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.

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Can you buy gold and silver from a bank?

  • Buying physical gold and silver can be a worrisome process.
  • Buying online isn’t for everyone.
  • Most banks DO NOT sell physical gold and silver.
  • The U.S. mint keeps a list of local dealers on their website.

So you’ve done your research and you’re eyeing you’re first bullion purchase like it’s a ring hanging from a certain hobbit’s neck. Sounds simple, ordering gold from a reputable dealer online is a painless process in 2020. But there is a segment of the population that either want it now or aren’t 100 percent comfortable with buying precious metals over the internet.

Wanting your ‘precious’ now, the next logical step might be strolling down to the bank to make a purchase. But how many banks are actually U.S. Mint bullion sellers?

After searching for sometime without being able to crack the question, I thought why not dive in and attempt to answer it myself.

Buying precious metals in person

Whether you know it or not there are a number of places you can acquire physical gold and silver in your neighborhood. Thousands of pawn brokers, Numismatic shops and local bullion dealers throughout the United States buy and sell everyday. Everything from bars to coins to constitutional silver can be found for sale in your state. However, knowing where to actually safely acquire real coins and bars can be a somewhat anxiety ridden process.

Most banks do not sell physical gold and silver

Unfortunately most banks in America are not U.S. Mint bullion sellers. Let me be clear that there are community banks and local credit unions that might be kind enough to broker a purchase for you. Keep in mind that the majority of these do not keep physical bullion on hand to buy and sell. If your banking with any of the larger multinational banks then the answer is almost certainly no. The list of banks that do not sell physical bullion include:

  • Bank of America
  • Bank of the Ozarks
  • BB&T
  • Chase Bank
  • Citibank
  • East West Bank
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • First Merchants Bank
  • Flagstar Bank
  • HSBC
  • People‚Äôs United Bank
  • PNC Bank
  • SunTrust Banks
  • TD Bank
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo

Where to safely acquire gold and silver locally?

Now that we’ve tried the bank with no luck, where do we go next? Fortunately for us the U.S. mint keeps a list of local businesses you can securely purchase metals from. As of writing this there are over 293 local establishments peppered across the nation where you can buy, sell and swap bullion until your heart is content.

In the end I found it kind of odd that most banks simply do not deal in precious metals in 2020. However, the benefit of going to a shop or broker is that most offer a more personal and gratifying experience. The years of wisdom and hands-on involvement at a local establishment can provide a feeling of value in your investment that big institutions simply can not.

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