Crown caps collecting suggestions , exchange and collection by Mihailo Alic

Without trying to appear too smart I am going to suggest few things to collectors of crown caps. I have entered this hobby recently, and have found many things that collectors need help with, although they are not aware of it. A major part of collecting is organizing, storing, and presenting your collection and duplicates. That can be done randomly, or can be planned and made efficient. I am going to talk about both. Important aspect of building your collection is also exchanges with other collectors, and due to the postage (especially international) not being linear (it is similar if you are sending registered letter with 1 or 15 caps, and is only 50% more if you are sending 100) it is cost-efficient to exchange in sets of 100 caps, to pay less postage per cap.

How do I store the collection and duplicates?

I am using regular transparent A4 document foils where I insert shallow boxes of the same format. The box is made out of firm packaging cardboard, dimensions slightly greater than A4, and then I fold each side 5 mm to create a shallow box to house caps in rows, touching each other. It happens that A4 can store 70 caps, in 10 rows of 7, and they are tightly next to each other, so they will almost not turn after you position them in place. These boxes are ideal for photographing your collection and duplicates, since there is no space wasted, and all caps are vertical in horizontal rows, which makes them easy to review.

For multiple duplicates I use plastic food containers since they are shallow, and can be easy divided with cardboard walls.

How other collectors store and present their collection / duplicates?

The worst way is having them in bags, since for presentation and taking photos they always have to be taken out, again and again, and laid in quasi rows on the table or carpet. I have been getting these photos of duplicates for exchange:

compare to what I send them:

Putting more than 100 caps in a photo, or framing them from a far so there is space wasted on all sides, having them spread, and not in straight rows and columns, makes caps smaller, and the detail on them is lost, so no zooming helps. Caps that are in all possible orientations (other than straight vertical) makes it harder to review them. IF ONE SENDS SEVERAL PHOTOS FOR EXCHANGE (and I had one sent me 22 photos of repeating caps), it is very tiresome to look at them if a cap is presented on several of them, or there are multiple duplicates even in the same photo. Repeating caps makes the number of photos greater, and I have seen exchange offers with less than 100 different caps in 3 photos, each having more than 100 caps, also randomly organized, no rows or columns, or meandering ones. So please get more organized, to make selection process easier for the collector you are offering an exchange!

Do not send something like this:

TAKING A PHOTO: As mentioned above, aspect ratio (width vs. height) of a mobile phone camera should be observed when organizing caps for making an exchange offer photo, and for 100 caps exchange it is 14 rows of 7 caps. So it is your A4 box, followed by a smaller 4 x 7 box. Do not forget to take it out of the foil before taking a photo. Be straight above the middle of the set. Adjust the light so it does not shine too much off of caps that are closest. Better option is to use bounced diffuse light to get even lightning, and no reflection / specular highlights. The best is daylight, coming from a window. Here I am showing the set in foils, so you get the storage idea.

More advice on presenting caps on frames to hang on the wall soon to come (I am currently in production of those). Advantage of those over the above shown A4 format boxes is that they store 5 or more times greater number of caps, and will have holes that hold the orientation of caps firm. Problem with A4 boxes is that you need to fill them to the top, or have temporary smaller ones, since caps will shift if the box is not full, and they will always rotate a bit as you keep adding them, or while moving even filled boxes around. I am building frames 60 x 80 cm to hold 15 x 20 caps, 300 total per frame. Adding new caps to certain part of collection will be easier since spaces between caps of different brands can be left, unlike in A4 boxes where caps need to be next to each other with no space.

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