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Help Me Pick the Right Tray Set-up


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Hi All, 

So my collection is still quite small, but growing, so I'm starting to think more about the best ways to display it. I am currently keeping my coins in 2x2 flips, but it is becoming very clear to me that I'll prefer a tray. Being able to easily to handle and look at the coins is a big deal to me. 

I want to use lighthouse trays, most likely, because abafil is too expensive

I'm considering a classic case such as this: Coin Presentation Case L including 4 coin trays – LIGHTHOUSE PUBLICATIONS. I think this is a safe way to store the coins, and with 128 slots would be more than enough for the foreseeable future. Classy and cool way to store the coins.

Or - these smaller trays with plastic tops. The big advantage here is that you can see the coins readily, which would be cool for guests to see (without me stopping the show to show off my collection) and would probably entice me to engage more with the collection. Downside is these trays seem a little "cheaper" and less impressive: Coin boxes with square compartments – LIGHTHOUSE PUBLICATIONS

Anyone have any opinions on this? Other quality brands are welcome if someone has a link to another good product. Just trying to figure out the right format or type of case. 

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1 hour ago, John Conduitt said:

I don't use trays but I have Lighthouse cases for their Quadrums, and they're good quality. I'd be surprised if either are poor quality, but you get what you pay for.

128 spaces will get used quickly 😁

Helpful to have another testimony for Lighthouse. I've heard they're good!

And 128 shoooould last me a while I hope. I'm still fairly new and my collection has 4 nice denarii (2 yet to even arrive in the mail...) and maybe 4 or 5 late roman bronzes worthy of display. That leaves me 120 to go! The rest can probably stay in a box in 2x2 flips 😄 

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Posted · Benefactor

Personally, I don't find trays in stackable Lighthouse coin boxes -- or Lindner trays and boxes, which are interchangeably stackable with Lighthouse and are available again in the USA, see https://paloalbums.com/collections/lindner-coin-boxes ; I actually prefer them slightly because of the lighter red color -- to be cheap-looking at all.

image.jpeg.ea5cd1cd8d89b33ec5cf9f07027565f0.jpeg

Plus, I think they're more practical than trays kept in an attache case, given that if you want to retrieve the bottom tray from such a case you first have to take out all the trays above it. With coin boxes, you can just slide out the tray you want to look at from the stack, as if it were a chest of drawers. This is a stack of about 30 coin boxes (some of them empty) that I keep stored in a closet:

image.jpeg.adffec1ee3c5526879b414bede2e5117.jpeg

 

Plus, you can display trays in transparent coin boxes semi-vertically if you wish, by inserting them in a plastic easel, without being concerned that the coins will fall out: the coins are kept in their individual compartments by the coin box, which operates like a sleeve. Here's a photo from a couple of years ago to give an idea:

image.jpeg.cb4700342c806912da9ffe3ecd43fef7.jpeg

An inexpensive easel one can use to hold and display a coin box almost upright:

image.jpeg.ed68cc8a26c496505e29e4e632b16281.jpeg

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9 hours ago, DonnaML said:

Personally, I don't find trays in stackable Lighthouse coin boxes -- or Lindner trays and boxes, which are interchangeably stackable with Lighthouse and are available again in the USA, see https://paloalbums.com/collections/lindner-coin-boxes ; I actually prefer them slightly because of the lighter red color -- to be cheap-looking at all.

image.jpeg.ea5cd1cd8d89b33ec5cf9f07027565f0.jpeg

Plus, I think they're more practical than trays kept in an attache case, given that if you want to retrieve the bottom tray from such a case you first have to take out all the trays above it. With coin boxes, you can just slide out the tray you want to look at from the stack, as if it were a chest of drawers. This is a stack of about 30 coin boxes (some of them empty) that I keep stored in a closet:

image.jpeg.adffec1ee3c5526879b414bede2e5117.jpeg

 

Plus, you can display trays in transparent coin boxes semi-vertically if you wish, by inserting them in a plastic easel, without being concerned that the coins will fall out: the coins are kept in their individual compartments by the coin box, which operates like a sleeve. Here's a photo from a couple of years ago to give an idea:

image.jpeg.cb4700342c806912da9ffe3ecd43fef7.jpeg

An inexpensive easel one can use to hold and display a coin box almost upright:

image.jpeg.ed68cc8a26c496505e29e4e632b16281.jpeg

Great, great post @DonnaML - you've convinced me!

