: it’s important to know how to take care of your collectables and prevent damage so you can continue to treasure your collection.
You’re in safe hands with us – so read on to find out how to store, touch and enjoy your coins in a way that will keep them in peak condition for generations to come.
What are the different types of coins?
It’s important to note the difference between the two types of coins: circulation and proof finishes.
Circulation coins are the type of loose change we use day-to-day and (as a dig into your pocket will tell) can be handled with bare hands. These coins are only struck once, meaning the coin die, an inverse version of the image to be stamped into the coin, is only pressed into the sheet metal on one occasion. Thousands of coins are minted per hour, meaning the quality of the strike is just functional, not spectacular.
By contrast, the striking of a proof coin requires an intricate process, which allows no more than 50 coins to be produced per hour and creates a high-quality, treasurable product.
The coin dies are hand-finished and air-cleaned between each strike and the blanks are fed into the coin press by hand. These coins can be struck up to six times and are struck at a lower speed with less pressure, and in a dust-free environment. Each sovereign is then hand-inspected post-strike to ensure the absence of any imperfections. If minted correctly, the coins will have an unblemished mirror finish, with a sharpness to the coins’ detail.
How should I store and handle my coins?
Proof coins should never be handled by hand. They are almost always supplied in a plastic capsule which protects them from the elements and removing them could tarnish the coin. Most reputable dealers will also supply proof coins in a presentation case.
If, for any reason, the coins need to be removed from their plastic capsules, the following guidelines should be followed:
- Wash your hands – the chemicals and natural oils on your fingertips can lead to corrosion
- Use cotton gloves – to avoid fingerprint marks which can damage the coin’s appearance
- Ensure you handle the coins only by their edges, and hold them in the correct way between thumb and forefinger
How should I clean my coins?
The simple answer is: don’t do it! Cleaning coins can result in significant damage, small scratches, spots and marks which reduces their value.
Older coins are expected to show some signs of age, which is known as toning, and is often part of the appeal for collectors. Coins don’t always have to be shiny.
By following our guidance on how to correctly store and handle your sovereign collection, you’re well on your way to becoming an expert coin collector. If you’ve got any questions, our team are available from 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday on 0333 234 3103