There are some common mistakes that could ruin your collection. It is better to be aware of them before doing something that will devalue your collection forever. Let’s have a look.

Generally speaking, antiquity and imperfection is not always a bad condition in the collecting world, but the opposite. In numismatics in particular, those qualities are a plus and wear and tear must be evaluated with extreme caution.  Nowadays, especially if we are beginners in this hobby, it is quite common to look up advice and tips on the Internet. Although the Internet is a super powerful tool for getting new knowledge, we should be very careful with the following recommendations:

·         Washes: you can find endless tips on the Internet about how to clean coins and banknotes: with neutral soap, lemon, olive oil or even beer! Using a soft brush, only with the tips of your fingers…  We don’t say your banknote will be cleaner after following these instructions, literally speaking, but it will also be less authentic and, as a result, devalued.

·         Iron or pressed: if a banknote is wrinkled, after ironing it the wrinkle will still be there. It could even be more noticeable after doing it. What won’t be the same anymore is its sizing and that will devalue our piece much more than a wrinkle.

·         Borders cut: it could sound crazy to you, or maybe not. Some people think that cutting borders imperfections improve the quality of the banknote. Nothing is further from reality.

·         Typographical correction: cover those print mistakes or wear and tear with a marker. No, thank you.

 Then, what should we do to improve the appearance of our collectibles? The short answer is easy: NOTHING.

Banknotes sizing, wear and tear or small mistakes are part of the magic of this hobby. A virgin banknote with its original sizing is the most appreciated, even with those mistakes.

If you still want to clean or improve the look of a coin or a banknote we strongly recommend going to a specialist. A professional will use techniques and specific products better and safer than any home remedy.

Being aware of all this is not only useful to don’t spoil our collection but to detect manipulated pieces and avoid being potentially scammed. The seller should make us know if a banknote has been manipulated or reconstructed. So, be suspicious if a banknote:

·         Has a bleach, chemical or any other odour apart from old smell (could be a plastic smell though depending on where it has been kept).

·         Has poor consistency. The paper looks weak, thinner than usual and it hasn’t the same colour or sizing.

·         Has perfect borders, with no marks, stains or similar. You could see that size is smaller than usual, no matter if it is only a tiny bit smaller.

However, even paying attention to all these red flags, there are professional manipulations very hard to detect so the best warranty is always to deal with trusted sellers than offers us a certain security. If you are planning to buy online, you can refresh on this link some of the precautions to have in mind.

How to maintain a collection

As we have said, originality is super important in the collecting world but, of course, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take care of our pieces and try to maintain them in the best possible condition. We must be very careful while handling them, only the necessary and with clean hands (with gloves even better), do not hit the coins and, very important, keep them away of water or any other liquid.

In NCV Grading we believe encapsulation and certification are the best warranty of durability and conservation. Once your banknotes and coins are individually encapsulated, they can be manipulated with no fear and they are way easily to archive. Our objective and professional certification and graduation (already backed by official auction houses) will be also very useful in case you want to sell your pieces, now or in the future.  

Would you like to certify your collection?

If you want us to certificate one or many of your banknotes and/or coins, you will find in this link how to do it step by step. And here you are some tips to prepare your package:

•             Banknotes: put them in an individual plastic case, free of acids. Then, put that case between two rigid plaques (cardboard, hard plastic or a folder) so it won’t be folded while transportation.

•             Coins: they must be packed and shipped individually so they don’t hit each other, in specifics cardboard files or plastics capsules.


Would you try our certification service?