Monday, May 23, 2011

Half Dollars

I've been reading on other survival sites about how you can go to the bank and pick up some rolls of coins and there are often coins of value in the rolls.  We all know that 1964 and before are 90% silver coins, but from 65-70 the coins were 40% silver.  From what I've been reading you could still find those coins - and they are worth about $5 each.  I thought I'd give it a try.  I went to the bank last week and asked for some half dollars.  They didn't have any.  Can I order some?  The banker went to ask.  She came back.  Yes you can but only if you order a thousand dollars worth.  I thought about it for about a second.  Sure order me one thousand dollars worth of half dollars.  I figured that I did have the money in savings so if I wanted to pull it all out to take my chance on finding some coins, I certainly wouldn't be losing a bunch of interest for the few days I'd be going through the coins.  She asked me what I wanted the coins for.  I wasn't going to tell the truth as that would flag me as some crazy person.  I told her that I was teaching a class and we needed the coins as part of the lesson.

A few days later I went back to the bank to pick up my order.  It didn't cost me anything, although some people have said that there's a charge to order coins.  I got two boxes of $500 each box.  The coins were all wrapped in $10 wraps of 20 coins each.  I've gone through $250 so far in a spare 30 minutes.  I found zero coins between the years 65-70.  Nothing.  Only $750 to go. 

As I sat on my bed unwrapping the coins I felt like I was playing the lottery.  I don't gamble (ok I've bought about $10 worth of lottery tickets in my life) but that's what the feeling was like.  With every group of 20 coins, as I unwrapped them, my heart was racing a bit...maybe this roll would be the roll?   No, so it's a good thing I wasn't throwing any money away on this little gambling adventure.  As long as I put ALL the coins back into the bank and don't spend them then I don't see a problem taking the money out of the bank.  If I spent a coin here or there then I'd have to stop immediately. 

One of the other credit unions I go to has a coin counter.  I'm going to ask them if I could purchase a bag of coins from that counter rather than the way I did it at this other branch with ordering the wrapped coins from whatever central bank they get their money from.  The coin counter separates the coins so perhaps I won't have to buy so many coins.  I may have a better chance getting some from 65-70.  Or if I'm really lucky 64 or earlier.


  1. I thought of you today. Usually as I walk across campus I look on the ground for coins. I've been averaging about 20 cents a day that the students drop.

    Today I found three nickels and one was a 1964. It got set aside for a trip to the coin dealer.

    1. Do not bother with the 1964 Nickel. There is no Silver in it. You will be laughed at out of the Dealer's Shop.

      The only US Nickels ever minted with any Silver Content was the Wartime Nickels, 1942-1945. They have 35% Silver Content and are easily discernable by a Large Mintmark above the Monticello Dome.