Q. Other albums and coin
holders on the market are currently marketed as inert, acid free and sulfur
free. Why should I pay a premium for an Intercept album?
A. That is a good question. First of all, you are getting a protective sleeve on every Intercept album. That alone is worth more than the premium you are paying for the Intercept album. Secondly, Intercept albums are constructed with the finest materials available. All Intercept products are produced with acid and sulfur free materials. Even the plastic slides in the albums are inert. This however, is not nearly enough. A coin album/holder constructed with inert materials is helpful in coin preservation. It simply means that the album/holder will not contribute to coin corrosion. Intercept actually cleans the environment from harmful pollutants in the environment that cause coin corrosion.
Q. I noticed that you offer a product to protect my slabbed coins. Why would I need such a product? I have always understood that slabs offered the best protection available because they were airtight.
A. The current slab products on the market are of very high quality. However, even if they are sealed correctly, they will never be airtight. Plastic is a porous material. Harmful gases will eventually reach the coins, traveling right through the plastic! To make matters worse, once the harmful gases penetrate the holder they will keep building over time. Even if the grading services were able to find a non-porous holder such as glass, they would then have to find a way to "clean up" the air inside the holder. It would be much easier to spend a little over $1.00 per coin to buy Intercept protection for over 10 years.
Q. Does Intercept pull corrosive or harmful gases down to the coins, putting them potentially in a more serious position for corrosion or tarnishing to occur?
A. The nice part about Intercept Shield , beside the fact that it works, is that Intercept Shield follows the strict rules of chemistry and physics, no black art or black boxes.
Intercept Shield is not a magnet; it does not pull corrosive or reactive gases to itself. It will however cleanse its immediate surroundings of corrosive gases, by reacting with and neutralizing these gases. To best explain how this works we need to look at gases in their molecular form.
Imagine millions of gas molecules bouncing around like ping pong balls. The higher the temperature, the faster they move and bounce. As they collide with the various surfaces sometimes they stick, depending on the angle of impact, speed, and what is referred to as the sticking coefficient of the surface. All materials have a sticking coefficient, or the ability of the surface to hold on or to react with a colliding molecule. Copper has the highest sticking coefficient of metals, which is one of the reasons why Copper is used in the Intercept Technology. Intercept has an extremely high sticking coefficient for reactive gas molecules due to the type of Copper used, and the minimum of 2 times the surface area of Copper present on the surface of Intercept as compared to the surface area of the same dimensional size piece of Copper, or other metal. The addition of a textured, or modeled surface increases the surface area and thus again increases the effectiveness of the Intercept material to hold onto and react with (and thus neutralize) these reactive gas molecules. Finally, the incorporation of Intercept Technology into a polymer base also improves the effectiveness of Intercept to catch these bouncing reactive gas molecules, due to the relative softness of the plastic.
Intercept acts as a barrier to reactive gases trying to permeate through the material. The high sticking coefficient provides the additional protection of helping cleanse and neutralize the enclosed space of corrosive gases.
Additional information can be obtained at www.StaticIntercept.com, or by contacting Intercept Shield .
Q. Other Albums are using VCI's. Is that Intercept Shield ?
A. Intercept Shield is not a VCI. VCI literally means "Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor". VCI's use volatile oils, either coated onto paper, or extruded into a plastic. These volatile oils "volatize" or evaporate off of the surface of the plastic or paper and deposit a thin layer of oil on the surface of the coin. The problems with this type of protection are:
coins are being actively coated
(2) Short term protection - no indicator telling you depletion.
(3) Temperature, humidity and storage conditions affect useful life or life span.
(4) VCI's have a narrow effective temperature range.
(5) Testing shows that in some cases protection with a VCI is worse than no protection at all.
(6) Handling issues exist with VCI's.
Intercept Shield uses no volatile chemicals. Intercept Shield does not coat, nor contaminate the surface of the coin. Intercept Shield provides extremely long, stable effective life that is not affected by temperature or humidity.
Q. Under what temperature and humidity conditions, is Intercept considered effective?
A. Intercept Shield has been tested by both the Army and Lucent Technologies at temperature ranges from -37oF to 160oF with no change or impact on the effective, long lasting, non-contaminating properties of Intercept Shield .
Q. I was told that Intercept Shield is a desiccant. Is this true?
A. Intercept Shield is not a desiccant. Desiccants are predominately clay or other hydroscopic (water loving, water absorbing) materials. They function by sponging up water in the air. Desiccants can only hold a small amount of water before becoming saturated, and they are reversible. If the temperature goes up the desiccant releases its moisture vapors. Desiccants are used heavily in the hard drive packaging industry and for packaging ceramic computer components - because ceramics absorb water readily and then literally explode when the parts go through a hot wave soldering operations. These parts are highly moisture sensitive. Coins are not.
The primary mode of corrosion / tarnishing of the metals used in coins is through atmospheric gases, not through moisture. Moisture will help accelerate corrosion; but the absence of water will not stop corrosion from happening in non-ferrous metals, since again the main method for tarnishing for these metals is atmospheric corrosion. Desiccants may initially slow down corrosion on non-ferrous metals, but it is only temporary and desiccants will actually accelerate corrosion in the case of a hot environment, such as a desert or anywhere in the Southern, Southwestern states - or any state that routinely gets over 90 in the summer. Basically desiccants are not intended to provide corrosion protection, nor will they. They are designed to remove the ambient moisture in the air in a sealed enclosure. They will remove what is there when the package is closed, but will have little ability to remove any additional moisture. Also, there is no way of nicely concealing desiccants packs in a coin holder - you would need several grams of desiccants even for a small 2x2. Several grams does not sound like a lot, but it is quite bulky. Also, when the desiccants outgas, you have no way of knowing what that desiccant pack saw when it was absorbing moisture - again you could potentially be aggravating the situation.
Q. Your Intercept Shield coin holders have quickly become my favorite. However, my favorite color is white, hence the question. Do you folks have any intention of making white inserts?
A. Thank you for your comments. We would also prefer if the Intercept Technologies came in white, or some other colors besides copper or dark brown. However, the nature of the product makes coloring impossible, this being the one drawback to the technology. However, it is important to note that the color does actually provide us information.
As the solid state materials in the Intercept plastic react with and permanently neutralize the corrosive gases the color of the material changes. So the color change from dark brown to jet black tells us that the material is working, and once a jet black color is reached, it also tells us that we need to purchase new Intercept products.