How to Store Banknotes

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How to Store Banknotes

Collecting currency depicting political leaders, iconic landmarks, natural scenes, and significant historical events is one way to experience other cultures and learn about exotic destinations without even leaving the home. Some collectors begin collections by purchasing sets or lots of notes, while others accumulate individual bills. Banknotes, however, like other collectors' items, require a bit of care and maintenance to make sure they remain in pristine condition. This holds true for all collectors, regardless of whether they intend to keep personal collections or eventually sell and trade notes.


Methods and Techniques for Storage

There are many ways to store a banknote collection; these methods have benefits and drawbacks, and some are better for different types of collections than others. Regardless of medium, all methods ensure banknotes remain free from damage by keeping them in archival-grade quality, which means acid-free and without tears or fading.

Banknote holders or wallets are plastic holders for storing individual notes. These holders seal along the bottom edge, and have overlapping flaps to protect notes. They resemble binders in size and shape, and store easily in drawers and cabinets. Banknote envelopes also store banknotes; these items resemble wallets, but seal along three sides, leaving only the top exposed. Envelopes, like holders, house notes individually, and store away in small spaces. Banknote albums contain plastic pages with different numbers of pockets. These albums feature hard covers on the front and back, like currency wallets. Like the others, albums store notes individually. They vary in size, and they are ideal for storing large banknote collections.

Evaluating the Pros and Cons of Storage Methods

The storage bins for banknotes keep them protected from damage, but they have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. The smaller storage devices (currency sleeves and envelopes) fit into smaller spaces, but hold the least amount of banknotes.  


Storage Item



Currency sleeve


Fit easily into drawers and tight spaces

Costs less

Easy to reorganise

Prevent excessive handling when removing notes for viewing

Have see-through plastic sleeves to enable easy viewing

Less display space than banknote folders and albums

Banknote envelope

Allows easy visual access

Reduces risk of damage to notes with sleeves

Allows easy reorganisation of collections

Makes inserting and removing banknotes a bit more cumbersome, as space is a bit more limited than with currency sleeves

Banknote album

Allows easy visual access to banknotes

Houses notes individually, leaving ample space between bills

Comes in many styles and designs, giving consumers greater choices for personal demands

May be expensive

Increases risk of damage to banknotes when inserting due to design and layout

Requires more handling of banknotes than sleeves and envelopes, which increases likelihood of diminishing bill quality


The choice of housing materials for storing notes varies widely, and gives consumers many options from which to choose. Some collectors ultimately find that using multiple methods works best, and they may purchase a sleeve or two along with an album. Before purchasing a storage device, consider the size of the current collection, and to what extent it might expand. Keep in mind, if purchasing an album, that buying additional pages in bulk is often more cost-effective than buying single filler pages. Also, make sure that sleeves or pages are of decent quality; they should contain Mylar or similar materials.


How to Buy Banknote Storage Materials on eBay

Locating storage materials for your growing banknote collection is quite easy to do on eBay. Simply start at the landing page on eBay, and then type the name of the preferred storage device (type in "banknote album", for instance). From there, you can refine your search by the categories that appear in the left-hand column. You can choose from many subcategories, including price and colour. Albums, envelopes, and sleeves come in new and used condition; buying products used may save money, but make sure that they are in decent condition before making a decision.

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