[ image by Svetta ]
Royal Mint presentation packs. They look so nice, don’t they? For years they have all been issued in the same regimental format (which is great for those of us with OCD) and their artwork is often ever nicer than the coins they house.
But are presentation packs the best thing to buy when you are a serious coin collector?
If you keep your coins in capsules or inside a folder then you will find yourself in a quandary every time you purchase a new presentation pack….. simply because you will need to open it! Tearing, cutting or full-on chewing your way through a load of super-pretty packaging doesn’t make you feel great. It’s rather like grabbing yourself a big old rusty spoon and prising the top from a Faberge egg. Besides, even if you do manage to get the thing open without causing a huge amount of damage; what are you supposed to do with all of the debris??? Create an arty montage and stuff it in a picture frame?
The other almighty conundrum attached to Royal Mint presentation packs is storage. Because the coins protrude from the packs they will create indentations when stacked too tightly against their brothers and sisters. This means you are very limited with how many you can stack against one another without damaging any in the process.
And my final gripe with these items is……. that accursed hangy-up display thingy at the top. Yes, this small flap of plastic means that every presentation pack will require completely unnecessary extra headroom. Whilst this doesn’t sound like too big an issue….. it will be once you have realised just how many shelving units don’t quite offer enough space….. Oh, and worst of all, those hangy-up display thingies also have a tendency to come away from the rest of the pack over time – making them look proper pants. Therefore, folding these infuriating plastic add-ons over is not really an option either.
All in all, Royal Mint presentation packs are a pain in the ass. Sure, they look really nice and if they are purchased for a birthday or Christmas then they’ll certainly get all the required whoops of delight. However, on a practical level they really aren’t that great. In fact, they are factory fitted with all manner of different problems :(
Of course, this has all been written from the perspective of a numismatist and at the end of the day I am only interested in the actual coin. For someone who only collects occasional releases, presentation packs are perhaps okay….. but they do still pose those same problems with storage.
Love them or hate them; I don’t see The Royal Mint changing the way they package their coins anytime soon.
© Article and images (except where stated) copyright Mik Smith 2019