Friday, January 16, 2009

Air-Tite Holders
Purchasing & Packaging (part 3 of 3)

The previous posts focused on what Air-Tite holders actually are and choosing the correct Air-Tite Holder for your coin collection. This section will wrap up how to purchase them.

Air-Tite Holders are sold by Air-Tite to its distributors in retail blister packs and in bulk packs. Bulk packs are 250 piece boxes with each layer separated by foam to prevent scratching while in transit.

Direct Fit Air-Tites are easy to purchase in bulk. You simply specify which item you need to order, for example, H39.

Air-Tite Holders with Rings are a bit more complicated. Buying Holders with Rings requires two bulk purchases - the capsules and the rings. To do this you need to determine the correct model (A, T, H, I, X or Y) and the correct ring size (example, 18mm). Keep in mind that you are buying 250 of a model and 250 of a ring size.

The sound of “bulk pack” and a commitment to 250 pieces can be intimidating but you need to do a little bit of math before you decide that it’s not for you. You don’t need to use all 250 pieces to save money over individual blister packs. If you have a collection of 100 nickels and 100 quarters, both of which fit in model T capsules, you can purchase a bulk pack of capsules and two bulk packs of different size rings and still come out far ahead. While prices will vary among resellers, Air-Tite points out that bulk packaging can be beneficial if you are purchasing more than 100 of a particular size holder.

Most Air-Tite resellers offer both retail and blister packaging for Direct Fit Holders. Because of the extra component of stocking rings some, but not all, will also sell Holders With Rings in bulk.

You will also find that there are some Air-Tite dealers that offer an improvised third style – Re-packing. If you visit the Air-Tite website you will see a note on the Holders with Rings page that reads: “One other thing you need to know! Our product is factory-sealed directly by Air-Tite Holders, Inc with blister packaging, not re-packed from bulk product, thrown loose in a bag, which you’ll find sold by many of our coin supply dealers at discount. The advantage of original Air-Tite Holders blister packaging is that you won’t receive scratched, finger-smudged holders or rings, or product that has collected dust and moisture, which ultimately ends up on your coin surfaces.”

While that is an interesting commentary from Air-Tite it does open the door to several questions. Is blister packaging done in a dust free clean room? Is there a moisture barrier in the packaging? If the bulk pack isn’t blister sealed does that make its contents susceptible to the same moisture problems that the blister packaging prevents? I’m certainly not trying to bash Air-Tite. I think that the benefit of manufacturer packaging is a good thing to point out. But, I think that as an educated consumer you need to consider that re-packing in itself is not necessarily bad. If the items are thrown loose into a bag so that they can be scratched before you get your coins into them then, of course, re-packing is bad. On the other hand, if an Air-Tite dealer takes the time to carefully re-pack a 250 piece bulk container into smaller lots then you might find the savings to be beneficial. Before you purchase a re-packed product you need to ask how the items are packed and protected so that they are not scratched while in transit.

You now know everything that you need to know about Air-Tite Coin Holders. In this article you have learned:

  • Air-Tite Capsules protect a coin by encasing it between a non-yellowing plastic top and base.
  • Air-Tites can be stored in boxes or taken out and handled without damaging the coin inside.
  • Air-Tite Holders With Rings have six basic sizes and use a flexible ring to snugly hold a coin in place.
  • Air-Tite Direct Fit holders are molded for specific mint condition coins and bars.
  • The best way to find the correct Air-Tite capsule for your coin is to shop with a company that links directly from a chart to the model that you need to purchase.
  • Bulk purchases of Air-Tite holders can be cost effective for 100+ piece collections of same size coins.
  • Re-packed Air-Tites into less than 250 piece lots are not necessarily bad – but you need to be careful.

Please be sure to visit Coin Supply Express when you are ready to purchase Air-Tite Holders for your coin collection. There you will find Air-Tites in Retail Packs and Air-Tites in Bulk Packs.

Air-Tite Holders
Ending The Confusion (part 2 of 3)

The first part of this article focused on Air-Tite Holders in general. This part will explain specific sizes.

Air-Tites are actually pretty easy to understand. The problem is that most companies go right for the sale which means that you get a huge list of products but very little or confusing information. It is usually quite difficult to determine what size you need for your prized 1837 dime (note that you’ll a 19mm for 1796 to 1837 dimes instead of the 18mm used for all other dimes).

Some companies, including Air-Tite, do publish Sizing Charts but you still need to pay close attention to the various sizes available for specific coins. Coin Supply Express also provides several excellent charts with direct links from coins and sizes to the item that you will need to purchase.

