What you need to know about mint packaging
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I've seen a number of postings around the board from people who want to know about the long-term stability of mint packaging and how safe their coins are in the packaging. There have obviously been a number of different methods used by the mint for sealing up proof sets, uncirculated mint sets, souvenir sets, commemoratives, etc. over the years. I know I'm not the only person trying to figure out how to properly maintain my mint sets of various years and types.

 

Although the answers to such questions about specific types of packaging are available in the archives, it is time-consuming and rather difficult (e.g. choosing proper keywords and finding appropriate forums) for interested collectors to find the pertinent information. I'd like to propose using this thread to collect the input from experienced collectors on the board in a single place, so that it's easier for information-seekers to find out what they need to know.

 

Just to keep things organized, may I suggest that posts should be along the lines of:

 

Type of Set (e.g. Proof Set) - Materials used in packaging (e.g. cellophane) - (years in production)

 

...followed by a description of the stability of that packaging type and how coins found in that packaging type should be maintained.

 

I hope everyone else finds this an interesting topic!

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I'm curious too. I bought some recent gold Eagle proofs from the mint and debated what to do. Are they really worth grading? Are Capital Plastic holders gonna be any better than the mint caps?

 

With $1 proofs it's a little less of a dilemma because if I go to sell the Pf 69 grade can't hurt, and I could always get lucky & net a Pf 70. Besides, I'm starting to go with the multi holders which makes it a different situation than storing something that is basically a bullion purchase all said and done.

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Hmm...perhaps another specific question would start things rolling:

 

I just purchased a 1980 SBA souvenir set which comes in a flexible plastic pack, itself sandwiched between two cardboard sheets and placed in a mint envelope. Should I remove the coins to another storage medium? Since I'm working on a complete set of SBA dollars, I'm considering moving my SBA collection into AirTites - would that be more appropriate for long-term storage than the mint packaging?

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Hmm...perhaps another specific question would start things rolling:

 

I just purchased a 1980 SBA souvenir set which comes in a flexible plastic pack, itself sandwiched between two cardboard sheets and placed in a mint envelope. Should I remove the coins to another storage medium? Since I'm working on a complete set of SBA dollars, I'm considering moving my SBA collection into AirTites - would that be more appropriate for long-term storage than the mint packaging?

 

The souvenir sets after 1978 seem to be pretty stable. The '80 SBA set is common enough at the current time that destroying one has little meaning.

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Some of my proof sets from the 1970's and especially 1980's have developed haze, one to the extreme. The 1990 sets, clad and silver, appear to be stable.

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My 1970 Mint set has developeed a slight haze? dingy-ness? whatever you call it after being in sealed in the original packaging for 36 years.

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Am I the only one who doesn't want to remove the coins from their original mint holder??

 

That being said, I think it depends upon the year the set was made (I'm talking proof sets here). All of my sets went under water during Katrina. Some years were not water tight (crying icon here!!) but other years didn't leak. I guess it depended upon the quality of the seal for that year. Or maybe I just got lucky on the ones that didn't leak??

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I recently acquired a 1955 proof set (flat pack) and other than redness of the penny, they all looked brand new.

 

My 1972 proof set in mint packaging looks brand new.

 

My 1975/76 mint set looks like it's been to war. There's a fingerprint tone (a fingerprint that has caused corosion) on the half dollar... still in the mint packaging!

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Seem to me that the current mint issues only have two enemies: air and temperature.

 

I've been thining about getting one of those vaccum storage things and putting my mint issues and putting the entire thing, be it mint set plastic or capsule, in a PVC free bag and pulling a vaccum on it.

 

thoughts?

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When it comes to Proof sets, I think that the old flat packs, that the mint used from 1955 to 1964 don't get enough respect. The two most common bad things that can happen with them are pin holes and cuts in the fabric that are caused by the knife rims of the coins. When this happens that sets can tone. Pin holes are the worst because when the air is concentrated in one small spot it can create a very bad spot.

 

One other negative that I have rarely seen is when the package is not sealed properly and chemicals get trapped in a coin pocket. The result of that is a (usually) blue toned coin. The downside is that the coin is no longer white as it was the day it was minted. The upside is that some collectors will be big bucks for coins like that.

 

Generally the flat packs seem to do a very good job of the keeping the coins looking like the day they were minted if the the packages are in good shape. When I was young collector in the early 1960s, dealers pushed the concept of cutting the coins out of the flat packs and putting them in Capital holders. In many cases, the coins seemed to tone in those holders, almost without exception .

 

Even worse was taking the coins out and putting them in cardboard and slide holders (e.g. Whitman or Library of Coins). Under those conditions, it seemed that nearly all of the coins went bad.

 

I've tried to collect Proof sets in the original mint packages. Even the old gray boxes from 1950 to mid 1954 provided half way decent protection. In mid 1954 and for half of 1955, before the mint introduced the flat packs, the coins were stored in plastic sleaves that caused the silver coins to tone to an ugly brown or for the cent a dull haze. That was the one packageing system from the early years that was almost sure to cause damage.

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The old cellulose acetate flat packs allowed chemical gas transfer through the clear wrap or chemical reation with the acetate. In many cases, this has resulted in beautiful toning, in some cases haze, unsightly gray toning or surface pitting of coins in these packs. I recently tried to lightly dip a 1943 Washington quarter that was toned an ugly gray. However, it turned out to be brilliant but with slight pitting on the high points under the ugly gray toning.

