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Hey everyone! 2011 has been a landmark year for Gold Why! Not only am I uploading tons of HD quality videos about gold and silver (check out my recent tenth ounce gold coins video for example), but I'm investing in all areas of Gold Why - especially my questions and answers section (the one you're reading right now)! Now, you can ask me gold and silver questions via email, Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube (learn more on my gold questions page). While today's Q&A is my first of 2011, I expect to answer many more in the coming weeks and months. I hope you enjoy today's gold Q&A, all about storing gold and silver coins properly.

Question: Hello, I took your advice as I finally was able to find [and afford] a 2010 1oz. U S Gold Buffalo Bullion Coin, still in the original U S Mint plastic, with mint markings. The coin is beautiful! Thank-you! My question is this, will the U S Mint wrap the coin comes in [I have been told that it is "Mylar"?] do damage to the coin over time, in any way? I thought that plastic[s] and coins don't mix well? Thank-you for your time and thanks again for what you do, keeping novices like myself better educated about all things precious metals. Best.

Answer: This is a truly excellent question! I've been interested in writing about this topic for quite some time, so my sincerely thank you for asking this great question about storing gold coins. First, however, I must congratulate you on your purchase. Buying a 2010 1 ounce Gold Buffalo is a serious investment in gold bullion. Awesome move! I personally don't own any Gold Buffalo coins yet. I own some 24 karat gold coins, most of them being Maple Leaf gold coins, and the Gold Buffalo is definitely on my list.

My Recommendation: Leave Your Gold Coins In Their Original Plastic Sleeves

In terms of storing your Gold Buffalo, I highly recommend leaving it in its original plastic sleeve straight from the US Mint! There are a few reasons here. First and foremost, it's my true belief that the US Mint has done its homework and has placed the Gold Buffalo in a plastic sleeve that will not cause harm. I'm confident in this because many other mints do the same thing. Some examples (check out my pictures) include my Gold Panda and also my 1/4 Ounce Gold Maple Leaf. In short, there's a lot of history here and many mints out there have made these plastic sleeves the default way of storing 24 karat gold bullion coins (and they have been doing this for quite some time).

Second, the

plastic sleeve (in my opinion) is another way to add value should you ever choose to sell (not that I recommend this). If I had the choice of purchasing a Gold Buffalo with the sleeve or without, I'd clearly take the one with the sleeve. Why? The plastic sleeve means the coin is most likely in better condition (since 24 karat gold scratches easily) and also because it's another way to prove that the coin is authentic.

How To Store Gold Coins In General?

Now, let's say you own 24 karat gold bullion coins that did not come in the plastic sleeve from the mint. I definitely have a few of these. In this case, I definitely recommend protecting the coins since 24 karat gold bullion scratches easily. One great option are plastic capsules. You can see an example with my 24 karat Lunar Series Gold Coin. Now, I'm not sure if this is how my Gold Monkey came from the mint, or if it was placed in this plastic capsule after. In any event, I know that these plastic capsules are available for purchase and view them as a great way to protect your gold coins. In terms of 22 karat gold coins, they're a bit more durable. Nonetheless, I always recommend placing them in some type of protective sleeve. You can go with either a hard capsule or a cheaper alternative such as a thin plastic sleeve. You can see an example with my half ounce Krugerrand. The most important thing here: Buy high quality coin storage products from your local coin shop or from a high quality online store.

Storing Silver Bullion Coins

With silver bullion, you face a whole different problem: Silver tarnishes. First and foremost, I want to start with a really important disclaimer. Never try to clean your silver or gold coins. If your coins tarnish or get dirty, just leave them. If you really must, go to your local coin dealer and seek advice. However, from my reading on the topic, you will always do more harm than good by trying to clean a coin. Now, in terms of storing your silver coins, I really have the same recommendation as above (my recommendations for gold coins). However, the key difference here is silver tarnishes fast so I always recommend air tight storage options for silver. I like to place my silver coins in plastic sleeves or capsules. Then, I'll seal them in air tight boxes (the kind you can get at your local supermarket for food storage). The more air you can keep out, the better when it comes to silver bullion coins. Thanks again for your question and I hope this helps provide some ideas for storing your gold and silver coins.

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