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Protecting your collection

Protecting your collection is a separate subject in itself. Valuable coins should be insured and stored securely in a safe at home, or in a safety deposit box.

Storing and handling your coins

If you have your coin collection at home, take care in storing and handling the coins. Coins are sensitive to moisture. Dropping them will cause damage and affect their value. Even handling them carelessly will make a difference. Hold coins by the edge when inspecting them. Your skin contains a corrosive salt that will damage copper and bronze coins and potentially tarnish silver ones.

Should you clean your coins?

Generally speaking, coins should not be cleaned. Cleaning will result in abrasion to the coin’s surfaces. It could remove what may otherwise have been a valuable patina or lustre. Any form of treatment of this sort can more than half the value of the item. The risk is just not worth taking. An expert can easily detect treatment of this sort.

In numismatics, the study of coins, it helps to have an understanding of the historical context of the period and country you propose collecting. This can make your collecting more subtle and informed.

The following are brief thumbnail sketches of some of the collectable markets. Baldwin’s staff can help with more detail on the markets that interest you.

Britannia first appeared on Roman coins. This copper As of Antoninus Pius (138-161) may have been struck at a mint in Britain, and depicts Britannia solemn in defeat.
Coins were struck in Roman London from the late 3rd Century BC onwards. This coin of Constantine the Great depicts the emperor in military attire. The mintmark (PLN) on the reverse refers to the Mint of London. Coins from the London Mint are not, on the whole, rare, and examples (in various grades) are available at any almost price point.
The Byzantine Empire continued on after the Roman Empire had fallen in the West. Coins were produced across the Byzantine Empire, with its capitol at Constantinople. Impressive busts of Christ appear on later coins, such as this gold Histamenon, issued by the emperor Constantine VIII (1025-1028).

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