To protect your valuable cards from damage and preserve their worth, you should carefully hold your sports cards at the edges with clean hands, keep your valuable cards away from sunlight and moisture, protect your valuable sports cards with thicker cases, and organize your sports cards in boxes.
Valuable sports cards may lose or decrease in value even with the slightest imperfection. They need to be handled and stored well to protect them from damage and maintain their original condition. Here are simple, yet very helpful tips for handling and storing your valuable sports cards to maintain their worth:
Carefully hold your sports cards at the edges with clean hands
The first thing you can do to protect your valuable sports cards is to hold them in the proper manner. With clean hands, take hold of the cards on their edges, not on their face or back. This will help ensure that corners are kept sharp and faces are clean and free from scratches, stains, and other marks. Careful handling keeps your sports cards free from unsightly imperfections.
Keep your valuable cards away from sunlight and moisture
Sunlight and moisture can cause your cards to fade and discolor. Make sure you display your cards away from sunlight, especially autographed sports cards, which are prone to fading. In addition, keep them away from humid and moist places that can discolor, damage, and degrade the cards. Other collectors put desiccants inside their display cabinets and storage boxes, such as silica gel, in order to control moisture in the container and keep valuable sports cards in great condition.
Protect your valuable sports cards with thicker cases
While plastic sleeves provide basic protection for your sports cards, thicker and harder cases are recommended for the greatest protection from possible scratches, creases, and dings for more valuable sports cards. Here are some of the most commonly used sports card holders:
*Top-loader. A top-loader is similar to a sleeve but somewhat thicker and stiffer. It is often used to protect sports cards from getting bent and creased. The drawback with a top-loader, however, is that dust and other particles can get inside. It is also a bit slack, allowing the card to move inside. If you are going to ship a card using a top-loader, make sure you put it inside a resealable sports card team bag that contains the entire top-loader.
*Semi-rigid card holder. This plastic case is more flexible than a top-loader, but still thicker than the common sleeves. It fits snugly, constricting the movement of your sports card, especially when shipping. This case also looks fine if you want to display your valuable sports card inside a display cabinet.
*Screw-down card holder. This sports card case is made of hard clear plastic that protects your valuable cards from creases, bends, scratches, and almost all damage. It uses screws in all four corners to lock your card inside the case. Just make sure you choose the correct thickness for your sports cards as there have been cases where the design of the sports cards stuck to the case, especially those that have been set for quite a long time.
*Magnetic case. An alternative case to the screw-down holder is the magnetic case. It provides comparable protection to the screw-down holder, but instead of the four screws locking the card, it only uses one circular magnet on the upper part of the case. This design feature makes it a good option for displaying your valuable sports cards.
*Acrylic holder. Among sports card cases, this is the most expensive and the thickest. It offers the ultimate protection for your valuable sports cards with up to an inch of acrylic.
Organize your sports cards in boxes
Other valuable cards you intend to display should be kept organized in a box. A shoe box will do or you may also buy prefabricated sports cards boxes available in most specialty shops and in supply stores. Sorting trays are also available to keep your collection better organized. Never store valuable sports cards in your box without any protection. Always protect your valuable cards using at least a top-loader. For your other sports cards or base cards, you may use plastic sleeves.