I am often asked asked how to load a coin album page. It is actually a fairly simple process but if you have never used a coin album it can be a little bit confusing. This article describes how an album pages are assembled, how they work and how they are loaded. There is also a link at the end of the article to a page with a short video so that you can see exactly how the process works instead of trying to imagine it.
Coin albums are similar to photo albums in that they are large books with thick spines and removable pages. The centers of each page are stiff and designed to hold coins and they can be removed or added to albums. Most albums hold some predetermined type of coin collection, such as Lincoln Cents 1909 to 2009, however, manufacturers also sell binders and pages separately so that you can make your own album collections. Coin albums are generally considered superior to coin folders because they allow viewing of both sides of the coins while providing additional protection with a thin, clear sheet of acetate.
Coin album pages are constructed like a five-layer sandwich. The top of the page is usually a washable cover. Below the top layer is a clear acetate sheet that is usually the width of the page and a half inch or so larger than the coin opening. The middle of the page is thick, like a coin, and is usually some sort of cardboard. Below the middle layer is another acetate sheet followed by a final fifth layer which is another cover for the back side of the page. Some pages will be screen printed with a title at the top and labels around each coin opening.
The trick to loading an album page with coins is to recognize that the cover layers are not directly adhered to the center layer in all places. The cover layers are actually only joined at the left spine edge, the top of the page, the bottom of the page and in rows between the coin slots. This leaves a tunnel across the coin openings from the right edge of the page to the about 3/4 "from the left spine. the page.
Now that you understand how an album page is constructed it should mean how coins are loaded into pages. First, slide the top layer of acetate to the right so that it comes out of the right side edge of the page but bet sure to leave the bottom acetate in place. Put your coin into position and slide the top acetate all the way over the coin and back into its original position. You should now see that the bottom acetate sheet is held in place by the bottom cover and that the top acetate is held in place by the top cover. The two acetates work together to hold the coin into place and to protect it from contact with fingers or other objects.