Protect Your Coin Collection by Choosing the Best Coin Holders

8 Coin Holders for Your Collection

Two senior friends with coin album
Westend61/Getty Images

Your coins can get damaged if left unprotected or stored in the wrong type of coin holder. This damage can significantly reduce the value of your coins or, in the worst case, leave them worthless. Each type of coin holder provides different levels of protection and has distinct advantages and disadvantages and associated costs.

When choosing a coin holder, you should take into consideration the following aspects:

  • The Size of the Holder: Some coin holders can be very beautiful, but at the same time, occupy a lot of space. If you are trying to store your coin collection in a safe vault, this may take up more room than you have available.
  • Cost: Some coin holders can be very expensive. Some coin holders can cost more than the coin is holding. However, if you want to remain consistent throughout your coin collection, this may be your only option.
  • Style: Coin holders come in a variety of styles. Some are very inexpensive and are designed to hold coins only temporarily. Others can be very expensive or even custom-made.
  • Durability: The durability of the coin holder is an important consideration. If you have low-cost coins and are looking for an inexpensive way to store them, then a cardboard holder may be the way to go. On the other hand, you should place an expensive coin in an encapsulated holder from a third-party grading company that guarantees its authenticity and grade.
  • 01 of 07

    2x2 Coin Holders

    Two inch by two inch Cardboard Coin Holder
    James Bucki

    A 2x2 coin holder (aka 2-by-2) is a popular two-inch by two-inch square cardboard holder. The holder has one or more circles cut out and has a Mylar plastic sheet glued to the inside. When folded over and stapled shut, this holds the coin securely and allows it to be viewed on both sides while protecting it from fingerprints and environmental damage.

    Other sizes include 1.5 inches for smaller coins and 2.5 inches for large coins. Another brand uses adhesive to glue the holder shut. The primary disadvantage to the self-adhesive holders is the time it takes to assemble them. Additionally, you must be careful to make sure that the self-adhesive coin holders are acid-free to avoid corrosion or discoloring on your coins.

    Advantages: Ability to write identifying information on the holder, low-cost, organize and reorganize coins in 2x2 pages (see below), and the ability to view both sides of the coin.

    Disadvantages: Staples may scratch the coin when removed from the holder, and they are not airtight.

  • 02 of 07

    2x2 Pages

    2 x 2 cardboard coin holders in a plastic page
    James Bucki

    2x2 pages allow your 2x2 cardboard holders to be organized in any way that you desire. In addition, they will enable you to conveniently store and view your collection in any three-ring binder that is available at local office supply stores. Make sure you buy non-PVC-based pages and three-ring binders. Otherwise, the evironmant can damage your coins as the PVC leaches out of the plastic and into the environment surrounding your coins.

    They also come in sizes to hold 1.5-inch cardboard holders and 2.5-inch holders. Coin flips (see below) can also fit in these pages. Be sure to use a flat clinch stapler to avoid the bulging staples on the back of the holder. These can tear the plastic 2 x 2 pages when inserting or removing the coin. Additionally, if the staple is not flat, it can scratch the adjacent coin.

    Advantages: Low cost, ability to organize and reorganize your collections, and you can view both sides of your coins.

    Disadvantages: It can become very bulky for more extensive coin collections.

  • 03 of 07

    Coin Flips

    mylar based plastic coin flips with cardboard insert
    James Bucki

    Coin flips are small plastic, dual pocket containers. One pocket is used for the coin, while the other can contain a small piece of cardboard that describes and catalogs your coin. The most common size measures 2" by 2", but they come in 1.5-inch holders for smaller coins and 2.5-inch holders for larger coins.

    Coin dealers most commonly use these because of their compact nature and their ability to be stored in long cardboard boxes that can be labeled and organized. Also, coin dealers can write inventory numbers, identifying information, and prices on the paper insert. This allows a coin collector to learn more about a coin before purchasing it.

    Advantages: Coin can be removed easily without damage, large area for description/catalog information, compact, and low cost.

    Disadvantages: It can be made with PVC, that can damage your coins. Coins can accidentally fall out. It is not the best option to display your coins.

  • 04 of 07

    Hard Plastic Coin Holders

    A Variety of hard plastic coin holders.
    James Bucki

    Rigid plastic coin holders provide some of the best protection for your coins. Most are made with inert plastic, such as polystyrene. Unlike cardboard 2x2 holders and coin flips, rigid plastic holders are specifically made to house a particular coin size. They come in many varieties and styles that can hold individual coins, uncirculated sets, proof coins, and entire collections. For custom holders, Capital Plastics is the leading manufacturer.

    Advantages: First-rate protection, a wide variety of options and styles, can view both sides of the coin, and the coin cannot easily fall out.

    Disadvantages: Bulky to store, expensive, and nowhere to write identifying information.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Encapsulated Coins

    encapsulated coin holders by NGC and PCGS
    James Bucki

    Encapsulated coins provide the best protection for your coin. The coin is protected by a rigid, inert plastic shell that is sonically sealed to provide a virtually airtight environment. The coin is suspended within the plastic shell using a soft, inert plastic insert that prevents the coin from moving or vibrating and thus incurring damage. Additionally, an expert evaluates the coin for authenticity and provides a professional opinion regarding the coin's grade.

    Advantages: Best protection available, guaranteed authenticity, and professional grading.

    Disadvantages: Expensive (average $30 or more per coin). The only way to remove the coin is to break the holder.

  • 06 of 07

    Coin World Premium Coin Holders

    Coin World Premium Coin Holder
    James Bucki

    Coin World's Premium Coin Holders look similar to the encapsulated coin holders (see above). Some people also refer to these as "DYI (Do It Yourself) Slabs." They offer a lot of the same protections, such as the hard plastic shell and have a soft, inert insert to hold the coin securely. But they are not sonically sealed and are not considered airtight. Additionally, they are not authenticated and graded by a professional numismatist.

    Advantages: Some of the best protection for your coin and the ability to put identifying and catalog information inside the holder. Additionally, the holders are not permanently sealed. This allows you to remove the coin for inspection and place it back inside the holder.

    Disadvantages: Moderately expensive (approximately $1 to $2 per holder)

  • 07 of 07

    Coin Tubes

    Coin World Premium Coin Holder
    James Bucki

    Coin tubes allow you to store rolls of coins and protect them from the environment. They come in a variety of styles including hard clear plastic round tubes and opaque plastic square tubes.

    Advantages: Ability to store a large number of coins in a small space.

    Disadvantages: Moderate cost ($.50 to $2 per tube), coins may be damaged from vibration, must remove the coins in order to view them.