Coins enter circulation in the United States via the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. The Federal Reserve Bank gets its coins in bulk from the United States Mint in large "ballistic bags" that hold several thousand pounds of coins. In order to facilitate the handling and distribution of these coins to local banks, they are stacked into standard sizes according to denomination.
Number of Coins in a Standard Roll
The summary table below lists each common type of circulating U.S. coin, as well as how many coins are in the standard roll, or shotgun coin roll.
|Denomination||Number of Coins||Face Value|
|Penny or 1 Cent||50||$0.50|
|Nickel or 5 Cents||40||$2.00|
|Dime or 10 Cents||50||$5.00|
|Quarter or 25 Cents||40||$10.00|
|Half-Dollar or 50 Cents||20||$10.00|
Why Are Coins Rolled?
Coins are rolled in order to simplify distribution and inventory. When coins are first produced at The United States Mint, they are placed into large bags (some as large as 4' x 4') that can weigh over 1,000 pounds. These bags are then shipped to rolling and distribution centers in order to standardize the distribution of coins.
The rolls are then packed into boxes, for example 50 rolls of pennies with a face value of $25 are distributed to the banks. This makes counting the coins in inventory extremely fast and efficient. Additionally, when commercial customers request coins for their business, the teller does not have to count out individual coins in order to fulfill the customer's request.
Other Types of Rolled Coin
You may encounter rolls of coins that differ from the table above. These are created by private individuals or companies that vary from the standard roll sizes listed above. These include "half rolls" (half as many coins as a standard roll) and "double rolls" (twice as many coins as a standard roll).
Coins distributed in these nonstandard roles do not carry any additional value.
How to Obtain Rolls of Coin from Your Bank
You can purchase standard rolls of the coin from your local bank with little or no problem. However, some banks have a policy that only customers can exchange paper money for rolls of coins. Additionally, some banks may put a limit or charge you for exchanging rolls of coins. Keep in mind, banks are not a government owned institution and are in business in order to make a profit. They must employ people to operate the coin rolling machines and pay them a living wage. All this adds to the cost of preparing coin rolls.
The easiest way to obtain rolls of coins from your bank is to create a relationship with your bank. Get to know your bank tellers and the manager. If you have your accounts and banking services spread across several different banks, this will make it harder for you to obtain rolls of coin on a regular basis. The bank may actually insist that you open up a "commercial bank account" in order to obtain a large number of coin rolls.
What to Search for in Rolls of Coins
The following list is a description of coins that you can find in common coin roles that carry a premium over face value:
- Penny: One cent coins dated 1958 or before (Wheat Pennies)
- Nickels: Jefferson Nickels dated between 1942 and 1945 (35% silver) look for a large mint mark letter on the reverse above the building.
- Dimes and Quarters: Coins dated 1964 or before (90% silver)
- Half Dollars: Kennedy Half Dollars dated 1964 and before (90% silver) and coins dated between 1965 and 1970 (40% silver)
Edited by: James Bucki