The vertical display is a great point. As I mentioned in my original post, being able to display the coins and see them readily is very appealing to me. Seeing your collection in the cases really confirms the value of this approach for me. 

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Posted · Administrator
10 hours ago, DonnaML said:

Personally, I don't find trays in stackable Lighthouse coin boxes -- or Lindner trays and boxes, which are interchangeably stackable with Lighthouse and are available again in the USA, see https://paloalbums.com/collections/lindner-coin-boxes ; I actually prefer them slightly because of the lighter red color -- to be cheap-looking at all.

image.jpeg.ea5cd1cd8d89b33ec5cf9f07027565f0.jpeg

Plus, I think they're more practical than trays kept in an attache case, given that if you want to retrieve the bottom tray from such a case you first have to take out all the trays above it. With coin boxes, you can just slide out the tray you want to look at from the stack, as if it were a chest of drawers. This is a stack of about 30 coin boxes (some of them empty) that I keep stored in a closet:

image.jpeg.adffec1ee3c5526879b414bede2e5117.jpeg

 

Plus, you can display trays in transparent coin boxes semi-vertically if you wish, by inserting them in a plastic easel, without being concerned that the coins will fall out: the coins are kept in their individual compartments by the coin box, which operates like a sleeve. Here's a photo from a couple of years ago to give an idea:

image.jpeg.cb4700342c806912da9ffe3ecd43fef7.jpeg

An inexpensive easel one can use to hold and display a coin box almost upright:

image.jpeg.ed68cc8a26c496505e29e4e632b16281.jpeg

Oh to have that many coins one day... 😍

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Posted · Administrator

Here's how I display my coins. My collection is still relatively small compared to a lot of people here so I can have all my coins out on display. I rotate which ones I put on the plastic holders every so often, and then the ones that lay on the abafil trays I flip them every now and then. 

image.jpeg.26d75fec13c6b281c6576bf702f94480.jpeg

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Posted · Supporter

I think the stackable Lindner or Lighthouse trays are a good idea.   They're more scalable than the four tray case which you'll surely outgrow in time.

I've gone down the Abafil route for Roman Republican coins and a mixture of Abafil trays and a couple of cabinets for the rest - a 28-tray Peter Nichols cabinet and a nice small 3-tray Swann cabinet I got secondhand.   Abafil does a nice case which holds 20 trays.   Alberto Zecchi also make very nice trays and cabinets in various sizes - I'm tempted to move my Greek coins into one, though many of them live in a safety deposit box.

As far as cost, when a tray is full of coins, its cost is insignificant compared to the coins in it, so get something you like to look at!

Here are some photos.

Small Abafil case for 20 coins (they do one with 2 trays too) - handy for carrying around a few coins to show to people or bringing to/from SDB (bad pic!).   This has a lid:

kh8Fp0qHsFKMrHld39vFDPRzM_2ZrxfaM9G9ej-IPNyVciitZvZr35xAygDrceqmkQJh4FtcuDcKsyALWLPg7Uk8IF_bqrG45Y0KAAEDwq-pzUKjzuxVAlPYePvu317f-YaQFEUFse_Vh2U2WiMTTDQVndZxjmXcyzXqlE1QCLuBTMyduWzIQNVY3NT9s1BtbViySDNX9QsHlVts4RECdrFoSqmdhpsZovecLDXm_-rdNbrSxZgHVek153aa7TKAuqsrCtZEzxWdtDQVn6MqjiEUX6IagB4kTuGi5o1oFdqDJKKbNbvKiAAllO6GD355B0CkDZDj4Pa_OiSPDa92xosr-d7TW9O-15jFLSUvhgHeOmhIkjIxz_-60sA1bkUUUaFRaKFYuh6znhfsdSHzM4kv6bS_dhUQ0lKEL93HHx9tsHA5lyTfffImnfo_zw_xiTduK5MhGrxii7kEKQsr8vG4_Fm1sEgOehdBjMgGCPYhTAiWmpCBgzjRjHuyTX-GgN8DH_DoCAynkQJQtDc62kwwCdNbeMvDCP_ycxOqKUkZGHrqcm4CUTltqEH7nRP-TP6dqrRjch4ezKI81n7sut4OSExEtHxSt9BMFPPGmwN3SHU_XRY_C7XSm77UCVLr25vTHnnAbrO4q_ZL5NKhAsFmBV8Cyoo6a3HP-zIWwMzwX55luasP5UTM8pYAAQ_bAFVKjUYIj3qBlYYv-R9lXqx83N2Tmad6O7XAsrXt78PVsdQhp0npzvJxKr8EAQA=w2358-h1646-no?authuser=0

