Taking Care of Your Gold Coins and Bars

When collectors buy gold coins, it is for a number of reasons. As well as building up an investment portfolio, it can be for the enjoyment of owning beautiful objects that will retain their value and interest for generations to come. Therefore, it is important to ensure that gold coins are stored and handled correctly. Even when it comes to buying gold bullion, instead of coins, which is not always quite so prized for its appearance, looking after a collection properly is essential to help prevent damage and retain its value for potential resale.

Storing gold coins or bullion

Choosing a secure location for gold coins or bullion is arguably the most important aspect of owning a collection. As well as protecting against theft or loss, it is important that the coins are kept in the right conditions so they do not deteriorate over time. There are two main ways to store gold coins or gold bullion correctly.

Keep them at home

First of all, choosing to keep your gold collection at home offers the advantages of being able to access it and look at it whenever you wish. However, you will need to consider how to keep it safe from loss or theft. Consider installing a safe that is firmly attached to the floor or wall, and which is big enough to store everything together without having to cram it all in too closely. Keep the safe in a damp-free place which is not exposed to high temperatures. Gold should be stored somewhere discreet and secure – tell as few people as possible of its existence. Don’t forget to add your gold coin or bullion collection to your household contents insurance policy.

Specialist storage

Alternatively, you can arrange for your gold coins or bullion to be kept off-site in a specialist storage provider. Check out the arrangements for your chosen storage facility or vault carefully. Again, there must be no damp or risk of contamination, and security should be extremely tight to prevent theft. Find out in advance how much it will cost you to store your gold there, as well as any additional costs, such as insurance or delivery charges if you need anything returned to you remotely.

Handling gold coins or bullion

As with any precious metals, it is best to handle gold coins and bullion as little as possible. You should certainly not do it with bare hands, as the oil in them could cause damage to the surface of the metal. Wear lint-free gloves to touch the coins, or keep them permanently inside a clear plastic case. Never wear latex gloves, as these contain lubricants that can also cause harm. Always pick your coins up from the edge and carry them carefully to avoid dropping them. Try also to avoid having coins or bullion touch each other while in storage or in transit.

Cleaning gold coins or bullion

Generally, gold coins and bullion will not need cleaning, especially if they are kept inside plastic pouches or boxes for added protection. In fact, using the wrong chemicals or cloths to clean gold can damage a previously mint finish and devalue it. Gold will not corrode or tarnish and so will stay brighter for longer. A good habit to get into is to store gold coins and bullion in airtight containers to keep them free from dust and never store them in close proximity to silver, or other metals that can tarnish or rust.

If a gold coin or bullion does become dirty, it can be gently lowered into a plastic bowl of warm water and left for a few minutes to soak. If you live in an area with hard water in the taps, consider using distilled water for this purpose instead. Handle it as little as possible and use a brush with very soft bristles to wipe away any stubborn marks.

Always be extremely gentle doing this, as gold can become scratched very easily. Seek specialist help if you are at all worried about damaging the surface. Remove the gold coin or bullion from the water and place it on a clean, dry towel. Gently dab or pat it dry. Return it to its plastic container or pouch only when you are sure it has dried completely.