Protecting and Displaying Collectibles

by blackspanielgallery

Making a collection is a fun thing to do, but it takes on a greater meaning if it is displayed for others to view.

Collectibles are popular, or at least the act of collecting is commonplace. People have a tendency to collect things. Some of the items people collect are inexpensive, but too often collectible pieces are valuable. And, some of those collectibles are old and delicate.

It is necessary to protect collectibles. And, that protection has two different functions. One must protect valuable collectible pieces from theft, while protection from physical and environmental damage is a second concern. The optimal protection performs both functions while simultaneously allowing unimpeded view of the pieces in a collection.

Some common things collected are Hummel figurines, clocks, railroad memorabilia, steins, and sports pieces. Other collections might be of things from a single company, such as Disney or Coca-Cola. Or, perhaps pieces of sentimental value such as items that have been in the family for years.

Protecting Collectibles from Theft

Take No Chances

If you keep your collectibles at home, or at your office, you need a barrier that will prevent people from picking up your pieces and leaving.  The smaller the object in your collection the more difficult you must make it to be carried off.  If the piece is in a small display case, consider whether the display case itself can be removed easily.


Collectibles kept in the home are too often unprotected simply because we believe those invited into our homes are to be trusted.  But, expect the unexpected.  Perhaps an acquaintance you barely know offers to help with carrying a heavy object into your home, or a delivery person enters your home.  Or, if there is an emergency a stranger might be called into a home.  In such cases it is awkward to remove an item from view if you have no time to prepare for the person to enter the premises.


Clear boxes that must be picked up with both hands makes removal of the item within difficult, for a person with ill intent would have no hand free to take it.  Yes, the box and be set aside, but the time that takes might be enough to dissuade its removal.   Better would be a clear box that is locked, especially if the box itself is too large to fit into a pocket.


Of course it is wise to document  your collectibles, and have a book to approximate their value.

Books on Collectibles

Know Their value
Kovels' Antiques and Collectibles Pri...

Protection from Damage

Keeping Collectibles Safe

Collectibles often can be damaged physically.  If a fragile item falls it can be broken.  Keep your precious collectibles in something that secures them from being knocked off a table or shelf. 


Another source of damage is environmental.  Handling an item can allow oils to be transferred to it, and thus damage the item.  And, our air is currently polluted enough to be of concern.  Protect the object from being handled and from undue exposure to the atmosphere. 


Handling can occur when a friend admires the object.  Hands move fast, and before you can respond the item is in a firm grasp.  And, when you politely ask to have it set down the misunderstanding that the reason is to prevent the item from falling.  And, you may get a response that indicates the friend has a good grasp, and will not allow the item to fall.  But, even if the item is set down the damage might already have been done.


While it is unlikely a vacuum can be created within a protective container, keeping the air from flowing, and constantly changing its polluting contents, is itself helpful.  And, if the air inside the protective box is dry that is another plus.


Collectibles Must Be Stored with Thought

Awareness of the Surroundings Is Important

If it is particularly cold outdoors, and a protective container is brought into the home for your collectibles, allow the temperature to stabilize before placing something in it.  Cold items brought into warm air can condense water from the air, and that moisture will be trapped inside the container.


For new additions to your collection, keep them in whatever packaging they were in when brought into a warm home from a colder environment until their temperature rises to match the environment.  Condensation is not good for most collectibles.

Display Tables for Collectibles

These Can Offer Security

Tables with a clear top and a space above the shelf below are large enough to thwart removal efforts for some time.  The collectibles can be displayed within.  And, if the table is locked even more security is achieved.

Display Boxes for Collectibles

Match the Size to the Items Within

Display boxes can be found from baseball size to large enough to hold a basketball or even larger objects.  Some have no bottom, and can be lifted.  Others have a bottom and a lock, offering more security.

Wall Display Cases

Locked Collectible Wall Cases

Wall cases take up little space, and allow for easy viewing of the collectibles they contain.  Some have tiers of shelves for such things as old toys.  Others are designed for a single item, such as a sports jersey or shirt.


Elevate Flat Collectibles

Easels and Document Holders

Some collectibles such as coins or plates are difficult to view when they are in a horizontal position.  But, an easel can elevate that flat collectible for easier viewing.  This is an inexpensive item.  But, the decision of using an easel must be made prior to purchasing a display case.  Your case must now accommodate the new height, and might be too large horizontally for a good appearance.


Documents can be placed in acrylic document holders, and thus be better displayed.  Documents are afforded some degree of protection by use of document holders, and can be kept from soiling and bending.


Document Holders

Show Paper Collectibles
Easel Document Holders, Adjustable, 10 x 2 x 14 Inches, Black

Easel Document Holder features an adjustable document clip and highlighting line guide. Use to hold multiple sheets of letter-size and legal-size paper for easy viewing.

View on Amazon

Rolodex Mesh Collection Nesting Document Holder, Letter-Size, Black (L39C95POBLA)

Holds letter size documents for easy viewing. Ledge is capable of holding thicker documents of books. Includes two magnets for securing paper to the stand. Attractive black wire...

View on Amazon

T'z Tagz Brand Full Page 8.5 X 11 Acrylic Literature Document Brochure Holder 2 PACK

Great for holding and displaying your marketing material and/or magazines up to 8.5" wide

View on Amazon


Make the display case match the collectible.  Placing a four-inch figuring in a two-foot container does not work well.


Another consideration is to not spend more on the container than the collectible is worth.  If it is cheaper to replace the item in your collection than to protect it, of what value is there in buying the protection?


Make the display case match the collectible.  Placing a four-inch figuring in a two-foot container does not work well.


Another consideration is to not spend more on the container than the collectible is worth.  If it is cheaper to replace the item in your collection than to protect it, of what value is there in buying the protection?


This article contains links to affiliate programs and Adsense advertising.  These must use cookies to allow for proper crediting. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


The introduction image is allowed by an affiliate program.

Updated: 10/19/2019, blackspanielgallery
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
blackspanielgallery on 11/13/2017

One cannot place a value on sentimental items.

Veronica on 11/13/2017

These are great ideas for storing and displaying collections. I particularly like the use of easels for elevating flat collectibles.

Regarding not spending more than the collection is worth. I see your point but sometimes things have a sentimental value beyond price.

You might also like

Guido Brunetti Menageries: Derivative Donna Leon Zoos for Fath...

Guido Brunetti menageries, as derivative Donna Leon zoos, place the mystery s...

A Collection of Chicken Theme Home Goods

Chickens have a special place in my collections. The china and dishes that fe...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...