Are you a paper money collector or an enthusiast? You need to hold on to the banknotes for a long time.
Learning how to store paper money long term will keep them in prime condition.
A paper money collection is valuable, and you need adequate tools and methods to preserve them.
The average lifespan of paper money, such as the US Dollar, is a couple of years. The $100 note lasts for around 23 years, as per the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
The oldest banknote in existence made it to the Guinness World Records – one Kwan was discovered in 1888 in Vienna and belonged from the 14th century Ming Dynasty.
How awesome is that? It just goes on to prove that with the proper method, banknotes can be preserved for a long time.
You still have hope to turn your paper money collection into an enviable one that your future generations would be proud of!
Let us see how to store paper money long term.
Use Currency Holders or Albums
Like people used to preserve family photographs in albums with protective cover, you need to place the paper money collectibles in clear and inert currency holders or albums.
They can be easily purchased online. It is easier this way as you can examine or display the currencies without actually touching it.
Remember that extreme temperature, air pollution, salt air, and high humidity levels impact how you store paper money for the long term.
After placing them in the flat protective holders or albums, keep them in areas with uniform humidity and temperature. They should never be under direct sunlight as they will turn brittle and crumble easily.
Avoid a paper money album made of leather or faux leather because they will attract mold after some time. Remember how old family photo albums have a distinct moldy smell; the same will happen to the paper monies. Frequently air the leather or faux leather albums to preserve the monies in pristine condition.
Mylar Currency Sleeves
Mylar-polyester currency sleeves are a better recommended way to store paper money for the long term.
Mylar is a polyester film which has high reflectivity, chemical and dimensional stability, transparency, tensile strength, and electrical insulation.
They were developed in the 1950s and has since been a go-to material for storing dried food items for decades.
Similarly, the Mylar currency sleeves work perfectly for long term paper money storage; they have been adequately tested and approved.
The Mylar currency sleeves look similar to plastic envelopes. They come in packs of 50 or 100, and each sheet can hold about 3 to 4 currency notes.
They are archival grade sleeves used by one of the world’s largest fine arts museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
To go a step further, you can slip this bags into a fireproof money bag to protect against any catastrophic events in your home.
Handling Paper Money
Buy a pair of soft white cotton gloves and wear them every time you handle paper money. Our skin secrets natural oils, and there will transfer to the paper money through your fingers and palms.
The notes will begin to damage over time. Wearing cotton gloves will protect the surface from oils and fingerprints. Also, use tweezers to turn notes.
Be mindful of how you display the paper money collection. Uneven exposure to moisture, heat, and light will damage the ink and the paper, causing tears to appear, and finally, the print will fade away.
If you want to display the paper money collection in your home, find a corner that does not receive direct sunlight at any point in the day. Otherwise, even with all the proactive cover, the notes will begin to turn yellowish.
If you wish to examine the currency notes closely, NEVER use ultra-violet rays as they are destructive. Only use a halogen bulb for closer examination. Take out the banknote/s, place it on an ultra-clean table, and use tweezers to examine.
Avoid Manual Restoration
Sometimes paper monies get torn or chipped from the sides or the middle. Older banknotes suffer from the ravages of time.
People often make the mistake of using cellophane tape to repair the tears. Instead, it reduces the collectible appeal of the notes and can further damage it. Permanent stains can appear on the notes.
Never attempt to restore the notes manually if you do not have the knowledge. Go to a professional for money conservation.
Where to keep the paper money albums or the Mylar currency sleeves?
It is not enough to just store the paper money in sleeves and albums. You need to store the collection is a safe place. What would that?
Choose a dry and cool area to keep the paper money albums or the Mylar sleeves. A 68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 24 degree Celsius is the recommended storage temperature.
If your house has a humidity control mechanism, 45% to 55% is the optimal humidity condition for the place you keep the paper money albums.
The dampness of the basement or the extreme heat of the attic is the worst place. If you have a lot of paper money collections to store, you need to control the storage environment with dehumidifiers and a generous amount of silica gels.
If you are a devoted paper money collector, the best way is to dedicate a space in your home, which is an adequate humidity-controlled space with regular temperature monitoring.
Please have a look at the video by JB Coins Inc to have a better idea of what Mylar sleeves look like, how to handle them, and the ideal storing conditions.
I hope now you have a better idea of how to store paper money in the long run. If you were itching to start a paper money collection and no had no idea how to maintain them, the above will surely get you started.