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Are Slabs any better than current mint packing? With my slabbed coins in a bank safebox, should I put anything else in the safebox to help reduce the risk of damage.

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Slabs are specially designed to be inert and to avoid any off-gasing from the plastic, etc..

 

If you'd like to add additional protection, you can put slabs and coins in something like the intercept shield product:

 

http://www.interceptshield.com/

 

Which claims to actually neutralize harmful chemicals in the air around the coins.

 

confused-smiley-013.gif

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I have about 40 yrs of mint proof sets. Any recognizable toning I have seen has been in the latter yrs. of sets. I have noticed that in alot of the modern commemorative coins in original mint packaging, the airtights are not sealed also. Too many times have I pulled a commemorative coin from it's case and the airtight starts to separate from each other.

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Unless the mint uses an inert, non-gas transfer material such as PET or mylar packaging in combination with an inert gas (nitrogen) flush during sealing, there is going to be some gas transfer through the mint packaging film. Possibly the chemicals bound in the outer paper envelope will be the greatest contributor of gas transfer to the coin surface. Also from appearances, I doubt that the mint packaging seal has sufficient integrity to be labelled as gas migration proof.

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I would also like to add some comments on this. I recently purchased 3 sealed 1964 proof sets and decided to open it.

The first one had blue tone on all the silver coins. The penny has brownish color and the nickel has haze.

All coins in the second set I opened has haze on it.

When I openned the third set, all the silver coins are bright white, the nickel is OK and the penny is shinny red. Not only that, becasue these coins lack the haze on it, both the Kennedy and Washington shows cameo (borderline UC, definite CA).

So I guess there is no definite answer on how bad the cellophone can affect coins.

 

Just my 2c. confused-smiley-013.gif

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Can anyone answer? i have a lot of mint sets in the original mint packaging, i was wondering if to help preserve the coins i could vaccum seal the whole set (example seal the p's in one bag and d's in another then vaccum both up) when i mean vaccum seal i'm refering to the food storage bags and sealer's out on the market used for long term food storage. this seems like a good idea,removing all the air and the bags are very tough and padded and can be cut to any size. i really would like to prevent the tonig spots caused by the mint packaging holes that seem to plague older mint sets and also stop some of the scuffs and scratches the mint packaging does'nt, at least until i can afford lots of grading fees! thanks for any help out there!

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This can help your coins since the vacuum around the sets will prevent gases and moisture to tone them. The vacuum storage bags themselves should be free from any PVC to provide an additional layer of protection, but if the coins are in the cardboard mint packages and the plastic holders inside, this is not the problem it would be if they were raw. Let us know how it works out! Of course, still store the coins in a cool, dry environment.

Edited by TJ'S Coins

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Don't vaccum seal the cardboard boxes! They may get noticably flatter.

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I've purchased a couple of the Chinese gold Panda coins. They come in a soft clear plastic envelope. The dealer I bought these from said to just keep the coin in the chinese mint's packaging. I have been reading much about PVC damage, and am considering moving the gold pandas to a mylar flip (like the Kointainer Saflips) to prevent hazing.

 

Does this sound like a good idea or will the removal of the coin from the mint packaging make it hard to sell latter?

 

I read above that slabbing coins will protect them. I could spend the $40 to slab each of the pandas, but I have to wonder if I would ever see the $40 again upon sale of the coin. Near as I can tell, PCGS won't slab gold pandas, but NGC will.

 

Has anyone else struggled with this and maybe reached some conclusions?

 

Thanks,

 

Bob

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I've bought a couple Pandas and I've taken them out of the plastic. The one's I bought was inside an airtite, inside this plastic cover. I've left them in the airtite.

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I went ahead and sent my five 2006 pandas into NCS for PVC removal (conservation) and then had them sent over to NGC. All graded at MS69 and NGC put them in a multiholder. WOW! THESE LOOK GREAT!

 

The mint packaging from China was terrible as far as PVC goes. The "NGC" stamp of authenticity is even better than the mint packaging as far as establishing that the coins are genuine.

 

The NCS/NGC combination seems to be the way to go for these coins.

 

Building a 2005 set and a 2007 set of gold pandas now. Will have NCS conserve them and NGC put them in a multiholder.

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I went ahead and sent my five 2006 pandas into NCS for PVC removal (conservation) and then had them sent over to NGC. All graded at MS69 and NGC put them in a multiholder. WOW! THESE LOOK GREAT!

 

The mint packaging from China was terrible as far as PVC goes. The "NGC" stamp of authenticity is even better than the mint packaging as far as establishing that the coins are genuine.

 

The NCS/NGC combination seems to be the way to go for these coins.

 

Building a 2005 set and a 2007 set of gold pandas now. Will have NCS conserve them and NGC put them in a multiholder.

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crack em and slab em. every coin deserves to be preserved for the future. personally, i slab rare coins that i know won't do too well at a grading stand point. but,after it is in it's slab,the odds of it lasting for the future inhabitants of the earth increase ten fold. thanks

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I have a question about US Mint packaging. I purchased a 1951 box and the coins were not in cellophane, but the vinyl type envelopes. The box looked unopened. The coins were not in great shape, many fine scratches and the penny and nickel had looks like bag wear. The coins were wrapped in the tissue paper, but no tissue paper padding. Any thoughts for me?

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