Karen Wiggins on January 2, 2017 1 Comment Everybody collects something. Maybe it’s a bunch of old knick-knacks sitting on a shelf, or shot glasses that mark the places you’ve visited, or perhaps you just have a bunch of old comic books from when you were a kid. Whatever it is that you collect, are you showing them off in style? No matter what your intentions may be for collecting, it’s time to take it all out of the closet, clean off the dust and show off your collection to the people you love the most. Below, we have listed out some of the most popular collectibles, as well as some general tips on how to safely store and display each in your home, all without compromising the overall value your collection may have. 1) Stamp Collection Collecting stamps is one of the most popular collectibles, with millions of people partaking in the hobby. No matter how old or young you may be, building a stamp collection is a joy that can last a lifetime, as well as accumulate quite a bit of wealth that you can pass down. How to Store Your Stamp Collection The American Philatelic Society, the largest organization of stamp collectors, has written up a fantastic 28-point checklist of factors you should consider when storing your stamp collection. You should check that out, but here are four main takeaways every stamp collector needs to know. Store in Archival Sleeves — Keep your stamps in clear archival sleeves or on collection cards that are acid free to protect the colors and paper. Clean & Dry Hands — Since postage stamps are already quite fragile, handling them with care after washing your hands and keeping your stamps dry will help you protect your collection. Use Stamp Tongs — Specialty stamp tongs can help you handle your collection safely; avoid using regular tweezers, they can tear your fragile stamps. Be Aware of the Lighting — Store or display your stamps away from direct sunlight; UV rays can fade the color over time. How to Display Your Favorite Stamps Stockpages designed specifically for stamps are acid free and hold your stamps safely in place. You can place these specialty pages in an album, binder or other display to show them off. Your favorite postage stamps can be mounted and framed, provided you use acid free materials and stamp mounts designed for this purpose. 2) Currency & Coin Collection Perhaps the oldest collectible hobby, and certainly the one that has motivated me to research and write this article here. Collecting coins dates back thousands of years, with the first suspected “hoard of coins” dating back to 600 BC and found in the Temple of Artemis. How to Store Your Coin Collection According to the American Numismatic Association, the largest organization of coin collectors, you need to think long-term as these coins are major investments that gain value over time. No matter how rare or valuable your coins may be, you should store them in an area away from potentially damaging elements. Here’s a few general guidelines you should follow. Keep in Low-Humidity — It’s crucial to know the relative humidity levels of the area your coins are stored. A low humidity environment can help prevent tarnish and premature aging. Steady Temperature — Aside from the humidity, it is also wise to store in an area that can maintain a steady temperature. Without the necessary climate control, you may be putting your entire collection at risk of exposure. Do NOT Take Out Of Case — Under no circumstances, should you ever remove your coins from their original holders. This is a sure way to quickly degrade their value. Keep them in mint condition by keeping them in their case. Selecting the Right Container — If you have loose coins, you should store them in a PVC-free mylar “coin flip” or inside an acid-free envelope. These two options will keep them in a safe environment to preserve the integrity of the coins. Keep Documentation With Coins — If possible, keep your coins in the original holders and secure any documentation with the pieces themselves. Consider A Safety Deposit Box Some collectible currency has tremendous value, while others are not worth any more than their face value. Because of this, it may be best to store in a safe or secure location. Below, we have two examples that demonstrate extremes: $2 Bills = Face Value This is a popular currency denomination people collect. However, according to the US Treasury, the $2 denomination are still in circulation, and therefore are not worth any more than their face value. American Gold Eagles = Varying Value Perhaps the most coveted coin among collectors, these pieces of gold are not circulated and can be worth thousands of dollars. In fact, according to the US Gold Bureau, golden eagle coins hit the market at a few thousand dollars, and then immediately skyrocket in value. For the safety of your collection, as well as your own personal safety, you probably don’t want to have a bunch of rare coins just sitting around in your home. The same could be said for any popular collectible on this list, really. But, if your collection is of great value, you should always consider storing it in a safe place. How to Display Your Favorite Coins In Your Home Coins should be displayed in their original container, a frame or inside a coin flip. Their small size and round shape make them easy to lose. If a coin slips off a shelf or behind a piece of furniture, it could roll away and you may not be able to retrieve it. Store coins in an album, mounted on cards or even framed; you’ll be able to see and enjoy your collection without exposing it to harm. 3) Trading Card Collection From baseball cards to Magic the Gathering, trading cards have long been a popular collectible item. With so many niches, sports, teams and players, it can quickly become overwhelming to manage the collection, not to mention keep it organized and stored properly. How to Store Your Trading Cards If you love to trade or swap cards or even want to sell your pieces, you need to keep them in good shape. Following the general rule of all the other popular collectibles listed here, the better condition your cards are in, the more they will be worth. Since these cards are made from paper, storing them in acid free containers and away from direct sun can prevent the paper from getting damaged or aging in an inappropriate manner. For trading cards, you have a few options: Individual Plastic Sleeves — Storing individual cards in acid-free plastic sleeves will help protect them from wear and tear, allowing you to store them without worry. Sleeves are available in many sizes, ranging from individual to pages that