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How to Safely Move Your Coin Collection to Your New Home

Posted on September 06, 2021

 

So you’ve acquired a coin collection of your own. These coins are likely meaningful to you, whether from an economic perspective or as a sheer numismatic hobby. But what happens when you have to move your collection to your new home?

Moving your precious metal coin collection can be nerve-racking, as one wrong move can mean anything from theft to damaging rare and valuable coins. But as long as you are prepared, moving your coin collection doesn’t have to be difficult.

Here are some things to consider and look out for when moving your coin collection.

Risks and fears when moving coin collections

 

Not knowing where to start

While you know that your collection must be moved, you might not know where to start. Do you choose a shipping company, and if so, which one? Or do you transport your coins on your own? These decisions can be daunting, to say the least, especially if you don’t know your options to begin with. Before you begin, it’s best to do your own research as to how other collectors have successfully moved and what services offer the best, most reliable transportation for your coin collection. Alternately, contact a local coin shop and ask them how they transport high-value coin collections.

Risk of theft or loss in transit

Theft and loss in transit are likely the biggest fears of coin collectors when transporting their collection. If criminal-minded individuals learn you’re moving your collection, they could seek to steal it in transit. But even beyond thieves, your coin collection could be lost while en route. You will want to be extra careful about how you transport and track your collection for these reasons. Read on for specific recommendations.

Trusting a third-party

If you decide to use a shipping or transportation company to move your coins, you are putting your faith in these companies to deliver. Most companies like USPS, FedEx, and UPS have an extremely high success rate when it comes to shipping and fulfillment. But no matter how good a shipping company is, they aren’t perfect. It only takes a single failure to ruin your entire collection. This means you are putting your faith in the logistics provider to deliver your coin collection as intended.

Fear of traveling with your collection

For those with a high-value collection, traveling alongside your coins would likely be nerve-racking. Think about taking a flight or a cross-country drive with thousands of dollars worth of coins by your side. In this case, you will want to secure your collection not just for damage but against theft as well.

Insurance problems

If you decide to use a shipping or logistics provider, you can choose to purchase specific insurance to protect you if your collection is lost, stolen, or damaged in transit. But not all insurance is created equal. You will have to understand how and when your insurance would be paid out in the case of a negative outcome. At the same time, some insurers are notorious for failing to pay out claims in a timely manner or at all. Make sure to thoroughly read any insurance policy you pay for to understand what it does and doesn’t cover. Additionally, seeking out reviews on insurance providers is also a good idea. Again, your fellow coin collectors or a local coin shop are good resources to start your research.

Traveling by air with a coin collection

Air travel is always an option for transporting your coin collection, especially if you will be traveling by air already to your new destination. If your collection is small, you could decide to secure it in a carry-on bag and have it with you at all times. (Although you will want to ensure the collection never leaves your sight.) There are insurance options if you decide to travel by air with your collection, especially if the collection will be handled and stored by the airline, which could damage or lose the collection altogether could be a risk. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to check with both your airline and TSA before traveling with your coin collection to understand better what options you have and how you can best secure your collection in transit.

Traveling by car with a coin collection

If you are traveling a short distance, the best way to move your coin collection might be to travel with it by car. A car ride of only a few hours might prove to be a more optimal way to transport your collection. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when traveling with your collection by car:
  • Overnight stops - Will you need to stop along the way? If you need to rest overnight, where will you be staying? Is the town or neighborhood safe? Does the hotel have a safe, and if so will your coin collection fit inside it?
  • Insurance - What insurance options are available when transporting a collection yourself?
  • Packing - How can you pack your collection so that it’s the most protected?

Shipping options

 

Shipper

What is it?

Why use it?

USPS Registered Mail

Added protection to verify shipment and delivery with timestamp

Most often, the cheapest option

FedEx/UPS/DHL

Private shipping companies that offer a variety of shipping options

The middle ground between price and security

UPS Parcel Pro

Shipping service for high valued items

Proprietary risk mitigation tools and processes; $200k insurance

Brinks

An armored car service designed to transport high-value items

The most secure option for high-value precious metals collections

A pre-travel checklist

Use this checklist to determine if you have prepared for moving your coin collection:
  • Gather the collection - Bring together all precious metal coins you are going to be traveling with
  • Conduct an inventory - Ensure all coins are accounted for and documented
  • Photograph all coins - Have pictures of how each coin looked before transit to compare after the journey is complete (this will be very helpful in the event of an insurance claim)
  • Choose a travel option - Whether it be traveling by car/plane, using a shipping company, or another method
  • Get an appraisal - If you haven’t done so already, get your collection appraised, as this will come in handy for insurance
  • Insure your collection - Find the best insurance option based on your transportation method, collection appraisal, and cost
  • Pack the collection - Use proper packing techniques to secure all coins and keep them safe during transit
  • Transport the collection - Document every step of the process, including pickup, tracking info, delivery confirmation, etc.
  • Remove all packaging and examine coins - Reference your previous pictures to see if anything was damaged in transit