albums and coin holders on the market are currently marketed as inert,
acid free and sulfur free. Why should I pay a 10% premium for an Intercept
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 10%
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
A. The nice part about Intercept, beside the fact that it works, is that
Intercept follows the strict rules of chemistry and physics, no black
art or black boxes.
Intercept 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.
Q. Why is Intercept considered new and exciting? VCI products have been
on the market for over 20 years.
A. Intercept 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:
(1) The coins
are being actively coated
(2) Short term protection - no indicator telling you depletion.
(3) Temperature, humidity and storage conditions affect useful life or
(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.
uses no volatile chemicals. Intercept does not coat, nor contaminate the
surface of the coin. Intercept provides extremely long, stable effective
life that is not affected by temperature or humidity.
what temperature and humidity conditions, is Intercept considered effective?
A. Intercept 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.
Q. I was
told that Intercept is a desiccant. Is this true?
A. Intercept 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.
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.