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Home >> Gold Q&A >> Remove My Gold Coins From Plastic Sleeves?

Author: Gold Why Webmaster
Date: May, 2011
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1978 Gold Bullion Krugerrand  
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I've been getting a lot of great questions lately about properly storing gold and silver coins. I take this topic really seriously and am thrilled to be getting such great questions because it shows that all of you are taking this topic really seriously too. It makes perfect sense: Gold and silver bullion are expensive. Working is hard. Making money is hard. At the end of the day, when you take home your post-tax dollars and invest them in gold and silver coins, you want to make sure your investment is stored properly. Today, I'm excited to answer another question about storing gold coins, specifically one about those plastic wrappers that come with some gold coins...

Question: I love gold and silver bars and coins as well. I however hate plastic. My question is when I remove all my coins and bars from the horrid plastic to fondle them am I doing harm? Thanking you in advance!

Answer: Yet another great question, thanks so much for asking. I can totally relate: The luster of gold coins is simply amazing. The density of gold coins leaves me speechless. After buying some gold coins, you just want to hold them all in your hand to feel their weight, right? You want to let them hit together a bit to hear their sound, right? I know it's tempting, but I can't stress enough that you want to be careful because gold is a soft metal. The quick answer to the question: Taking gold coins out of their plastic may cause harm. Now, the example I just portrayed (putting a bunch of gold in your hand and feeling their weight and listening to them clank together) is a bit extreme. So, I'm going to answer the question a little bit more specifically, keeping in mind at a high level that you're only planning on fondling one gold coin at a time!

24 Karat Gold Coins Are Delicate - Protect Them With Sleeves and Containers

First, I want to talk about 24 karat gold coins. Many 24 karat gold bullion coins (and bars) come in plastic contains straight from the mint (sealed all the way around). Some examples include: gold buffalos, gold pandas, gold Australian lunar series coins, gold cat coins (Isle of Man), gold dog coins (Gibraltar), and Johnson Matthey gold bars. If a coin comes from the mint with a special plastic sleeve or capsule around it, never remove the plastic. I know it's tempting, but the plastic is there for a reason. Typically, 24 karat gold coins are the only ones to come directly from the mint with individual plastic sleeves (and capsules). The mint does this to protect your investment. 24 karat gold can scratch and dent really easily. If you scratch or dent your coin, it's going to be much more difficult to sell. (I don't advise selling gold coins as it's bad luck, but you still want this option, believe me!)

Now, some 24 karat gold bullion coins don't always come with plastic sleeves. A good example is the gold maple leaf from Canada. I purchased a few one troy ounce gold maple leaf coins from Blanchard and Company several years ago. First and foremost, I want to point out that I love Blanchard and Company. They are great and this is where I have purchased most of my large, one ounce gold bullion coins (as opposed to fractional gold coins). When I purchased my one ounce maple leaf gold coins, they came in your standard plastic coin wrapper, the kind that coin shops buy and put on your coins before you take them home. This makes perfect sense: When maple leaf coins come from the mint (in bulk), they come in mint plastic tubes (just like my mint tube of silver eagles). What does Blanchard do? They take the coins out, individually wrap them, and then sell them. That said, some of the fractional maple leaf coins come in individual wrappers straight from the mint. Some examples I own include my quarter ounce maple leaf and my 1/20 ounce maple leaf. I'm sure even some of the one ounce maple leaf gold coins come in wrappers from the mint, just not the ones I have. In any event, the point I'm trying to make is some 24 karat gold bullion coins don't come in wrappers from the mint. That said, most stores will place some kind of plastic sleeve or capsule around them. My advice: Leave the plastic capsules and sleeves on all of your 24 karat gold bullion. All of my maple leaf coins are in perfect condition because I've been very careful about the plastic sleeves (whether they came from the mint with one or have one that was placed by the coin store). If you happen to have 24 karat gold coins without plastic sleeves, make sure to get them right away and be careful with your coins. Just remember how much money you invested in your hard earned gold!

22 Karat Gold Coin Storage - More of a Debate

It's a no brainer to store your 24 karat gold coins in their plastic sleeves (or else you risk damaging them). However, let's now talk about 22 karat gold bullion coins. Some of my favorite 22 karat gold bullion coins discussed here on Gold Why: Krugerrands (especially my 1/2 Ounce Krugerrand) and Gold American Eagles (especially my Tenth Ounce Gold Eagle and my amazing One Ounce Gold Eagle). 22 Karat gold bullion is a lot stronger than 24 karat gold bullion. It's scratch and dent resistant. For that reason, these coins typically don't come from the mint in any type of plastic sleeve or capsule. You'll sometimes see them on display at your coin shop without a plastic sleeve or capsule around them. In this case, it's really a debate. You can get away fondling these 22 karat coins a lot more than your 24 karat ones. You can even get away handling them without a sleeve. That said, I'm a bit paranoid and cautious. My advice is to leave your 22 karat coins in sleeves and handle them one at a time, don't let them hit together. Remember, you spent a ton of hard earned money on these coins! However, let's say you must handle some of your gold coins. By all means, handle your 22 karat ones and avoid the 24 karat ones. That is the better bet, by far. Just remember, when you're done handling your gold bullion coins, remember to store them away safely, preferable in plastic capsules or sleeves. Thanks again for the great question!

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