A couple of Abafil trays with 35mm slots, just big enough for sestertii (most of them, anyway):

20200526_182113_2.jpg.b2824b00c0f7ef62cb6726a4fc3fb15b.jpg

The Marmotta case which holds 20 Abafil trays and most of my RR coins (apart from a deep tray for Aes Grave which doesn't fit the case):

324475516_20210302_124739(1).jpg.8a551a3cdcbe98ef305eb395ea55a743.jpg

A Peter Nichols 28-tray case - this is good for thin coins, not so much for very thick coins - I had to remove some trays to prevent rubbing of sestertii and eventually moved the thicker coins to Abafil trays:

1745475629_2011-07-0823_55_36.jpg.76e47fbf04ccbf8e07fe592583c19863.jpg

One of three trays in a small Swann cabinet - this has double-pierced trays and I've now moved the labels under the felts.   This was made for a collection of farthing tokens and the trays are perfect for denarius-sized coins too.

20200503_145053_2.jpg.370a2ba93b833093beadda8d476838a0.jpg

ATB,
Aidan.

 

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Posted · Supporter
9 minutes ago, CPK said:

@akeady You have an amazing collection! That Trajan bridge sestertius in particular caught my eye. I'd love to get one someday but they are not cheap!

Thanks - I've organised things by reign/RIC number since then, rather than the jumble there.   I got the Trajan bridge coin back in 2010 from Kuenker, when things were cheaper.

ATB,

Aidan.

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Posted (edited)

Seems you're leaning towards trays... I think that's a good idea for a small collection.  Personally I had an Abafil case that lasted me many years.  I also have one of those Lighthouse cases you linked, which I don't need any more and could easily send you (or someone else) at below cost if you decided to go that route.  (The trays in it are very light and cheap-seeming, though, as a warning.)

At some point a collection grows beyond a certain point and trays become impractical, though. They're also too bulky for a safety deposit box.  Besides, I like to have information on the coin included with it (especially hard-to-read non-western coins!), more than can be written on a tiny card that fits in small tray slots.  Don't underestimate the value of this when showing them to people, either!  If they can read an interesting snippet about the coin while looking at it, they're more likely to be interested.

So I've switched to these Presidio storage boxes, which are both attractive and capacious. They hold 2x2 double-pocket flips fine, over 150 even for thick ancients, and for most coins over 200. Not all flips fit comfortably, some are a bit too wide; I find Guardhouse unplasticized vinyl ones are good. The rigid cloth-covered dividers in the box mean that the flips sometimes don't slide as smoothly as you might like when you flip through them, but they also stay up when you want them to, without sliding all over the place, which is more important IMO.

When I want to show some coins to somebody, I pull the coins I want from the box, and put them directly in a Guardhouse tray, in their flips. They look great. (Again, only the Guardhouse flips fit reliably in the trays.) I have quite a few of these trays from a previous storage experiment.  (They stack nicely, and I'm sure would also fit in some kind of tray organizer, like @DonnaML and @akeady show.)

Overall this is the best balance of cost, looks, and practicality that I've found. (After trying a lot of different options!) Here are the manufacturers' images of the box, trays, and flips:

image.jpeg.48bf262edb6714a5f4854e59c830b6ed.jpeg

image.jpeg.f66e2b7c23381c417c31cf62c43e5f88.jpeg

 

Edited by Severus Alexander
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7 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

Seems you're leaning towards trays... I think that's a good idea for a small collection.  Personally I had an Abafil case that lasted me many years.  I also have one of those Lighthouse cases you linked, which I don't need any more and could easily send you (or someone else) at below cost if you decided to go that route.  (The trays in it are very light and cheap-seeming, though, as a warning.)

