The Federal Reserve Bank of the United States is responsible for putting coins into circulation after the United States Mints have made them. The Mints send coins to the Federal Reserve Bank in giant, pallet-sized bags known to those in the industry as “ballistic bags.” These bags contain thousands of pounds of currency in the form of coins. Within the bags, the coins are separated into boxes, which contain trays, which contain rolls of coins. The rolls are all of a standard size, and they are sent packaged in their rolls, within their boxes, to banks across the country. The standard coin roll is important for increasing the efficiency of handling large amounts of coins, but how many coins are in each roll?
Doing the Math
To figure out how many coins are in each standard “shotgun” roll of coins, you simply need to do a bit of math.
- A roll of pennies is standardized to contain 50 cents worth of pennies. At one cent per penny, this leaves you with 50 pennies in each roll.
- A roll of nickels contains $2.00 worth of the coin. Each nickel is worth five cents, which means there are 40 nickels in each roll.
- A roll of dimes always has $5.00 worth of dimes inside of it. At ten cents per dime, you will receive 50 dimes in each roll.
- A roll of quarters always contains $10.00 worth of quarters. At 25 cents per quarter, you will have 40 quarters per roll.
Half-dollar and dollar coins can also be wrapped, though this is less commonly seen. A roll of half-dollar coins has $10.00 in it, so that means there are 20 half dollar coins per roll. Dollar coins, when rolled, add up to $25.00. This means there are 25 dollar coins per roll.
Purchasing Rolls of Coins
It is relatively easy to acquire rolls of any denomination of coin. Simply go to your local bank and exchange the equivalent amount of paper cash for the coin rolls. Most banks will not accept other forms of payment, such as checks or credit cards, for this type of transaction, so be sure to go to the ATM first or withdraw the money from the teller.
Some banks charge a fee for this type of transaction, and this is completely legal. Keep in mind that banks are not federally operated. They charge a fee because they must pay the people who are employed to roll the coins and complete the transaction with you.
If you are having a problem obtaining rolls of coins, your best bet is to become familiar with your bank and the tellers. Make sure that you have an account there, and frequently stop in, in person, to make deposits or withdrawals. Become friendly with the manager. Make sure you are using only one bank for all of your accounts as this will make establishing a relationship much easier. Some banks may require you to open a commercial bank account before they allow you to purchase large amounts of rolled coins.
Some people purchase rolls of coins to search for rare coins that are worth more than the coin’s face value represents. Here are a few examples:
Any pennies dated before 1958, known as wheat pennies, are worth more than one cent.
- Nickels that are dated between 1942 and 1945 are comprised of 35% silver, and therefore worth more than five cents.
- Dimes and quarters that are dated before 1965 are made from 90% silver, making them worth more than their face value.
- Half dollars that are dated before 1965 are also 90% silver. Half dollars dated between 1965 and 1970 are 40% silver, still enough to make them worth more than fifty cents.
Rolling Coins at Home
If you have a jar full of coins at home, you may have considered going to a coin exchange machine to trade them in for cash. However, think twice, because these machines tend to charge large fees and your wallet might benefit by you rolling your coins at home. You can usually get empty coin rolls from the bank for free. There are automated coin rolling machines you can purchase that may be worth it if you frequently have excess coins. Otherwise, you can roll them by hand if you do not plan to do it very often. You can even purchase cheap plastic tubes that are calibrated to fit only the proper amount of coins so that you do not need to take the time to count them.