Stolen Collection Traded in Coin Cash Machine, Protecting Your Coins

by Mike Unser on March 24, 2008 · 0 comments

SafeA coin collector can hardly experience anything worse with a collection than having it stolen. After the theft, there is always the hope that some or all of the coins will eventually be recovered. But imagine if your coins were stolen and then spent or traded like every day circulating change, as if they had absolutely no collectible value.

That is exactly what happened to one man’s collection in Enfield, Connecticut. He found out that he had been taken to the cleaners by a woman he hired to clean.

The woman apparently discovered the collection, called another man into the home, and together they took the collectible coins and paper-money. Even worse, the coin collection was then swapped for cash using a coin cash machine at a local store.

While there is a sense of justice with the thieves behind bars, knowing how and where your coins ended up could not be satisfying. Could something have prevented the loss? Perhaps …

5 steps to protect your coin collection

It is nearly impossible to offer guaranteed methods to protect a coin collection against determined thieves, but there are some simple steps to help protect or at least minimize your losses.

  1. Use a PO Box for receiving coins, collecting magazines, collector correspondences, etc.

  2. Be careful with who you talk to regarding your collection – even friends may inadvertently talk about your coins with others, who talk to others …

  3. Home protection – buy a good safe, home alarm system, etc. And use them!

  4. For extra insurance, use bank safety-deposit boxes for any high valued coins.

  5. Use a separate policy insuring coins against theft or fire (most standard policies fail to cover collections).

The first two steps are things to remember that can help minimize your exposure. Thieves are always looking for the easiest ways to steal. Reducing the means by which they can learn about your collection is always toward the top of protecting it.

Having a sound safe is a good idea – not just for fire protection. However, keep in mind that they are rarely full proof measures. There have been instances where thieves torch through safes to steal coins or carry lighter safes away to open them later at their leisure.

Bank deposit boxes are obviously a good choice. Research your local banks – find out what they charge and the options they offer. You may be surprised at how inexpensive they are. In some banks and areas in the country, their costs are on par with PO Boxes – just a few bucks a month.

Insuring coins over a certain value is an absolute necessity. Most standard insurance policies DO NOT cover collections.

Considering the time and effort placed in acquiring coins, a reasonable amount of time, money and effort should be made to ensure they are safe as possible.

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