At some point a collection grows beyond a certain point and trays become impractical, though. They're also too bulky for a safety deposit box.  Besides, I like to have information on the coin included with it (especially hard-to-read non-western coins!), more than can be written on a tiny card that fits in small tray slots.  Don't underestimate the value of this when showing them to people, either!  If they can read an interesting snippet about the coin while looking at it, they're more likely to be interested.

So I've switched to these Presidio storage boxes, which are both attractive and capacious. They hold 2x2 double-pocket flips fine, over 150 even for thick ancients, and for most coins over 200. Not all flips fit comfortably, some are a bit too wide; I find Guardhouse unplasticized vinyl ones are good. The rigid cloth-covered dividers in the box mean that the flips sometimes don't slide as smoothly as you might like when you flip through them, but they also stay up when you want them to, without sliding all over the place, which is more important IMO.

When I want to show some coins to somebody, I pull the coins I want from the box, and put them directly in a Guardhouse tray, in their flips. They look great. (Again, only the Guardhouse flips fit reliably in the trays.) I have quite a few of these trays from a previous storage experiment.  (They stack nicely, and I'm sure would also fit in some kind of tray organizer, like @DonnaML and @akeady show.)

Overall this is the best balance of cost, looks, and practicality that I've found. (After trying a lot of different options!) Here are the manufacturers' images of the box, trays, and flips:

image.jpeg.48bf262edb6714a5f4854e59c830b6ed.jpeg

image.jpeg.f66e2b7c23381c417c31cf62c43e5f88.jpeg

 

An elegant compromise! 

This is probably sort of similar to what I'm leaning towards doing: Linder trays for my best/favorite coins, all my silver and more expensive pieces, etc. - and then a nice case to store my less remarkable coins (almost all late roman bronze... I still enjoy buying uncleaned or cheap lots from time to time and attributing the coins) filed away in 2x2s with detailed inserts (I also use guardhouse flips). 

Thanks to everyone else for posting their set ups as well. I got the advice I needed but this has turned into a nice little showcase thread as well! Always cool to see how people display their coins and get to see some collections. Always amazed how many coins some of you guys have 😄

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37 minutes ago, Spaniard said:

I use the same little coin easels as @Restitutor, allows me to swap sections around at will, can always visually see the coins and pick them up when needed (most days).

That's something, respect! Don't hide the beautiful coins in dark cases - show them! Present! You want people to see them. I admit - my coins are also in a box. But why actually? So that I can take them out once every few days and weeks?

You're doing it right!

I have now also ordered the slabs - and then I will put them on little stands like this: 
https://www.amazon.de/PandaHall-Staffelei-Taschenuhren-Challenge-Medaillen/dp/B08B5Y6H4G/ref=sr_1_7?__mk_de_DE=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&crid=2CMUT00GC94YY&keywords=Münzen+Slabs&qid=1657296655&sprefix=münzen+slabs%2Caps%2C123&sr=8-7 

And the whole thing on my little display cabinet. I want the beautiful pieces to be seen.

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You will get many different methods and opinions in this thread and what works perfectly for some may not work at all for you.  But that is why I really like threads like this.  It lefts me see what others are doing and gives me ideas (and allows me a visual of what solutions some choose).  I myself like Abafil despite their expense.  As @DonnaML points out they can be a pain when stacked up and there really isn't a great method to store them (to me), but my ultimate goal has been to find an antique map case and insert the trays into the drawers.  One thing I can say is that likely you will end up modifying your method and probably even change entirely to something else.  Depending on how and what you are collecting you might run out of space sooner than you would think.

IMG_4163.JPG

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Thanks @Prieure de Sion...

As Ken and others have said it really is a personal preference and can change as your collection grows. I now have around 300 coins which will easily fit on the first 3 shelves leaving the base wooden shelf for heavier artifacts such as fossils. The glass cabinet was around 60-80 euros from IKEA so not expensive and I'm in the process of buying a second to sit next to it....This 2nd cabinet will be set up differently as I've always liked how @DonnaML displays some of her coins in the vertical trays and will probably use a similar system within the glass cabinet for my main collecting theme of Kashmir coinage. 

