Sign up Password recovery

Conservation of ancient coins

When starting a coin collection, it is just as important to have good pieces as it is to conserve and organise them. You must have a space with optimal conservation conditions and with materials that protect them from environmental pollutants, as well as having tools that allow us to handle them without damaging the surface of the pieces in our collection. See how to clean old coins.

Coin handling products

When handling the coins in our collection we should do so on a surface that avoids knocks and friction marks. To avoid fingerprints we should use gloves, as fingerprints can cause a coin to be marked and damaged for life.

Coin storage and organisation products

It has already been mentioned that the place where the coin collection is kept is a determining factor for the conservation of the coins. It should be a dry environment, with low humidity and not subject to major changes in temperature.

Afterwards, the coins must be stored in the best possible way to prevent them from coming into contact with pollutants in the environment, mainly air, which contains elements that accelerate the oxidation of the coins and cause serious damage to them.


Coin capsules are generally more airtight than e.g. cardboard and offer better protection from the air. They cost more than cardboard and are more laborious to organise.

There are capsules of different sizes to suit the size of the coin, a capsule that is too small can scratch or rub the coin and cause damage.

The capsules are mainly used for PROOF coins. These coins should never be touched, rubbed or cleaned as this will ruin the surface.

capsulas para monedas

Coin flips

Made of PVC with plasticisers, they emit artificial gases that are a source of metal corrosion. They are not recommended for long term storage, but are useful for coin transport or short term storage. Some brands are safer than others. Beware of PVC.

Coin albums

Like the coin sleeves, many of these coin albums are made of plastics containing PVC, which produces green, sticky films that, if not cleaned, will damage the coin. Alcohol or acetone is recommended for cleaning.

Coin tubes

Polyethylene tubes are safe. If you store coins in tubes, just be careful that they can become marked if they are moved violently and, above all, do not store coins of different metals as they can react with each other.

Wooden cabinets or trays

Wood is an organic material and as such generates acid gases, and it is important to make sure that they are not varnished or treated with chemical products. With the passage of time they lose a lot of these gases, the coins stored in these cabinets must be well sealed in capsules or cardboard boxes.


It is usually the method most used by collectors due to its low cost and easy transport. It is important to staple the cardboard well to avoid the slightest penetration of air into the interior, although there are also self-adhesive stickers that do not require stapling. The cardboard is ideal for making notes. They are available in various sizes that are suitable for the album sheets in our collection, which although they are made of PVC, the cardboard insulates it. We must be careful with cardboard as not all of them are made with safe materials.

cartones para monedas

Coin preservation products

Many coins suffer from rapid corrosion as they are made of sensitive materials such as iron or zinc. There are products that can be applied to coins in a harmless way to achieve a film that protects them from contaminating agents.


Paraffin can be applied as a protective treatment by coating the coin with a layer of pure paraffin. To carry out this process, the coin can be held and immersed in liquid paraffin. When it is removed and while it dries, the excess can be removed with a cotton swab. Once the process has been carried out, it can be placed in the cardboard or capsule without any problems. With time, it will tend to turn into white powder that can be cleaned at any time with alcohol, returning the coin to its natural state.

Paraffin is available in pharmacies.

Microcrystalline Wax

Microcrystalline wax, a wax derived from paraffin that is composed of micro-crystals. Coins can be protected by giving them a very light coating so that there is no unsightly shine. However, even though it is a thin layer, it must cover the entire surface of the coin, otherwise oxidation could occur.


Lacquers are used to insulate the coin from air and prevent oxidation of the metal. If used correctly and on freshly minted coins, they can preserve the original surface condition of the metal. Lacquers were very popular before other products such as capsules came on the market.