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Topic: Beilstein flame test on BCS sleeves  (Read 25859 times)
mmars
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« on: November 26, 2009, 06:25:39 pm »

Hello.

I have decided to remove all of my BCS-graded notes from their holders for reasons that are not applicable to this thread.  Out of curiosity, I decided to perform the Beilstein "flame test" on the plastic sleeves that are used to house the notes inside the clear packaging.  The Bellstein test is described here:

http://rarenotes.net/beilstein.html

After touching the heated copper wire to the plastic sleeve, the flame burned bright green.  I repeated the test several times and got the same result. I repeated the test on a piece cut from the larger outer plastic housing that surrounds the BCS-graded note in its sleeve and the rectangular certificate.  The plastic housing also produced a green flame.  I repeated the test on a piece of mylar sleeve that I bought from Sellitstore in the US.  The flame did not appear green at any time.

Conclusions: It appears that all plastic materials used by BCS, both the inner sleeves and the outer housing, contain PVC (polyvinylchloride) or another chlorinated compound that could damage notes with constant exposure over time.  PVC-damaged notes appear translucent as a result of long-term exposure.

Has anyone performed the Beilstein test on other third party grading company's holders?

Mark
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 05:50:33 pm by mmars »

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friedsquid
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2009, 07:43:13 pm »

According to BCS's website they state that:

Quote
Our holders are made of an inert plastic that does not contain any of the softening agents used in some plastics.

It also states that the plastic is "acid free"

I'm not really sure what this all means ???

I just emailed Steve Bell of BCS regarding this issue.  Hopefully he will reply as soon as he is able...
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 07:54:18 pm by friedsquid »



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mmars
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2009, 08:47:45 pm »

The sleeve that I used for the test is for small-size notes.  I cut a piece off a larger BCS sleeve used for holding pre-1935 "horseblanket" size notes and repeated the test.  Same result, got the green flame.

http://ull.chemistry.uakron.edu/organic_lab/beil/beil05.html

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Wizard1
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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2009, 09:10:20 pm »

Hmmm good to know! I was about to send a bunch of notes to get graded but now am having second thoughts. I didn't know PVC exposure would affect notes.

This new info also worries me now regarding the 3 window binder pages I use to store my notes. Does anyone know if the Leuchtturm Vario 3C binder sheets are pvc free? All they say is "100% acid- and chemical softener free"

This question also applies to the Leuchtturm single note holders that I current use.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 09:27:59 pm by Wizard1 »

friedsquid
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2009, 09:28:57 pm »

Quote
[All they say is "100% acid- and chemical softener free"/quote]
This pretty well sounds what BCS claims as well.....Still think it is a good idea to hear what Steve has to say before you start cutting notes out of your holders...
OMO of course :)



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mmars
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2009, 09:56:56 pm »

I agree.  PVC damage doesn't happen in a day or two, so let's be patient.  TY Fred for contacting Mr Bell.

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friedsquid
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2009, 11:20:19 pm »

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TY Fred
Now I'm Fred LOL



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Ottawa
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2009, 05:43:35 am »

All TPGed notes are destined to be cut out of their holders eventually because, sooner or later, any given entombed note will get into the hands of a curious collector or dealer who wants to unambiguously find out what's really inside. Also, some people prefer raw notes right from the start. It's only the time frame for the cutting out that remains uncertain .... hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades ....

Perhaps the best thing about TPGed notes is that you can't get your grubby hands on them and damage them by repeated handling.

" Buy the very best notes that you can afford and keep them for at least 10 years. " (Richard D. Lockwood, private communication, 1978).
friedsquid
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2009, 07:35:00 am »

Quote
Perhaps the best thing about TPGed notes is that you can't get your grubby hands on them and damage them by repeated handling.

That was my reason  :)

I think my main concern here is that if a TPG says or implies that their holders are suppose to keep your notes safe within their holders they should stand by it and obviously have some liability if in fact they are not.



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Wizard1
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2009, 08:24:00 am »

Any news from Steve Bell? He usually replies rather quickly.

BWJM
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2009, 09:05:36 am »

Have any other holders been tested, or just BCS' holders?

BWJM, F.O.N.A.
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friedsquid
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2009, 09:06:23 am »

Any news from Steve Bell? He usually replies rather quickly.

I sent him an email last night (after hours) to his office at BCS so I assume when he gets in this morning he will get it.  Hopefully we hear something today, if not I will give him a call. I just think it is better to hear from him before we start assuming the worst....I would tend to think that he would have done his homework on the holders at the start ....



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BCS
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2009, 11:10:57 am »

Hello all

It concerns me greatly that there is the possiblity of my BCS holders damaging any notes over time.  When designing the holder, I had a detailed and lengthy discussion with the manufactureer regarding the long term safety of the holders.  He assured that the BCS holders, and every other holder they make for that matter, are completely safe for longterm storage.  They are acid and softener free. They are manufactured by Lighthouse (otherwise known as leuchtturm).  They are a prevelant supplier of numismatic holders in Europe and recently in the North American market. They knew from the onset that these holders are being designed for paper money storage.  Although I am not a chemist, based on their wide scope in the numismatic market and almost 90 years as a player, I was willing then and am still willing now to take their word

Even so, I have requested a chemical breakdown of the plastics that are used and will have an indepentend annalysis done on it's safety with organic compounds such as the ones found in most banknotes.  Any results will be posted on the BCS website.  www.banknotecertification.com.  Please, do not jump to conclusions based on the rudementary results of an uncontroled science experiment inspired by an independent webiste.

There are nearly 6000 notes and counting out there that have been preserved using BCS methods.  I am confident that they are entirely safe for long term storage.

BCS
mmars
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2009, 12:51:50 pm »

I would be interested in doing the test on PMG holders since they are very similar to BCS holders. The length of time a note spends in any TPG holder is directly related to the grading standards used by the company that produced the holder.  In other words, the more overgraded the note, the less likely that note will be removed from the holder, and the more conservatively the note is graded, the more likely someone will remove it.  Since PMG grades Canadian notes using U.S. standards that are known to be muchless stringent, I'm much less confident that anyone with a PMG-graded note will be willing to sacrifice a holder for the sake of this discussion.

If someone wants to do the Beilstein test themselves, I can send them a couple of holders provided they purchase a note from me first  :o Ha ha just kidding.  But seriously, it would be nice if someone could do a separate independent verification of the test.

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friedsquid
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2009, 03:31:56 pm »

Would be more than willing do the test is you have a holder
I also sent an email to a person at PMG that I have spoken to numerous times in the past to get some more info.
I will post any reply should it come.
I also emailed someone I know who has some PMG holders they may wish to donate to a worthy cause.... :)
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 03:36:41 pm by friedsquid »



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