Don't Get Robbed!
Update: Unfortunately, my computer broke and I haven’t been able to write articles in a while.
Robbery. Burglary. Theft. These are words that you never want in connection to your coin collection. You want to keep your collection safe, both at your home or safe deposit box, or at the coin show. Your coin collection may be worth thousands and you most definitely do not want anything to happen to your prized collection and your investment. Even if you have a small collection that has a small value, you would never want something bad to happen to it. This specific article will focus mostly on security of your coins in storage, as opposed to keeping it safe at a show or in public, but I will post an article soon regarding coin show safety.
Having a safe for your collection is one of the number one options for protecting your collection. There are essentially safes for any budget, from very little to thousands of dollars. Safes come with burglar and fire protection and, if possible, you should purchase a safe that protects from both. The cheapest type of safe you can buy are the small types with a mechanical lock. These can be easily stolen and broken into with very little effort and provide you with little protection beyond fireproofing. You can, and should, bolt the safe onto your floor so a burglar cannot simply put it onto a dolly and take it out to their van. One of the best and most common options for large, valuable collections, are gun safes. While these are designed specifically for weapons, they are great for coin storage as well. They have a large door, some even being large enough to walk into. You can store your coins in containers within the safe. These safes help protect your collection from theft, fire, and even floods. A common option is to purchase a safe deposit box at your bank. These help keep your valuables safe, but a downside to this is that your collection is not at your home for easy access at any time.
If you choose to store your collection at home, you will need top-level security for your home. A great option for this are security cameras, motion detectors, etc. If you want to go ultra-budget on home security, you can even purchase fake security cameras that look real, forcing burglars to think twice before attempting to rob your home. Unfortunately, if your home really is broken into, you will have no proof and will probably never know who did it, unless you choose real security cameras. Motion detectors are also helpful, alerting you if your house detects motion, at which time you can look at the security cameras and even call the police if you see a thief has taken over your home. My family uses SmartThings for security (and also for other Smart Home devices).
Not only should you protect yourself in the more expensive ways, but also use cheap forms of protection for your collection. As a collector, you probably subscribe to at least one coin magazine, receive the occasional letter from the ANA, and receive coins in the mail on a semi-regular basis. This can be bad if someone is looking to rob your house. If they see you are a coin collector, they may be more likely to do an attempted robbery or snatch up any mail they can get their hands on. An easy way to solve this problem is with a PO Box at the post office, specifically for your coin collecting stuff. Also, be sure to only talk to your friends and trusted family about your hobby and make sure they know not to talk to others about it. Also, be sure to not make it obvious you are a collector.
Be safe and good luck protecting your collection!
Thanks for this. Important info
Glad you enjoyed!
Well worn Copper
For additional protection locate the safe in an interior closet, which keeps it out of sight. Then replace the cheap interior doorknob with a locking exterior doorknob like on your front entry door. And then always keep that closet door locked. I hate having coins come in the mail too, and keep an eye on the tracking information, so I know when it should be arriving. I'd rather have the sender make me sign for it than just leave it in the box. I also unsubscribe to mailings from dealers and prefer them to email offerings instead. And as much as I enjoy reading The Numismatist, I wish the ANA would mail it in a plain wrapper.
Thanks for the comment! That's a great idea about the closet. I actually don't generally feel too concerned about mail, since 1.) most dealers don't make it obvious. I know when David Lawrence ships a coin, they don't put anything that might show it's a coin. Magazines I think are more concerning, since they're sort of obvious. I like how my mailbox is one of those community mailboxes with locks.
Smith and Wesson home protection services along with Glock 24 hour security always add a little enhancement to your safe or ring system.
Cool! They're probably more expensive than if you did it yourself.
Very well said. I live in the High Desert. Wea are on our own.
Thanks for these important reminders.
Glad to help :)
Well those are great ideas. I'm homebound. So someone's always here. There are cameras everywhere plus in case of an intruder he's in for a surprise. I feel very safe but I never get complacent. I once heard someone at the door. Fooling with the lock. He didn't get in but wouldn't of gotten far. I also have a safe. And something by my side. It's the word today. Everyone should be careful. Even some of my friends don't know I collect.
Thanks for the comment! I'm glad the person didn't get in. That must have been scary.
Big Nub Numismatics
I am trying to get a safe now, you can't trust anyone anymore which is a shame. Protecting the collection is just as important as expanding.
Unfortunately, yes. If you expand and don't protect, you may end up having to start all over.
Me too. I am also trying to get a safe.