hold nine cards. These slide easily into an album and allow you to quickly find what you are looking for. Hard Plastic Cases — For your most valuable cards, you may want to consider a hard plastic case that can snap shut. These add extra protection, allowing you to carry them around and minimizing the potential for damaging them. How to Display Your Favorite Cards If you’d like to display a few cards, you should definitely consider the harder plastic cases. Just make sure any case you buy is acid-free. Some cases are designed to slide into frames for easy display. The look and feel of these cases will range from simple to commemorative. You can find some clear, plastic cases just about anywhere that sells trading cards. However, if you’d like to add a bit of flair and show-off your most prized piece in style, then you should try to find a special commemorative frame. Some will be tailored to the team, player or niche, while others may be more generic. Wherever you show off your cards, it is strongly recommended that you ensure they do not get hit by direct sunlight any time of the day and that the area is free from moisture or the threat of spills. All of these elements can wreak havoc on the value of your collection. 4) Comic Book Collection Another popular collectible item, comic books first experienced a surge of popularity in the 1930’s, as publishers introduced the world to a variety of superheros. While the popularity of collecting comic books has ebbed and flowed over the years, the lure for superheros has never been stronger. In fact, studios realize this and have started adapting comic book storylines into TV shows, thus introducing a new generation to the vintage classics. From Netflix’s multi-series adaptation of The Defenders to AMC’s adaption of the incredibly popular The Walking Dead graphic novels, the love of comic books may just be entering into a new era. How to Store Your Comic Book Collection Due to the materials they’re made from, the best methods to store comic books are going to be very similar to trading cards above. Not only are they made from thin, fragile paper, their thin overall size means that comic books can bend or tear easily. Plastic Sleeves With Rigid Support — To protect the integrity of each one, it is recommended that you store each inside a protective sleeves with a rigid board behind it. These will typically come with the sleeves, but heavy stock paper or cardboard will suffice, too. These are important to help prevent unintentional bending, creasing or folding of the comic book stored inside. Hard Plastic Cases or Shells — For the maximum amount of protection, you should consider a harder shell case. These protect each comic book from being damaged, allowing you to carry them around or display them without the worry of unintentional damage. Both storage options listed above will help you organize your collection as you wish. Typically, comic book collectors will keep their set organized by series, number or character, making it as easy as possible to quickly find your favorites. How to Display Your Favorite Comics Pull your favorites out of storage and display in a frame, specialty box or on a shelf out of the reach of kids or pets. The harder cases can be used for displaying, much like a picture frame. However, you can also browse eBay, Amazon or Etsy to find a wide variety of decorative display options. However you decide to display them, keep in mind that these are paper collectibles that should be stored out of direct sunlight and away from moisture. Abiding by these guidelines will allow you to enjoy your collection without compromising their lifespan or value. 5) Dolls, Action Figures & Other Toys This is a hard collectible to sum up, as there are so many different types of dolls and toys one may collect. If possible, keep your action figures in their original packaging. Opening them up will devalue them immediately. However, for many collectors, finding a vintage toy in their original packaging happens about as often as one would accidentally stumble upon a hoard of gold. So, if you’ve already opened and played around with the doll or toy, or you’re just looking to buy from the original owner, there are still some guidelines on how to care for them. How to Store Your Antique Dolls & Action Figures Taking care of your collectible toys will help them last longer, maintain their vivid colors and keep their value. Sunlight, time and environmental factors can damage them. Storing them safely is a matter of taking precautions and knowing what to look out for. Here are some quick tips: Avoid Sunlight — Store dolls and action figures away from direct sunlight, which can cause colors to fade. Avoid Hot Climates — Avoid storing your toys in the attic, garage or another location with high temperatures. Excessive temperatures could cause the plastic to melt or distort. Avoid Humid Conditions — Areas with high humidity, such as a bathroom, laundry room or basement, could damage your plastic toys and cause them to chip or peel, or potentially even break off. If you’re storing cloth dolls in humid conditions, it could even lead to mold. Limit Environmental Exposure — Store in a closed box, away from various environmental factors that may cause harm. Dust, dirt and oils can all build up over time and require intensive cleaning to remove, or even lead to irreparable damage. How to Display Your Favorite Dolls Display your pieces out of direct sunlight whether they are in the original packaging or not. Sunlight will cause the colors to gradually fade over time. If you want to preserve the packaging, showcase your favorite items where they can be seen but not handled by kids or visitors. Even a curious pet could send your perfectly intact doll tumbling to the ground, so choose your locations wisely. Consider grouping your figures by themes, time periods or other arrangements and changing your displays frequently to keep things fresh; you’ll enjoy seeing all of your pieces on a rotating basis. Takeaways Show off your collection in style, or safely tuck it away to keep the colors and surfaces fresh. Properly storing your collectibles ensures they last as long as possible and that they stay in pristine condition. Even when you display pieces, being mindful of the sun and environmental exposure can help you enjoy your pieces but preserve their beauty and value. Whether you are saving your collectibles to pass on to the next generation, planning on selling them eventually or simply like to rotate your display and enjoy different pieces at different times of year, these tips will help.