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Storing the Collection in an Unfinished Wood Box: Good or Bad Idea?


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I was at a Michael's recently and adored all the great unfinished wooden boxes/trunks they have available to doll up as you wish, and I thought of my collection, which is currently in an old DirecTV cable box in the closet. Mostly for my own enjoyment, I played around with the idea that I might like to craft one of those boxes into a tidy collection chest, but of course I wanted to ask the obvious exposure questions, including:

 

Does unfinished wood (probably mostly balsa) release harmful chemicals that could affect my collection? Right now it's stored in AirTites and the fancy Whitman albums with the plastic slide-in panels.

 

Now, if I paint the exterior of the trunk with acrylic paint (not oil), will the coins be exposed to harmful chemicals in the dry paint? What about cured hot glue? I'm gonna assume that wood stain is out of the question.

 

If I can get away with this without damaging the goods I'll be sure to post a pic of it when it's done. TG needs a proper chest to store her booty!

 

Many thanks as always!

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Most folks will tell you that the wood itself and the finishes - paint, stain, varnish, etc. will affect your coins. HOWEVER. It depends on what your collection is. I've stored circulated coins - silver, copper, copper-nickel, brass, etc. in wooden boxes with various finishes for many years with virtually no ill effects. Not that these are not my gem unc and proof coins. Those are either slabbed or in Danscos or acid free envelopes in Intercept Shield boxes.

 

Most albums will tone coins over time. They are not airtight and are not necessarily manufactured with pure materials. I use corrosion resistent cases for my Dansco albums that house significant coins. But they still tone a bit. Lincoln cents tone like WOW! Some get black some get spots, some turn beautiful colors. It's the minting process at work.

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All woods leak gasses as they dry. Some more so than others. So much depends on where the wood comes from too. Different areas where trees come from have different soils and water that is absorbed into the trees. As the wood drys over time, much of this leaks out. Some people claim they have no problems with coins in raw wood. Those I suspect are not telling the truth or just lucky or somehow found wood that is very old and has no longer gasses leaking out. Almost all paints, varnishes, etc. depend on time to cure which means giving off gasses. Same with most of the glues used to make wood objects.

To sum it up, it is really not best to put coins, any coins, in a wood container.

As to Albums. I've used Whitman Classic Albums for as long as there have been Albums. I've never had a coin tone, tarnish, corrode, stain, etc. I keep all my Albums in Zip Lock Plastic bags.

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All woods leak gasses as they dry. Some more so than others. So much depends on where the wood comes from too. Different areas where trees come from have different soils and water that is absorbed into the trees. As the wood drys over time, much of this leaks out. Some people claim they have no problems with coins in raw wood. Those I suspect are not telling the truth or just lucky or somehow found wood that is very old and has no longer gasses leaking out. Almost all paints, varnishes, etc. depend on time to cure which means giving off gasses. Same with most of the glues used to make wood objects.

To sum it up, it is really not best to put coins, any coins, in a wood container.

As to Albums. I've used Whitman Classic Albums for as long as there have been Albums. I've never had a coin tone, tarnish, corrode, stain, etc. I keep all my Albums in Zip Lock Plastic bags.

 

Don't you worry about the plastic in the plastic bags giving off chemicals? Most plastic bags will harden as they age which means they are undergoing some chemical changes. As far as papers are concerned there are inert sleeves that can be purchased to archivally store prints and negatives. I would image sizes could be found to accommodate your albums. I used the blue Whitman albums for years and had a number of coins tone in them, especially unc cents. So the environment in which the item is stored also plays a large part.

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I had read an older post trying to research my question that recommended certain kinds of tupperware for coin storage - as long as the plastic was a certain kind (the good kinds were listed) there shouldn't be any adverse effects. If this is true, would I be right in assuming that storing my collection in an approved tupperware which is then stored inside my pretty trunk would work fine?

 

Here is link: Link

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I had read an older post trying to research my question that recommended certain kinds of tupperware for coin storage - as long as the plastic was a certain kind (the good kinds were listed) there shouldn't be any adverse effects. If this is true, would I be right in assuming that storing my collection in an approved tupperware which is then stored inside my pretty trunk would work fine?

 

Probably. I've always understood that storing coins in PVC-free plastic was fine.

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