Avoid loss and damage when mailing coins or other small items. Before shipping anything to us, please see our buying information and contact us.
Make and keep a visual record of your items using camera, scanner, or photocopier. If you have digital or printed inventory, please send us a copy. Excel database or Word document preferred. This can save us time in attributing or evaluating. We will make our own itemized offer, or can use yours.
Internal Packing TIGHT is the word! Allowing contents to shift during shipment can shred paper envelopes, abrade items, and cause the packing box to burst from the inside out.
Individual items: Any fragile items such as beads or antiquities should be individually wrapped in tissue paper, bubble-wrap, etc. or placed in small boxes, pill bottles, etc. Boxes of 2"x2" envelopes or staple-shut holders: Compress the coins tightly toward one end of the row. Use wadded paper or other filler to fill any gap at the other end. Put folded strips of newspaper on top of the row to crush the envelope tops down to the level of the coins within. If coins can move freely inside envelopes, they will work their way loose in shipment. Plastic pages of 2"x2" holders: Do not leave these in ring binders. Stck several loose pages together and wrap in newspaper. Tape the bundles with two strips of tape running top to bottom and one from side to side. Tape should be tight enough to compress the top and bottom edges of the bundle. This will keep the coins from falling out of the pockets in shipment. Proof sets / Mint Sets: If coins are loose, remove carefully without touching the coin surfaces, and place each in an envelope, or wrap in cloth. If coins fit tightly in their holes, leave them. Place cloth (coins) and paper sheets (wrapped coins) over them until the holder bulges when closed. Wrap holder in newspaper and tape shut. Rolls: Rolled coins can be placed in a small box, or simply taped together. Use styrofoam or other padding between bundled rolls and any fragile items. Beads: Loose beads or strands should be put in plastic bags (grocery, etc.) and twisted into a tight ball, then taped around. Glass on glass will not abrade if tight. Place these balls in a box and fill spaces between with styrofoam or tightly wadded paper. Books: Books should be stacked by similar size and the stacks wrapped in newspaper, then taped both directions. Stacks should run top-bottom within the box, not edgewise. Separate book stacks from any dense contents, such as bundled coin rolls.
Get one each size of the free flat-rate boxes from the post office and choose the best fit. They are free and cheap to ship compared to weight-based rates. Stuff Styrofoam peanuts, tightly crushed newspaper, etc. into any open spaces. Don't put so much weight into a box that it would burst if dropped - use styrofoam sheets or other dense padding between the contents and the box itself, or ship in more than one box. When the box is closed and shaken, you should not feel any shifting or hear any rattle. Use narrow strapping tape around the box both ways if it is heavy. Clear tapes are usually too broad to fit paper tape over top, which you will need if you register the package. Unless they are very valuable, use Media Mail, not flat rate boxes, for books.
Mailing USA: Use postal insurance up to about $800. Above this, the $13 registration minimum fee is better protection, but you will need to cover any sticky tape with water-activated tape. The postal clerk can supply this. Keep your receipt; it includes the tracking number. From outside USA: Ship by registered or insured post. You may declare as coins and set any value, as there is no duty on coins to the USA. Do not declare age, or country of issue or origin, only "coins." Option: If your local postal system is not trustworthy and you wish to declare as "metal stamping samples" give a value under $200. If sending money items which are not in coin form, declare "ethnographic money / barter media". If sending non-monetary items, please request our instructions.
We will acknowledge receipt when picked up at the post office. We do not go to the post office every day. "Delivered" in tracking means placed in our P.O. box; it does not mean picked up.