Author Topic: Can't I Just Pass Around 2-By-2s?  (Read 1027 times)

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Offline Abhay

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Can't I Just Pass Around 2-By-2s?
« on: December 10, 2011, 03:08:39 AM »
By Dr. R.S. “Bart” Bartanowicz, Coins Magazine
December 06, 2011

‘I’d really like to show off my modern commemorative collection at the next club meeting. Laying them out on a table or passing them around doesn’t really appeal to me. I want to display them in an attractive manner. Any suggestions?”

Our numismatist nodded.

“I like the idea of displaying collections. It’s not showing off or bragging. It gives people the sense of a collection in terms of what it takes to put together a collection and the subtle and not so subtle differences with coins, be they in the same series or different commemoratives. Did you have something in mind?”

“I want something that works as both a carrying case and display rack. I want it to accommodate my slabbed coins. I was thinking about a wall rack or shelf like the kind people use to display mementos. I know there are some really nice commercial cases and such, but I want to build something myself.”

Our numismatist grinned and said, “Let’s get to work.”

The first thing was to determine the number of coins in the collection or what they wanted to display. From there they came up with the size and weight of the rack. (Note: While our numismatist and his friend are both buff and fit 70-year-olds, they aren’t about to haul heavy cases about.)

They arrived at the idea of a rectangular rack that would hold 50 certified coins. There would be five shelves and 10 coins per shelf. Size and weight wise this seemed about right for transporting the rack from one place to another.

This arrangement would provide a nice symmetrical look. The coins would be held in place by horizontal strips of wood with uniform labels that would have the specifics, e.g., year, mintage and design. The rack could be wall-mounted or laid flat on a table. Before cutting the wood they laid out a cardboard prototype to make sure that everything would fit right.

The rack turned out well. Unfortunately, as they knew, the 50-coin rack wouldn’t display the entire collection. The next step is being formulated, which includes the possibility of hinging two racks together to make a case that would open up like a book. As with all things numismatic, there is always something else to be done.

Displaying your collection (such as a series that you’ve completed—not everything you own) is rewarding and educational. For one it shows your fellow collectors what you have amassed. With the coins in view you can discuss your pitfalls and triumphs. In displaying a collection you can also show the differences in grades, strikes, toning and other interesting facets.

The totality of a collection is impressive especially in terms of the time and effort it takes. I’ve seen many high-grade and wonderful collections. I’ve also been wowed by collections in circulated grades where the collector set a strict standard as to price and grade and desirable characteristics such as a clean cheek (devoid of marks) on the portrait head.

Of course, with large collections it isn’t always practical to display everything. Conversely, some of the collection can be displayed.

By way of example, my most recent completed project was an East Africa one shilling set of “Walking Lion” coins (minus the rare 1943-I) minted from 1921 to 1952. As with many foreign coins, many of them were cleaned, but I avoided coins that had been harshly cleaned or had abrasions and distracting marks on them. I mounted the coins in 2-by-2s and individually labeled each one. They were displayed in a commercial coin tray that had 28 2-by-2 slots. This was an attractive set and an easy display to put together. As a plus, I had an explanation sheet and handouts. Needless to say, I was pleased.

As you start to collect a specific series you might want to consider how you are going to store your coins as well as display them to others. There are numerous commercial products available that are quite handsome and can accommodate a wide variety of coins. On the other hand, you might consider building your own display case.

One word of caution, determine your cost and time before you start construction. I can’t begin to tell you how many projects I’ve undertaken myself to save money or meet my personal desires—only to find out it cost me more money (and my time) than buying a ready-built commercial product. Whatever you do, have fun.

Finally, I want to apologize to readers for my foul-up in my September 2011 column on calculating the melt value of coins. I attempted to provide a hypothetical example and somehow erroneously stated that a Morgan silver dollar weighs one ounce. I’m not sure where my thought process was that day. As many readers informed me, the actual weight of a silver dollar is 26.73 grams and the silver content is .77344 oz.

I know better and hope that you aren’t disappointed in me. I’m disappointed in myself, to say the least.

Source: Numismaster


Offline Figleaf

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Re: Can't I Just Pass Around 2-By-2s?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2011, 10:19:11 PM »
These poor people's real problem seems to be slabs. There are commercial solutions both for unmounted coins and for coins in cartons. The come both in cabinet and suitcase form and look like drawers that can be covered with a transparent lid.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.