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framing MANY coins; in oval frames; able to view BOTH side of the coins


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Mar 25, 2004
Tampa, FL
experience is a invaluable asset and this is a world-wide database!!!
a coin-collecting customer has broached the idea of putting his collection(s) into 2-sided frames(to be able to view the obverse sides-even tho some/all would be upside down doing so). he wants to group them by types(eg. Morgan's), and/or years(eg. 1870-1905). We have breifly discussed some of the more obvious problems--getting a large enough silver colored OVAL frame that will hold the desired type/year collection(s). I want to create a sandwitch of 1)frame/plexi; 2)matboard, 3)gator board(?)-thick enough to hold the coins in their little round plastic coin holders(about 1/2" thick), 4)matboard; 5)plexi/frame.
I assume(dangerous territory, that!) I can get large enough frames from InLine(?) to handle the weight of the contents(especially when the frame is doubled!) We're guessing that the largest of these pieces will be in the 36" diameter range, could even go larger depending on the number of coins in a given range of coins.
What I'd love to know is:
1)anyone have a better idea of how to attack this situation???
2)any "better" frame source than InLine for something this large(assume standard sizing)?
3)other than making the holes small enough to be really snug, any suggestions as to how I should keep the coin containers from moving around?
4)any better choice, for the middle of the frame sandwitch, than gatorboard?
5)best technique on attaching the two frames together in a way that would allow us to get into the contents on an irregular basis?
6)suggestions on how to attach hangers to someting like this that will look good AND be functional?(altho he is leaning towards creating something that he can set the frame into--rather like what we've seen done with LARGE serving platters/dishes displayed on sideboards)

were looking at 6-10 pieces of various sizes & denominations(5, 10, 25, 50 cents, and $1 silver pieces, plus an undetermined collection of gold coinage of various denominations/sizes) going to be an interesting experience, yes???

any help from the congregation will be joyously appreciated(as ALWAYS)....1 picture/explaination is usually worth weeks/months of trial & error.
Florida Bill
I have had several people come to me and ask for a frame that will display an autographed Jersey from both sides and yet they want to hang it on a wall. It presents many issues. One of which is how to securely hang it while making the hanging means unobtrusive and stealth when veiwing the back side. For a wall hung piece I have found it just about impossible to make the piece appealing from both sides. Something that is hung in the middle of a room or in an open wall is different as you can make an acceptable suspension means which inevitabley isn't hidden. I can see the customers point of view but I totally agree with FramerDave... How often are you going to pull a piece that big off the wall to see the back? I say pick your favorite sides and face them out... but the customer is always right. ;)
My HP scanner is one of the most heavily-used pieces of equipment in my shop.

When somebody has something to frame that has a backside with information on it (coins, sports medals, speeding tickets, etc) I scan the back, make a nice print and put it in a mylar pocket on the dust cover.

If it gets to be a pain to remove the frame from the wall and look at the copy (the frame is MUCH lighter with only one piece of glass,) they can remove the print from the sleeve and lose it somewhere.

If you do this, make sure it doesn't become One Of Those Things We Forget To Charge For.
Mounting the coins is going to be the greatest challenge of this project.

I've done jobs like this only a few times. Here are two methods that worked for me:

Method One:

1. Cut two back-to-back mats with circular holes, about 1/8" larger than each coin. You'll probably need a CMC to cut the circle openings accurately & small enough.

2. Line each mat with a sheet of clear film (Melinex 516), attached to its back with 3M #889 double-sided tape.

3. Between the mats you'll need a spacer that is slightly thinner than the thinnest coin in the bunch. If the coins vary from very thick to very thin, there's a problem. I suggest attaching strips of matboard, foam center board, or other material in a lattice among the coin openings. Remember, these spacing strips will be hidden between the mats.

4. Place one mat face down on a clean tabletop. position the coins in their openings. Place the other mat over the coins and fit the assembly into the frame, between sheets of clear acrylic or glass (heavier). The slight pressure of fitting between glazings will keep the mats flat and hold the coins in place.

If the coins are to be removable, make the mat spacers neatly & hinge the mats together. Fit with turnbuttons.

The clear-film-double-faced circle openings should hold the coins centered in the circles. If a coin is too loose, it will flop around in the opening. If it's too tight, the clear film covering it on both sides could wrinkle.

Method Two:

1. Cut THREE mats, with circle openings at least 1/4" larger than the coins. One of the three will be the spacer mat.

2. Attach sheets of clear on BOTH sides of the spacer mat.

3. Trace the shape of each coin on the clear film of its opening. Using a #11 X-Acto knife, trim the shape of each coin carefully in the clear film -- both layers. This perfectly-sized opening will hold each coin perfectly. And if there's an oddly-shaped coin, this is a way to mount it securely.

4. Attach the front & back mats to the prepared middle-mat assembly (clear film openings cut for each coin).

5. Assemble in this order, face down on the tabletop: front glazing; triple mat assembly, face down; coins in the openings, face down; back glazing. Fit it all into the frame.

This method is very clean-looking, but requires tedious cutting of each coin's shape in the double-thickness of clear film. Each coin is held in the perfectly-shaped openings of the two clear film layers, which are spaced apart by one 4-ply mat thickness. Only the cut edges of the clear film touch the sides of the coins, and the glazings keep them from falling out.