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Banknote albums (and other storage methods)


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I recently posted this on usenet, no replies, so I'm adding it here for discussion, perhaps a little less transient than usenet.


Anyway, I'd first like to here how you all store your bank notes: loose in a big wad, in albums, in individual plastic containers, envelopes, etc.


I get the impression some of you have large numbers of notes, I'm interested as to what you are doing to store them all.

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First thing is: plastics.


There are quite a few links online saying that PVC-based plastics will rot your banknotes.


However quite a few manufacturers of banknote albums use PVC pages.


According to Lindner,


"Our crystal clear pocket pages are made of a softener free, crystal clear Hard-PVC film. "


And Safe imply the same:


"All material that comes in contact with your collection is guaranteed archival quality, 100% free of plasticizers (chemical softening agents) and free of stearates. The foil used does not contain plasticized PVC. "


But there are several web pages advising that you avoid ALL PVC:


"Plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which are chemically

unstable, should be avoided."




'I would not put anything into PVC that I wanted to seriously archive. Go to Google and type in "PVC archive". Read some of the results.

Mylar-D is the only plastic that I'm aware of that is chemically stable. The rest all give off a gas over time which transfers onto

your paper. Mylar-D costs more, but you get what you pay for'


'The document enclosures in the range are made from Mylar-D. The local museum staff STRONGLY suggested that PVC enclosures shoul NEVER be used for long-term storage.'


There's a somewhat more technical discussion here:




'Avoid notebook pages made of polyvinyl chloride. Volatile plasticizers may be exuded from PVC enclosures, and deposit sticky

droplets or gooey coatings on the film, particularly at high humidity (Keefe and Inch 1990, Wilhelm and Brower 1993). Even under low-

humidity conditions, the plasticizers in flexible PVC can cause softening, sticking and partial transfer of photocopier images.

Polyvinyl chloride enclosures are inexpensive and widely available; be extremely wary of any advertising that does not specify the type of

plastic used in the enclosure (Keefe and Inch 1990). Some PVC product lines, such as the readily-available "DF Snapin" binder pages, are

even labelled by the manufacturer as being "'archival' quality." See Appendix 3 for a guide to distinguishing between "DF Snapin" PVC pages and "DF Snapin" poplypropylene pages.'


Yet per stamps.org



'Even though it is one of our oldest and most successful plastics, in use for scores of household products, PVC has been the brunt of

environmental and health criticisms and has been cited as destructive to collectible postage stamps.


In fact, there are two different types of PVC, plasticized (pPVC) and unplasticized (uPVC). pPVC is uPVC with plasticizers blended into it.

This makes it more flexible and it is often called "soft" or "flexible" PVC. However, plasticizers are demonstrably bad for stamps. uPVC is often called "hard" or "rigid" PVC and it appears to be harmless to stamps. As Souder points out, the terms flexible/soft and

rigid/hard are confusing because they refer to the polymer blend and not to products made from that polymer. Thus, highly flexible films

can be made from "rigid" uPVC.'


'In summary, modern pPVC shows major improvements over poorly performing earlier versions. uPVC appears to be free of any problems

for stamp collectors, as far as tests conducted so far indicate. Even so, Souder [1] is cautious to state that pPVC films should not be used

with stamps. Though today's plasticizers are much less likely to migrate from their PVC blends onto stamps than earlier versions, the

potential is ever-present. Even a careful collector may inadvertently subject a valuable collection to excess pressures and temperatures

that could simulate some damaging migration of the plasticizer onto stamps.'


So in fact uPVC is ok, and pPVC is not as bad as it used to be.

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Next thing is the album choice.


There are actually two issues here: the binder choice, and the pages to go in them. You can buy a cheap binder and use generic banknote pages in them. However, if you want a collector's brand of binder the sizes and number of rings are often non-standard, and you will be locked into their pages as well


I looked at two manufacturers' ranges of upmarket binder/pages.


The first is Lindner, which appears to be the most prestigious brand.


It is actually also sold for stamps - you don't need a 'banknote' album, just a Lindner 18-ring binder.


This is the album



There are several versions with code numbers, in price order, prices from 'ihobb.com':


1104 is a padded plastic grain-effect binder (US$42)


814 is the slip case (US$25)

1124 is the binder and slip case set ($60)


1102Y is the 'standard' padded plastic binder, which is possibly less attractive than the 1104 binder (US$47)


810BY is the slip case ($23)

1122 is the set ($64)


1102 is the 'exclusive' hand-made binder in leatherette with 'gold' embossing ($70)


810 is the slip case ($23)

1120 is the set ($84)


1102L is the top-of-the-range, real leather, binder ($128)

810BL is the slip case ($23)

1121 is the set ($23)


The three 810 slip cases are all the same material, vinyl-covered card.


It might seem that the $128 album is quite a big difference in price.


But that's before you consider the cost of the album pages!


These have code numbers:


830 2 pocket PVC page, 240mm x 140mm maximum notesize, with interleaving card page

831 3 pocket, 240mm x 90mm maximum notesize, with interleaving page

832 4 pocket, 240mm x 65mm maximum notesize, with interleaving page


Whichever way you look at it, these are going to set you back $2/£1/€1.30 EACH.


