Tips On Currency Preservation

Preservation of currency collection starts with proper handling, protection from harmful elements and safekeeping. While you may not be able to avoid deterioration completely, you can certainly slow down the rate of deterioration if you observe the following:

Regular Inspection

Inspect your collection regularly and this will help you detect deterioration at its early stage. If deterioration is discovered too late, restoration may no longer be possible. It also reduces cost and time spent in restoring the notes and coins.

Proper Handling

The collection should be handled only when necessary. Avoid handling notes and coins with your bare hands as that would soil the notes or stain the coins. Instead, use a pair of tweezers with studded ends to pick up the notes and if you must hold the note with your hands, make sure you put on a pair of cotton gloves before you do so. Likewise, wear clean cotton gloves when handling coins.

When you lay the note and coin down for examination, be aware of the surface. If it is not clean, the note or coin may pick up contaminants which would react and damage the note or coin.

Correct Material

Ensure that all material used for storing the notes and coins are acid-free. Do not use PVC material as it traps moisture and releases acidic gases. Also avoid using paper envelopes as they contain sulphur. Use inert materials such as Mylar and in fact, the most protective way is to place a note between Mylar films and for coins, in plastic capsules.

Conducive Environment

Always store your collection in a dry place and away from moisture. Avoid direct sunlight and artificial light. They are rich in ultra-violet rays that are particularly destructive to currency notes.
The notes are best stored at a constant temperature of 20-24 Celsius and a relative humidity of 45-55%. If the notes and coins are kept in small containers, use silica gel to prevent damage by water vapour. In large storage areas, a dehumidifier is recommended. 

Further Tips

  • Do not allow currency to come into contact with each other when stored, as they would rub against one another and cause abrasive marks to develop on the surface of the currency.
  • Do not drop your coins on the floor to test the sound as it would leave scratches or nicks, thus reducing its value.
  • Never clean your note or coin with acid-based cleaner or abrasive, no matter how mild. Even a dry cloth, if rubbed vigorously, could leave permanent marks.

How could you tell whether the coin holder or plastic pouch is safe for storing your currency?

You can conduct this simple test to comfirm whether the plastic contains PVC.

a. Take a thin, uncoated copper wire (do not use magnet wire because it is varnish coated) and heat it over a gas stove until it is red hot;

b. Touch the hot end of the wire on the plastic and put it back into the gas flame;

c. If you see a burst of blue-green from the end of the wire in the flame, the plastic contains PVC;

d. If you see a yellow one, the holder is safe to house the currency.

While these tips are not exhaustive, they would go a long way in preserving your collection in good condition.


Notes and Coins Collecting

The collection of items with a face value can both be a hobby as well as an investment. Hence money collectibles such as coins, notes, uncut notes and currency-souvenirs have, over time, become popular items to be collected by "neophytes" and serious collectors alike.

While people collect notes and coins mainly for their aesthetic value, increasingly more are joining in the "collecting game" because of its investment value. Not only does the value of the coins and notes collected appreciate with time but also the market value never goes below the face value.

How to Start a Collection

As a start, one could collect whatever coins and notes that are available. Local currencies and regular currencies of neighbouring countries are the easiest to obtain. An inexpensive way would be to collect lower denominations. Joining a coin or note collection club or numismatic association is another avenue for exchanging and keeping updated of latest issues.

Exhibitions, auctions and overseas publications on coins and notes are also useful ways to be kept informed.

Coins Collecting

Coins collecting or numismatics has been called the pastime of scholars. Well, nowadays, one does not need to be a scholar to be a coin collector or numismatist. What one needs is the interest and the rest would fall into place. The following are some pointers for one to join millions all over the world engaging in this hobby.

What to Collect

Well, invariably, this will depend on one's budget, interest and time available to start this absorbing hobby. There are numerous possibilities. It is necessary that one defines one's interest and build a collection that one will be proud of rather than just collecting a lot of coins.

Circulation Coins - One of the least expensive but popular collection among beginners is the regular coinage of the world. If that is too wide, start with coins of neighbouring countries, which should be relatively simple to obtain.

Singapore Circulation Coins - A beginner could start collecting Singapore coins. Assemble a set of all the coins that have been issued for circulation since 1967 by the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore. Currently, there are six denomination of coins in circulation: 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents and $1. The first collection could comprise a complete set of the six denominations for each and every year since 1967 to the present year.

Early Coinage of Singapore - With more experience, one can go back in time and collect coins that were issued before the formation of the Republic. This can be traced to the founding of Singapore way back to 1819. Start with coins issued by the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Malaya and British Borneo, Malayan coins, Straits Settlement coins and so forth, working backwards in time.

Numismatic and Commemorative Coins - The new collector could also collect the numismatic and commemorative coins that are released at various times of the year.

Coins by Theme - There are some collectible coins with popular themes like sports, people, endangered species of animals, etc.

Bullion Coins - Another type of coins knows as "bullion coins" are principally minted in precious metals such as gold or silver. They are sold at premiums marginally above their gold content to attract small-time investors.

Coins collecting can be a pleasurable hobby. Though one may only be an inspiring new collector now, it would not be long before one derives great pleasure and pride from owning a beautiful array of coins

Notes Collecting

An interesting trend to note is that notes collecting, including the collecting of uncut notes, has been gaining popularity in Singapore and all over the world over the last few years.

The same principles of coins collecting also apply to notes and uncut notes collecting. However, notes tend to be termed as a collectible simply because the item is different, rare and is outside regular circulation. There are various stamp-marks that can make an item a collectible.

What is Collectible

Uncirculated Notes - The term "uncirculated" means that the notes are extracted from a pack of unused notes placed carefully in protective holders. This term is also used to describe notes which have the appearance of being clean, bright, sharp in detail with no discolourations and no evidence of folds.

Commemorative Issues - Notes that are issued to commemorate a special event such as an anniversary or a celebration. These are one-off issues which are never repeated. Examples of such items are the Singapore $50 plastic note issued for Singapore's 25th Anniversary, the 25-in-1 uncut $2 notes issued to commemorate the BCCS' 25th Anniversary, 28-in-1 uncut $100 notes to mark not only 100 years of currency board system in Singapore, but also the 30th Anniversary of BCCS, and 50-in-1 $2 millennium uncut sheets.

Notes with Limited Circulation - The total number of notes issued for a particular circulation also contributes to its demand. For example an uncut sheet of 40-in-1 Ship Series $2 red notes with a worldwide circulation of only 1,000 sheets will be more sought after than has thousands of sheets in circulation.

Notes with Distinctive Marks - A good example of notes with distinctive marks such as logos, commemorative text and seralised numbering of notes printed is the BCCS' 25 th Anniversary 25-in-1 uncut sheet. BCCS' 30th Anniversary & 100 years of currency board in Singapore 28-in-1 uncut sheet and BCCS' $2 millennium 50-in-1 uncut sheet.

Notes with Auspicious Number - Peculiar to this part of the world, particularly among Chinese is the popularity of auspicious or lucky numbers. These features can be found only in notes where the numbers are serialised. As an example, a $50 note with the number D/88 888 888 fetched $88,888.88 at a fund-raising event.

Rare Notes - When one considers the million of notes coming off the press, it is understandable that misprints or errors are rare and if found by alert collectors are offered for sale at a high premium - being only one of its kind.

A word of advice to the neophyte note collector - specialise! Collectors should specialise, not only because of limited budget but also to afford the opportunity to thoroughly study and acquire knowledge of the various types of series collected. Examples of specialisation are Type Collection and Signature Collection.

Last Modified on 26/11/2016