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PVC and what damage it can do to your coins!

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

PVC damaged Lincoln Cent


PVC, an acronym for polyvinylchloride, is a plastic used in many, many industrial applications and very useful to mankind. Matter of fact, you probably have it all over your home in plumbing and appliances etc. But, over time it will damage a coin. Depending on how you store your coins; if you use the common clear, double or single pocket clear flip, the rule is the softer and more pliable the flip is the likelier it is that it contains PVC. Short term storage is not a serious problem but long term it is very harmful. Stiff, brittle flips are the best to look for although a bit difficult and fragile to work with. Also the cardboard flips coated with Mylar are okay for storage in a climate controlled environment, stapled or self-closing, If stapled be sure to use a pair of pliers on the rounded rear of the staple that it doesn't scratch other coins. Other methods include air-tite containers, capital plastics and a myraid of others but the worst by far is the PVC flip. A couple photos follow of the damage caused:


PVC damage Lincoln Cent
After bath in acetone

I'm not a chemist and won't get into the chemical processes but after cleaning means a soak in


Acetone won't harm the coin surface but will remove the PVC contamination. You can see the pitting left in the coin surface and it's value is lessened considerably. It

may be a throw-away except for educational purposes.

This was a severe case but it doesn't hurt to give every raw coin purchased a short bath to stop any possible contamination and put in a good non-PVC storage system.

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