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.


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