Is it that time of year when you can’t metal detect? Try CRHing, also known as coin roll hunting. Unlike metal detecting, it is a hobby that is easy to do without much investment and can bring home the silver. In fact, when coin roll hunting, you aren’t dealing with products at all. The only requirements are that you have at least SOME money to play with and usually a bank account. So, how much money is SOME money?
Truthfully, you could start out with as little as $10. However, this hobby is a numbers game. The more money you have to play with, the better the higher the probability that you will succeed and I will explain why in just a moment. Let’s get back to the basics. What exactly is coin roll hunting? Coin roll hunting is a hobby wherein a person searches through coins in order to find valuable coins to either build their own coin collection or else to sell for profit. Coin roll hunters can search through loose change or will often search through bulk quantities of coins. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages that I will mention later.
By now, you might be thinking to yourself, why would I want to search through coins? Can i really make some money doing this? The anwer is YES! Did you know that coin roll hunters are finding rare coins that other people unknowingly throw away with their change? Take, for example, the 1937 D Three Legged Buffalo Nickel. How much do you think this 5 Cent coin is worth to a collector? Fifty Cents? One Dollar? Five Dollars? It can’t be worth Five Dollars, can it? Actually, it is worth much more! Would you believe that this one coin could be worth more than $700.00 to a collector? Well, I recently saw one sell on eBay for over $760.00. This is just one of many coins that you might find!
I have got to be honest with you. You are not likely to find one of these coins if you only have $10 to play with. Is it possible, Yes. Is it likely, No. A key to success in this hobby is to search through as many coins as possible. I hope that it is obvious why you are better off playing with more money. But don’t be discouraged. I recently searched through $20 in fifty cent pieces and found 2 silver half dollars.
One of the best parts about the hobby is that realistically, your investment is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Because you are searching through coins, you always have your money available to use. There are no products to buy.
All right, enough with the intro, lets get into the nuts and bolts of this hobby. As I mentioned before, there are two main ways that coin roll hunters search for the good stuff. First, they search loose change. By this I mean that they look through the change that they receive on a daily basis and they might ask a cashier if he or she has any loose half dollars, quarters, or whatever coins you wish to search. The coin roll hunter then trades money for money to get the coins to search through. The advantages of this method is that cashiers handle money at a fast enough pace that it is easy for them miss, lets say a valuable quarter that a kid stole from his father’s coin collection to buy a piece of candy. Most cashiers are not coin collectors and so they will pass on the good stuff to you before another person has a chance to find them. The disadvantage with this method is that you only work in smaller quantities of coins which means that though your quality of finds is high, your ability to go through large quantities of coins is lower.
The other method is to purchase rolls of coins from a bank. When buying from the bank there are loose rolls, which are usually brought into the bank by customers, and there are machine rolls that come rolled from money suppliers like brinks. An advantage to buying from the bank is that you can buy coin rolls in bulk. For example, a case of half dollars usually contains $500 in fifty cent pieces (the quantities that come in a case vary by bank). So, what you do is you order however many rolls you want or else buy the loose rolls that they have. Then you take them home and search for the valuable coins. After you are finished, you return the searched coins to a bank and then order some more. The disadvantage of buying through a bank is that some tellers, but definitely not all of them, can check the loose coins themselves. If you find out that a bank teller is into coin roll hunting, then just buy coins from another bank branch.
There are so many valuable coins to look for that I have decided to give you some ideas to get started. These are just a few of the coins to watch for:
Barber, Walking Liberty, and Franklin Halves are Silver.
Kennedy Halves dated 1964 are 90% silver. Those dated 1965 to 1970 are 40% Silver. (Tip: if you look at the edges of 90% silver coins they stand out easily because they don’t have the copper in the middle. This makes them easier to spot. This is true for silver quarters and dimes as well.)
Dimes and Quarters dated 1964 and earlier are 90% silver.
Look for silver nickels that were made during WWII as well as the three legged buffalo nickel mentioned earlier.
Indian head pennies are a treat to find. If you see one, keep it.
