An Average American's Guide To Display Cases - Show Your Best
How to Size Display Cases
As long as what you want to display is common enough and average enough, you probably won’t have to worry about measuring your item to make sure it fits. On Legacy Display Cases, we offer a warehouse of display cases made to precisely fit specific items that are commonly displayed.
Specialty cases have been designed for almost any collectible imaginable. This saves a great deal of effort and improves the safety of your collectibles! You can buy a display case specially designed to cradle and protect your possessions. Display cases have been made to showcase multiple items and even unique combinations (like a combination football helmet and football).
If you are going to consolidate collectibles or possessions in a single display case, you should do so around a theme. This is a time to think creatively about your presentation… you are creating a 3-D show for yourself and your visitors., but a stage to showcase their beauty and significance.
3 Big Mistakes to Avoid
Not enough room around display case. How much room is required for your display case? When you choose a display case, make sure you havesufficient room for it, especially if it is wall-mounted. Be sure to allow sufficient breathing room around the display case. Also consider how much light (sunlight or electrical) will illuminate the area in which your display case will be put.
No plan for controlled access. Do you want to discourage guests from touching your displayed item? Locks are possible, but can be off-putting. Consider a cover that lifts on and off with no doors to open. On the other hand, you may wish to be able to access items on the case frequently. Then you will want easy-open doors or no doors, and a stable unit that will not fall over easily.
Bigger is Better. Putting a great many collectibles or possessions in a large display case may seem cost efficient. But it can deflate any appeal, and end up looking like just an acrylic warehouse. Display cases are best selected for their ability to call attention to the items displayed. Something that looks like a packed used car lot doesn’t work.
How Much Protection to Choose
The enemies of your collectibles and precious valuables are dust, pet hair, sunlight and unsupervised handling.
Daily exposure to sun, moisture and even heat can lead to fading and discoloring.
Autographed memorabilia is especially vulnerable, as the signatures can fade, bleed and smear from excessive handling and exposure.
Whether you plan to later sell your collection or leave it to heirs, you want to preserve it. The overall value will be determined by how well it has been protected.
The air in the rooms of the most obsessive cleaners can deposit a crust of dust over time. The more intricate the possession, the more impossible to clean of such dust. At least without breaking.
Memorabilia such as magazines, tickets, photos and event programs are especially prone to damage. One proven method is to have your memorabilia displayed, mounted and protected in a UV protective collectible frame or shadowbox. When storing thin sheets of paper, be sure to keep pages flat by using an acid-free backer board.r beauty and significance.
Glass vs. Acrylic Display Cases
Glass Case Advantages:
Glass is not electrostatic and does not attract dust as readily as acrylic. Glass is far more resistant to scratching that may result from frequent dusting or cleaning. Glass also provides good protection against UV (ultra violet) rays, protecting your items from fading or discoloring.
Glass Case Disadvantages:
Easier to break, heavy. For these two reasons, glass display cases are more difficult to move and costlier to ship. Glass may have a faint “green tint” vs. standard acrylic which is clear.
Acrylic Case Advantages:
Acrylic is a lighter weight and shatter-resistant alternative to glass. Acrylic display cases can be 50% lighter than glass display cases. Acrylic display cases let in a bit more light (90% vs. 80%) and can be clearer. Because acrylic is shatter-resistant, collectors with young children and pets should consider acrylic cases.
Usually acrylic is treated with special coatings to resist damage from UV light, such as fading or turning yellow. Acrylic usually diminishes glare compared to glass.
Acrylic Case Disadvantages:
More scratch prone that glass cases, more susceptible to static and therefore picks up dust more readily.
Acrylic is also commonly known as Plexi-glass or Lucite.
Options to Look for in Display Cases
- UV coating: for protection against the ultra violet rays from sunlight, usually added to acrylic cases
- Engraving: if an option, add logos, insignias and names to the case
- Mirror backs or bottoms: not only allow you to see the backside or underside of the item, but also provide greater illumination inside the case.
- Wood base or frame: mahogany, cherry, black, natural, walnut are popular wood choices
- Stackable: offers flexibility of growth in your collection
- Mountable: for mounting on the wall, just like a framed photograph or print
- Interior platforms or risers: elevating the item within the display gives it greater prominence
- Rotating cases: provide 360° views