The basics of the Air-Tite holder with rings system are that there are just six plastic capsule models – A, T, H, I, X & Y – and each model holds a range of ring sizes. The outside diameter of the rings for a particular model are all the same size and fit to the inside diameter of the plastic case. It is the inside die cut of each ring that separates one size holder from the next. Remember, it is the ring that holds the coin and it is the combination of the ring and the coin that fill the space of the capsule. In other words, all of the rings for model A have an outside diameter of 28.85mm but the center circles range from 10mm to 19mm across. The border created by the ring will be larger for a 10mm coin than for a 19mm coin and will have a range in width between the coin and capsule from 9.425mm to 4.925mm, respectively. Note that larger coins have smaller borders because they take up more space in the capsule.

What makes Air-Tites most confusing is the fact that the particular model usually doesn’t matter unless you’re buying bulk packs which is explained in the last section. If you have a 25mm coin you have no other choice but to use a model T because model A only goes up to 19mm and Model H starts at 26mm. But, there are 6 ring sizes for model T, each available with black or white rings for a total of 12 different model T capsules that you would need to choose from.

Unless you are purchasing in bulk, the easiest way to search for Air-Tites holders with rings is to ignore the model and search by coin size since the only time that there appears to be a crossover in Air-Tite sizes is with a 39mm coin which is available in two depths (thicknesses). However, because this is written for the purpose of making you an expert in regard to Air-Tite holders the model specifics are outline below:

Air-Tite Model A – fits coin diameters 10mm – 19mm
MSRP - $0.95 (on January 14, 2009)
Capsule Inside Diameter 1.018” (28.85mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 1.218” (30.93mm)
Capsule Depth 0.062” (1.57mm)

Air-Tite Model T – fits coin diameters 20mm – 25mm
MSRP - $0.99 (on January 14, 2009)
Capsule Inside Diameter 1.237” (31.41mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 1.437” (34.49mm)
Capsule Depth 0.08” (2.03mm)

Air-Tite Model H – fits coin diameters 26mm – 32mm
MSRP - $1.05 (on January 14, 2009)
Capsule Inside Diameter 1.55” (39.37mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 1.75” (44.45mm)
Capsule Depth 0.125” (3.17mm)

Air-Tite Model I – fits coin diameters 33mm – 42mm
MSRP - $1.09 (on January 14, 2009)
Capsule Inside Diameter 1.818” (46.17mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 2.031” (51.58mm)
Capsule Depth 0.115” (2.92mm)

Air-Tite Model X – fits coin diameters 39mm, 43mm & 44mm
MSRP - $1.29 (on January 14, 2009)
Capsule Inside Diameter 1.875” (47.63mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 2.118” (53.79mm)
Capsule Depth 0.156” (3.96mm)

Air-Tite Model Y – fits coin diameters 47mm & 50.8mm
MSRP - $1.89 (on January 14, 2009)
Capsule Inside Diameter 2.559” (65mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 2.81” (71.37mm)
Capsule Depth 0.216” (5.48mm)

Direct Fit holders are based on the same concept as holders with rings. There are 7 models but instead of sizing rings each model has several sub-models that are molded to perfectly contain a specific mint condition coin. The ordering number for the type of Direct Fit that you need is a combination of the model and size. For example, A16 is model A in 16mm. Again, the models are basically irrelevant to you as a collector. While you can memorize the fact that an Air-Tite Direct Fit US Half Dollar (excluding years 1794-1836) is a model T all you really need to know is that you need Air-Tite item T30 to encase your coin. To make it even more simple, you can search websites for Air-Tite 30mm and you should be shown a black and a white holder with rings along with the T30 direct fit from which you can make your purchase selection.

One important difference between Direct Fit and Holders with Rings - Direct Fit holders have also been molded to hold silver bars and other round sizes.

You can refer to the sizing chart at the Air-Tite Holders web site for the correct direct fit sizes for your coin collection. You can also find this same information in several charts at Coin Supply Express.

Air-Tite Direct Fit Model A
MSRP - $0.89 for all sizes (on January 14, 2009)
A16 - American Eagle 1/10oz Gold or Platinum
A18 - US Dime
A19 - US Small Cent
A21 - US Nickel
A22 - American Eagle 1/4oz Gold or Platinum
A24 - US Quarter
A26 - US SBA, Sacagawea & Presidential Dollar

Air-Tite Direct Fit Model T
MSRP - $0.95 (on January 14, 2009)
T30 – US Half Dollar

Air-Tite Direct Fit Model H
MSRP - $0.89 for all sizes (on January 14, 2009)
H27 - American Eagle 1/2oz Gold or Platinum
H32 - American Eagle 1oz Gold or Platinum & Buffalo $50 Gold
H38 - Us Dollar (Morgan, Peace, Trade, Eisenhower)
H39 - 1oz Silver Round
H40 - American Eagle Silver Dollar

Air-Tite Direct Fit Model BAR
MSRP - $1.19 for all sizes (on January 14, 2009)
BAR – 1oz Silver Bar
Capsule Inside Dimensions – 1.158”x 2.0” (29.41mm x 50.8mm)
Capsule Outside Dimensions – 1.357”x 2.197” (34.46mm x 55.8mm)
Capsule Depth – 0.098” (2.49mm)