Tip: Don’t return your searched coins to the same bank that you order them from. You don’t want to keep searching the same coins over and over again.
Tip: Some banks charge to order bulk coins so use one of the many banks that don’t charge.
Tip: Some banks have free coin counters for their members and some even allow nonmembers to use their machine. These are helpful.
Tip: When traveling, pick up some coin rolls from banks in small towns. They may not have been searched for some time. Coin roll hunter’s have found whole rolls full of old coins from such banks.
Tip: If a bank has a large amount of loose rolls that they recently received, then there is a chance that someone already searched these coins so order a case instead.
Tip: Quarters tend to show less results than other coin values. I am not sure why.
Some Coin Roll Hunting Questions and Answers?
Deb:Hi. Thanks for all your great tips!!! I’m just getting into this and real excited as to what I might find.
Question: I had read elsewhere that ordering cases from the bank would give us coins from the Fed, which would be uncirculated, therefore new,
and would never yield any collectibles. That we needed to buy wrapped coins from the bank from people who’ve deposited them. Do you agree w/ that? I’m not sure what to ask them for at the bank otherwise? I ordered my first box of l/2 dollars this week, and I certainly want to avoid spending my time looking through coins that could NEVER yield a return…
Me: Depends. Sometimes you get a fresh from the mint rolls, just depends on the bank I guess. I haven’t had a problem with this. You will know real quick if they are new mints or not. Also, on rolls that have the pressed ends, check carefully to make sure that no one has already opened it. At one bank branch in particular, I discovered that one of the tellers would hold all the loose and rolled halves in his seller safe. He would check all of them on his own time and was quite good at making them look unopened. He finally said some things that suggested he was the one checking the coin rolls.
Deb: Thanks for the input. Being brand new to this , I don’t even know yet what the ends will look like…going today to pickup a case that I ordered at my bank.
After reading what I did (about my above question), I just hope I’m not totally wasting my time….I don’t want to be wasting time going thru rolls from the mint (of ONLY brand new coins) and not even realizing that’s what I’ve got…so looking to see how to best avoid that. Please give me any more input you can on that…I can see the merit in buying up loose rolls of those coins.
I’m excited, called my other bank, who has a coin machine, and they have $ 300. loose Half dollars, and will now save those for me each week!!!!.
Also, upon further thought….if you redeposit your (non silver) coins back into your bank and then then go to get more, how DO you know if you’re just rechecking the same rolls of coins over and over? (my bank said they have to have $ 1000. of rolled coins before they can send them on to the Fed…and they don’t have a need to keep many of these at the bank)…so wouldn’t my ‘returned’ coins, end up being the same ones I might want to ‘buy’ again later? The teller at the branch w/ the coin machine said it often takes them WEEKs to gather enough to send back off
to the Fed. Do you think it’s best to buy at one branch, and return at the other therefore? Thanks for being patient w/ me!
Me: What many coin roll hunters do is keep their main bank happy by only picking up coins and not returning them to the same bank. You can open another bank account at a different bank that has a coin counting machine that is free to members. This bank is referred to as the dump bank. Otherwise you will likely get the same coins back and won’t annoy your own bank. Your bank keeps track of transactions and if they feel you are just costing them money, they might start charging to order coins.
I would only buy a large amount of coins from a bank by ordering them in cases. A large number of loose halves at a bank might suggest that someone else is using that branch as a dump and you will waste a lot of time. If a bank has more than 10 rolls of loose halves, I might ask for 5 of them and see if anything shows up. If I start finding good coins, I will go back and get the rest. Most times though, I just avoid these large stashes of loose coins and just go for the cases or look for branches with 5-10 rolls of loose halves or less. Seems to provide the best chances for success.
Generally, I have more luck with halves than quarters and dimes so I stick with halves as they are worth more anyways for the effort. I also like wheat pennies and will pick up some rolls of pennies from time to time just for fun. To be honest, you have to like coins to be successful. If your are doing this just to make money, then there are better ways. The excitement of finding silver coins has to be a motivating factor or you won’t have much fun.