How to properly label a coin holder

Collecting gold and silver coins can be quite a rewarding hobby. But along the way we all encounter niche specific questions that are tough to find definitive information on. Properly labeling a coin holder is one of them. Today I’m going to attempt to shine some light on the question.

If you’ve been around collectable coins of any type long enough you know what a coin holder looks like. They come in various shapes, sizes and of course prices. The available variety of holders, cases and sleeves is enough to keep you busy for hours when trying to decide on a purchase. But today were focusing specifically on the standard 2×2 inch cardboard coin holders.

Now that you’ve purchased some cardboard coin holders and secured your treasure you might be wondering what the correct way to label one is? This is a trivial but important question. Afterall, a tiny nuance like mint mark, an error or year can make a difference of thousands of dollars of value.

Supplies needed

  • Coin holders
  • Pen or fine tip Sharpie (fast drying is most important)
  • Scotch Tape or Stapler (preferred)

Choosing a pen

Before writing on your newly acquired cardboard coin holders, you might want to think about the type of ink your planning to use. Generally, it’s best to use an ink that is fast drying and doesn’t produce fumes after a 24 hour period. Make sure the ink is 100 percent dry before placing the coin in a safe or lockbox. Fine point Shaprie brand markers seem to work well but most importantly dry fast.

Labeling a coin holder

Now we’re at the important part. The good news is that there is not an ‘industry standard’ on how to label a holder. However, I have found that most people use similar methods that make identifying important features easier on us all. Labeling styles do vary but this is the most common practice I’ve seen at booths, shops and shows.


  • Top Left: Year
  • Top Right: Grade (if applicable)
  • Bottom Left: Notes/details (example if the coin was cleaned)
  • Bottom Right: Price of the coin if your selling it.
  • Top or bottom center: Description of coin


  • Top right: Date purchased
  • Bottom right: Price you paid for the coin (most people code this info)
  • Bottom left: Purchase code to remind you where you purchasd the coin. Example: PS would mean pawn shop

Label maker

Another way to label coin holders is by getting a label maker and printing price tag sized stickers with each piece of information. This is a practice I’ve seen used at coin shows, but for the most part I encounter hand written holders.

Stapler or tape?

Now that you know how to fill out your carboard coin holder. How do you seal it? I’ve only encountered coins sealed in one of two ways.

  • Scotch tape: Small pieces applied to the edges.
  • Stapler: The most common method used.
  • Do not use glue or other potentially toxic products to seal coin holders.

If you’re planning to buy, sell and trade at coin shows then it’s probably best to use staples. By using tape you leave the opportunity open for thieves to switch coins. It’s also a good idea to keep a small pair of pliers on hand to flatten uncooperative staples so that your coins are fully protected in the holder. I’ve also found that with staplers you get what you pay for, it’s worth investing in a decent one.

Now you know a few simple tricks used across the industry to label coin holders. Finding a system that works for you is an important process that will save you time and possibly a costly mistake in the future.

Enjoying our content? Check out another article- How to store Silver long term, 5 steps for success.