How to display a beautiful, sentimentally-valued coin?
March 25, 2013 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Among other things my mother has passed on to me a Saint-Gaudens double eagle coin. How shall I display it securely?

The coin is beautiful of itself and it will remind me of my mother when I see it. She had it in a Secret Location, and there it remained until she died. I would like to display it without making it a tempting target of thievery. Without going overboard (welding it to a ton of lead, or something silly like that) what's the most secure way to display it in a rural home? The problem strikes a balance between viewability and removability and I am at a loss where to fall in that continuum. Ideally it would be viewable every day.
posted by jet_silver to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is a conundrum. It seems to me the most secure way to display it would be to take a very beautiful photograph of the coin, perhaps alongside a treasured photo of your mother, and display it that way.
posted by Scram at 7:10 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

These seem to go on Ebay for a few thousand, so I can see why you wouldn't want it prominently displayed.

I'm not sure if they are still valid currency, and subsequently am not sure if this would be entirely legal, but could you get a replica made of the coin using the heirloom to form the mold? That way you could 'display' the coin but keep the actual cherished present in a private and safe space.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 8:45 PM on March 25, 2013

Expanding on the photograph idea, maybe you can take a video of it on a rotating pedestal and display the video on loop. Although, if it is in a PCGS or NGC slab, then you might just take a really good photograph of the two sides and display it.

You might also check out . A storage box like the one in this thread. Repurposing an innocuous photo frame or storage box works too. Like this.
posted by ssri at 10:13 PM on March 25, 2013

That is a really beautiful coin and what a powerful sentimental attachment.

I learned a few things about coins and their trade because my late father in law was a serious coin collector, and my husband was extensively involved in liquidating his collection.

Coin collectors are very particular about the quality of the coins, and price/value reflects this. If the coin is loose and has wear it is much, much less valuable than those which are encapsulated and flawless or nearly so. You would be well served to have it appraised by a reputable coin dealer. My husband just remarked that it's not likely to be worth more than $50 if it's not encapsulated. He says that will give you a ballpark idea, if a little high, and you can join for free for a little while though will need to "unjoin" before you are charged.

So, concern about displaying an incredibly valuable object may be misplaced. Would you be inhibited about hanging a $100 or $150 painting on the wall?

About how to actually, physically display it? I would take it to a frame shop, actually, and see what they suggest. It's not uncommon in museums that flat objects have interest on both sides, so I think these challenges are not uncommon in the frame trade. One possibility is to frame in such a way that appearance is equally nice on both sides--essentially sandwich the coin between two pieces of glass, perhaps hold it between the glass by nestling it into a circle cut into a support paper/mat. You can display on a stand or easel so it's easy to turn to see the obverse. The other way this is handled in museums is to mount in a case so the top is visible, then position a mirror and light to allow vies of the rear. This seems a lot more complex but may appeal to you.

Hope this helps. Enjoy that beautiful legacy!
posted by Sublimity at 3:58 AM on March 26, 2013

Best answer: 1) Take it to a frame shop with a good reputation - the results can be gorgeous.

2) Use a security hanger when putting the framed coin on the wall.

A determined thief will take it regardless, but this will generally stymie the casual thief, who may not even look twice at art hanging on a wall, and will give up and go find your jewelry box if he can't just grab it and go if he does. The trick isn't to make it theft-proof, just too much of a hassle for a thief to deal with when there may be other targets nearby.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:43 AM on March 26, 2013

Response by poster: I'd never seen the security hangers and I will try that. Thanks, folks.
posted by jet_silver at 12:57 PM on March 31, 2013

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