Money Not in Your Hand

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Can too much handling damage a circulated or uncirculated coin?

Money Not in Your Hand

You never thought you would become one of "those" people. You know the type. Comic book collectors scream if you want to open a book to see what Batman looked like back in the day. Your neighbor keeps enough plates to start another Franklin Mint and protects them with a guard dog followed by a fully loaded shotgun. Your Trekkie brother will fire all phasers and attack you like a Klingon if you get near his Playmates figures of Kirk and Spock from 1975.

Now that you're venturing into coin collecting, you admire a circulated Kennedy half-dollar collectible coin. It's Very Fine (VF) or Almost Uncirculated (AU), with some dirt and nicks, but you pick it up gingerly anyway. You've made it your mission to learn about coins.

Coins and US coins, like vinyl records, need careful handling, especially an uncirculated United States coin. Fingerprints reduce the coin's grade. Don't touch the surface of the coin directly. The normal nicks and dirt on a circulated coin might not matter, but your coin could drom from a VF to a G if you finger it too much.

If that Kennedy half-dollar belongs to a coin enthusiast, handle on the edge only. That's good advice for your own collectible coins--after all, you want to purchase that Kennedy half-dollar. Don't try to clean a coin, even if you just want to wipe away fingerprints. Your fellow numismatist might like the slightly tarnished appearance, since it makes Kennedy look rugged.

You can take a little extra care with your coins. After all, you're not one of "those" people...hey, don't you dare breathe on my United States coin or I'll call the Marines! Where's that guard dog?



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