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Always love to see your wonderful trays, @KenDorney!  My OCD really wants you to organize them chronologically though... 😝

Since some people have glass cases to use, might as well plop this strategy in for display:

image.jpeg.083ffb53c7145c9d53b00bf55ebd7e29.jpeg

I used these posters for a small exhibition at the local university.  Attendees had access to magnifiers and since the coins were right up against the glass it was very easy to see them.  Possibly something like this could be implemented at home!  (Of course, it does seal away the coins in the meantime.)  And I think museums should use this strategy more often... it can just be too hard to see coins when they're many cm away from an enclosing glass barrier.

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12 minutes ago, Spaniard said:

As Ken and others have said it really is a personal preference and can change as your collection grows.

Absolute!

So I think it's great that everyone shows their way of storing their objects. That way everyone can get new ideas and inspiration. I think that's great. But in the end, you have to like it yourself. And here, everyone can decide for themselves what they like best. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just got this nice Alberto Zecchi cabinet in the door today 🙂   At my next reorganisation/cataloguing effort, some coins are going into this.

It's the CAG11 model with 11 fairly large trays - the one part-open can house 77 smallish coins (denarius-sized); most of the other trays have fewer spaces for larger coins.

The CAG11 isn't on Zecchi's website at the moment - this is the last one they had and it will be a couple of months before they make more trays.   It's similar to the 6-tray version, CAG06, which is still on the website (I guess you'll not have a choice of trays for that either, or will have to wait).

The dimensions are 24.5cm width, 34.5cm depth and 20.5cm height.

It seems very well made and looks great.

20220727_132108.jpg.6ad1b01361dd09bc256b46e6441feab6.jpg

ATB,
Aidan.

Edited by akeady
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38 minutes ago, akeady said:

I just got this nice Alberto Zecchi cabinet in the door today 🙂   At my next reorganisation/cataloguing effort, some coins are going into this.

It's the CAG11 model with 11 fairly large trays - the one part-open can house 77 smallish coins (denarius-sized); most of the other trays have fewer spaces for larger coins.

The CAG11 isn't on Zecchi's website at the moment - this is the last one they had and it will be a couple of months before they make more trays.   It's similar to the 6-tray version, CAG06, which is still on the website (I guess you'll not have a choice of trays for that either, or will have to wait).

The dimensions are 24.5cm width, 34.5cm depth and 20.5cm height

It seems very well made and looks great.

geipSpvnXNK4_ePBcx8ifB-XY1NXy8X7z70elRaUFHDqhrHDAuLGztWVtjdFwzSwsZrqlN2roI12KuRXMnT6j4g7-ob3d6oQIvPZYV_L9PLOQznTahpN5tRnJcdltW28OXOoj4LS2DrBB_RN9_HthZY9tH1G_xzIRLEjnavOIRHQgH6Jn2eLA85wtSP2xKJqegGCo04MmXMNpvgfXEsPBowP9Pw-5axAdNfJyDyycf26rmzYIiBX6d6brk3Ecj5UqSVBElWqqHqhWU8T8aK4fV0-sBy2waIdLggTEHloB1WUkozs_BEx40QsjJo4XSc2ZnHsX1xV0VRDhUuDsHAyJU0zniOGU1D2dFhLpiR08VBzseYF1AklUf9CESvBMkBbR2MEnLIhnV2JP6tW5BLfzE3h1O1b8_R_eY7DgyqRAzkczGQHXue37rzriOGpPTik5eQJCcNdtb5nJerm-sQqtYvhGdRMuiMc9XmsFMJB6QAWPZduS0L8VVxoKmUWWo4dFXnuaIuHqu8XMy0GEZVS_VoVyXbWuZ7xb6MvCDiPsrVbF2Y7W-AY7TitA9n7KgG7YlOsbGkpxB9P9ptfM4R8Aj6Qqbm5H9E0FBWMZbmC8gawfs04ER_Jlv6Ap_rfPuuFxf1YuFugDQb4LmWPwdopECfNzjo8t-Nfc_DjffvIq4JLiGgHRuD_iooDAULKaC8ikSSpUdqu5R4kJNbsKZ9GaGK5I7dw20UQYwa8_QxSinRViio9lmsxW-fmfYJygnOxYb7t0nfGyXTV9yZRIkaHtcm7_J8mEO-U6mVTJolwpYb8LSU8B-4fGxfw1YiHyzv2-GEtyA=w1529-h1482-no?authuser=0

ATB,
Aidan.

Hello @akeady. I can't see the photo. I don't know if anyone else can see it.

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