Model X
MSRP - $1.19 for all sizes (on January 14, 2009)
X3 – Uncommon 2oz Silver Round
Capsule Inside Diameter 1.855” (47.12mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 2.118” (53.79mm)
Capsule Depth 0.156” (3.96mm)

X6 – Common 2oz Silver Round
Capsule Inside Diameter 1.875” (47.63mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 2.118” (53.79mm)
Capsule Depth 0.156” (3.96mm)

X43.6 – Casino $10 Silver Strike
Capsule Inside Diameter 1.716” (43.6mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 2.118” (53.79mm)
Capsule Depth 0.156” (3.96mm)

X1.75 – Uncommon 2oz Silver Round
Capsule Inside Diameter 1.75” (44.5mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 2.118” (53.79mm)
Capsule Depth 0.156” (3.96mm)

Model Y
MSRP - $1.75 for all sizes (on January 14, 2009)
Y63 – Uncommon 5oz Silver Round
Capsule Inside Diameter 2.48” (63.00mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 2.81” (71.37mm)
Capsule Depth 0.216” (5.48mm)

Y63 – Uncommon 5oz Silver Round
Capsule Inside Diameter 2.48” (63.00mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 2.81” (71.37mm)
Capsule Depth 0.216” (5.48mm)

Model Z
MSRP - $1.99 for all sizes (on January 14, 2009)
Z5 – Uncommon 3inch 5oz Silver Round
Capsule Inside Diameter 3.024” (76.8mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 3.264” (82.91mm)
Capsule Depth 0.151” (3.84mm)

Z10 – 3inch 10oz Silver Round
Capsule Inside Diameter 3.024” (76.8mm)
Capsule Outside Diameter 3.264” (82.91mm)
Capsule Depth 0.286” (7.26mm)

The next part will conclude with purchasing Air-Tite Coin Holders.

Air-Tite Holders For Coin Collectors (part 1 of 3)

If you collect coins you’ve certainly have wrestled with the question of how to enjoy your collection without subjecting it to unnecessary damage. Every time you touch a coin you create an opportunity to reduce its value by adding slight scratches to it. At the same time, as a hobbyist, you want to maintain a collection that you can appreciate by looking at it and showing it to others. After all, what fun would coin collecting be if you put everything into a safe as soon as you got it and never looked at it again?

Air-Tite Holders. Inc has solved this delima and produces a line of products that are among the best products for protecting and displaying any coin collection. Once your coins are encased you’ll not only be able to look at them but you’ll be able to let someone else hold a coin while you talk about it.

If you are familiar with Air-Tites but have never used them you are probably feeling overwhelmed by all of the sizes and types that are available. Most websites are interested in just selling Air-Tite holders and they do a horrible job of explaining what they are and what you need. They all seem to throw the same mix of buzz words at you but very few actually help you bridge the gap between what Air-Tites are and which Air-Tites your collection needs. This article has been written to help you fill in the blanks and by its conclusion you will be an Air-Tite expert.

Air-Tite Holders, Inc.
Visit the manufacturer’s website at:

The company was founded by Norman W. Therrien who created a solution to the problem of protecting many different sizes of world coins. Therrien realized that the expense of creating a holder for every size coin ever produced was an unrealistic endeavor. His solution was to create a few basic case sizes and to use less expensive sizing rings to secure a coin within the case. This solution makes it possible for every coin minted in the United States and nearly all coins and medallions from around the world to be housed in one of six Air-Tite holder.

Whether you are looking an Air-Tite Holder With Rings or an Air-Tite Direct Fit capsule, an Air-Tite coin holder is a two-piece snap together acrylic case that consist of a cover and a base to completely enclose a single coin. Each piece is injection molded for precision and contains a non-yellowing agent to help maintain visual clarity over time. All components of Air-Tite holders are totally inert and PVC free.

Air-Tite Holders with Rings are capsules that include a soft die-cut polyethylene ring to fit around your coin. The ring serves to hold a coin securely in place and to create a barrier against air contamination. The rings are sold as part of a capsule set in either black or white. Air-Tite holders with rings are available in sizes that range from 10mm to 50.8mm.

Air-Tite Direct Fit are capsules that are molded to hold a specific mint condition coin, for example, a US Sacagawea Dollar. The coin fits securely into the holder and does not require or include an additional sizing ring. Direct Fits are only manufactured for the most popular coins.

Which style is best for you collection? The answer depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If your goal is to encase a coin with as little distraction as possible, such as the black or white outside ring, you might prefer the direct fit style. However, the manufacturer does point out at the Air-Tite website that less than mint condition coins “…having some wear on the rims may rattle in these holders. If that is the case we recommend you purchase our holder with rings to prevent movement within the holder.”

The next sections will break the confusion of purchasing Air-Tite Coin Holders for your coin collection. Before you continue to the next section you can see different Air-Tite Holders at Coin Supply Express.

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