So a full album of 35 * 3 pocket pages with the semi-obligatory slipcase is going to cost you, minimum:


35 * $2 + $60 = $130 for the basic album


That will hold 105 notes - about $1.25 per note. If you have large or small notes the numbers will differ. Not cheap.


But the albums do look nice. BTW, with 35 sheets and interleaves it is FULL.


Alternatively you can buy the 'Lindner Banknote Album' (code 2810), what you will receive is:


binder #1104

10 x 2-pocket page #830

10 x 3-pocket page #831


slipcase not included, but with slipcase it's about $90.


Not too bad, providing you have lots of large notes to put in those 2- pocket pages. For me, my notes nearly all fit in the 3-pocket page, so I bought the separate album.


I haven't actually written anything on the interleaves. I guess you could do without them. Example:




The album pages are transparent on both sides so you can view both sides of the note. They are somehwat flexible, but much thicker and less bendy than the standard dirt-cheap binder inserts would be.

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The main problem with the Lindner is the cost of the pages.


From what I can see, Safe is the main competitor.


They have quite a number of products.


This is the 'Artline' currency album (capacity only 30 pages):




They sell a range of pages:


1-pocket (250mm high) 1276

2-pocket (120mm high) 1277

3-pocket (80mm high) 1278


Priced at $1.60 each or $11 for 10.


The album is priced at $25 with 2 * 1-pocket, 4 * 2-pocket, and 3 * 2-pocket. Capacity is 30 pages. Code 1269. Optional slipcase 7373 is under $20, and you can buy the binder without the pages 1269SP.


The pages appear to come with optional inserts to allow you to put two notes into one slot.


You can also buy black interleaves, at about $0.50 each.


There is the 4-ring red album (capacity 40 pages):



Code 5100 ($25) + slipcase 5390 ($21)


or slipcase-style binder for $70


Or there is the 4-ring HIGH-CAPACITY (70 pages) compact album.


This is priced at $24 (code 480), plus $20 for the slipcase (489).


The available pages are:

2-pocket (145mm High) code 5490

3-pocket (95mm High) code 5491

$1.50/each or $13 for 10


10 interleaves for $5


Then there is the 11-ring compact album:

$25 for the album (708), and $20 for the slipcase ($20)



Pages with vinyl interleaves are:

561 1-pocket (245mm)

562 2-pocket (120mm

563 3-pocket (80mm)

$15 for 10


and their top-end, largest, 14-ring product, which is available in vinyl or leather, as follows:


Morocco machine-made vinyl binder:

$30 non-padded binder code 702

$20 non-padded slipcase 705



$38 padded binder code 704

$24 padded slipcase 712


$50 'tan' with brass corners 9802

$24 'tan' slip case


Yokama hand-made vinyl binder:


$42 binder 773

$24 slipcase 783


$45 'tan' embossed 778

$24 'tan' slipcase 788



$45 with country seal (one of: Austria, Belgium, Canada, DDR, Denmark, Europe, Faroe Islands, France, Germany, Great Britain,

Greenland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA) 7050

Yokama generic country slipcase $24 784


Skai vinyl binder


$53 binder 805

$24 binder 815


$53 tan binder 703

$24 tan slipcase 713


Slipcase Binder (linen-lined with brass lock and brass corners)


$80 400


Leather Binder


$165 binder 1503

$24 slipcase 1513


Whichever of these you buy, you can fill it with this


lightweight 2-pocket page w/tan vinyl interleaves 250x145mm, pack of 10, code 7352 $16

lightweight 3-pocket page w/tan vinyl interleaves 250x95mm, pack of 10, code 7353 $16

(no 4-pocket)


heavyweight 1-pocket (295mm) page w/black cardboard interleaves, pack of 10, code 821, $25

heavyweight 2-pocket (145mm) page w/black cardboard interleaves, pack of 10, code 822, $25

heavyweight 3-pocket (95mm) page w/black cardboard interleaves, pack of 10, code 823, $25

heavyweight 4-pocket (70mm) page w/black cardboard interleaves, pack of 10, code 824, $25


Capacity is 50 of the 7352/7353, or 40 of the 821-824 series.


You can also buy various bundles:


Tan Yokama album + slip case + sliding track + 10 * 3-pocket lightweight pages $80 Code 778

Unpadded Morocco album + 7 * 3-pocket lightweight page + 3 * 2-pocket lightweight page $42 Code 7351


The Safe albums do seem to work out SLIGHTLY cheaper - the pages cost slightly less.

But the bigger advantages seem to be higher capacity (50 sheets vs 35), and the extra 5mm on the height of the pages. I have a good

number of 95mm banknotes.... Any thoughts on comparative quality and which brand people prefer?


I bought the Lindner, because when I was researching the albums, I didn't realise that the 'banknote albums' are just regular collectors

albums, and the Safe banknote range is cluttered with a large range of products, which I found it hard to understand.


But having gone through this, looks like a Safe 14-ring binder of some description would be the best album you can buy.


Are there other higher-end album choices?

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