Release Of Dollars By The Us Treasury: The Gsa Sale
Because of the size and weight of the dollar coins, they circulated minimally throughout their history, except in the West As a result, the coins were generally shipped to Washington and stored in the vaults of the U.S. Treasury at times these stores numbered into the hundreds of millions.
They were very popular as Christmas gifts, however, and from the 1930s to the early 1960s, many bags were annually released to banks nationwide to be distributed as presents. In November 1962, during this annual distribution, it was discovered that there were some rare and valuable dates, still sealed in their original mint bags, all in uncirculated condition, among the millions of dollar coins still in the Treasury vaults. Collectors/investors/dealers lined up to purchase them in $1,000 bags, trading silver certificates for the coins. Before this event, the great rarity of the Morgan series was 1903-O, which was by far the most expensive of the entire set. It was discovered that there were millions of this specific date and mint in the Treasury vaults an estimated 84% of the entire mintage sat in these bags, untouched for 60 years, all in uncirculated condition. While still relatively expensive in circulated grades, uncirculated examples can be had for a modest amount over common dates.
Itemizing My Half Dollar Roll Finds
So, what exactly did those 100 rolls of half dollars I searched through yield? As youd probably expect, the majority of the half dollars were dated 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, or 1976. In fact, 64.75 percent of themor 1,295 out of 2,000were.
Heres a rundown of which years I found and how many of each:
- 1967 1
- 2010 1
- 2014 6
Clearly, my sorting table was awash with the muted glint of copper-nickel clad. But still I managed to turn my numismatic lemons into analytical lemonade.
My attention turned away from the lack of valuable material in those two boxes and swiftly centered on the neat opportunity I had before me: the chance to conduct some empirical research on the average circulation experience of the half dollars I found.
How many showed signs of wear? How many didnt? What was the lowest-grade Kennedy half dollar I found? What does this say about our nations half dollar as a circulating denomination? I knew my research wouldnt be very scientific Im looking at just 2,000 half dollars from a single bank in one city, and all the half dollars were presumably around the same time. But I thought it would still be insightful to look at these coins from that perspective anyway. Besides, it wouldnt be the first time Ive tackled the issue of the half dollar coin and its negligible place in daily commerce.
You Have $28 And You Want To Get Half
You only have 28 dollars you cannot go over the amount of money that you have.
Answer: Your answer is 56.
28= The money you have in total
.5= How much a half dollar is worth
Now if you want to prove this,
Multiply .5 by 2 to get 1
1 x 28= 28
28/.5= 56 OR 56 x .5= 28
No matter how many weeks pass, they will never have the same amount of money. This is because their rate of change is the same. If Cami made more money per week than Maggie, then she would eventually be able to catch up and have the same amount of money as Maggie.
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Inside Rolls Of Nickels
Some of my nickel rolls from the bank have also contained a few nice finds.
It depends what youre looking for when it comes to deciding how many nice coins are in a bank roll of nickels. In my case, I tend to look for any nickels made before 1960 and foreign nickels.
One time, I found these when I bought 5 bank rolls of nickels:
- 1946 Jefferson Nickel
- 2 1959-D Jefferson Nickels
- 1993 Canadian Nickel
However, if you were searching for pre-1965 coinage, then I also found these in the same nickel rolls:
- 5 to 10 1960 to 1964 Jefferson nickels
- several Westward Journey nickels
This video shows the neat finds I made in those 5 nickel rolls:
While these nickels may not be the most valuable modern coins available, they do make terrific circulation / coin roll hunting discoveries!
Here are few other nickels you should look for in bank rolls:
- Error nickels with repunched mintmarks or doubled dies $20 to $50+
Can You Still Find Dollar Coins In Circulation
Perhaps you’re a coin collector from the days of the 1950s or 1960s, when you could still buy Morgan silver dollars and Peace silver dollars from the bank for face value. Or, maybe you recall the 1970s and early 1980s, when Eisenhower dollars and Susan B. Anthony dollars were circulating widely and could be readily obtained from banks and other places for face value. You likely even remember the early 2000s, when the Sacagawea golden dollar promised to revolutionize the way people spent dollar coins.
Sadly, circulating dollar coins seem to be a thing of the past. Today, it’s getting harder and harder to find dollar coins in circulation, and fewer banks seem to be carrying them. What’s happening? Can you still find dollar coins in pocket change?
The reason dollar coins tend not to circulate well is mainly due to the continued prevalence of one dollar face value paper currency. Dollar bills are more popular among the public than dollar coins largely because paper money weighs less, dollar for dollar, than coins do. Yet, many government studies suggest taxpayers could save hundreds of millions of dollars each decade if dollar bills are withdrawn from circulation and replaced by dollar coins.
So far, such efforts don’t seem to have worked very well. If the dollar bill were out of the way, this narrative would probably very plausibly have a different ending.
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Who Is On The 1000 Bill
Grover ClevelandThe original $1,000 bill featured Alexander Hamilton on the front. When someone presumably realized that it might be confusing to have the same former Secretary of the Treasury on multiple denominations, Hamilton was replaced with that of another presidentthe 22nd and the 24th, Grover Cleveland.
Dealing With Difficult Bank Tellers
Regardless of the type of bank you go to, you may encounter tellers that are difficult, stubborn, or obtuse. Some of them merely need some genuine hand-holding, but others seem to be contrary just because they can. When you encounter difficult tellers, take a moment to explain things. Be empathetic to their current situation. You don’t know what type of day they are having. Tell them that they can order the coins directly from the Fed on your behalf. If they claim they can’t do that, then asked to get the head teller or supervisor.
Always be courteous but firm. If banks claim they “don’t carry” the Presidential Dollars, for example, let them know that all they need to do is order them. Go up the management chain if you have to. If they keep insisting they won’t order them, ask if there’s another branch of the bank that will. Get them to call around for you to find what you need. After all, you’re the customer!
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Where To Get Dollar Coins
Disclosure: FQF is reader-supported. When you buy/reserve/sign up through a link, we may earn a commission.
Youll often have to go out of your way to get dollar coins, turning to auctions, estate sales, banks, and even the U.S. Mint to find them. Coins in circulation that is, coins that you use to purchase things generally just dont include dollar coins. In fact, more than half of all dollar coins ever minted are currently in government vaults. That said, dollar coins, especially those that are no longer accepted as payment, are coveted by collectors. See below for more details about the different dollar coins that have been minted and the best places to find dollar coins of all sorts for sale.
Estate And Garage Sales
A quick look at your local newspaper or a Google search will lead you to estate and garage sales near you. You can also try estatesales.net to search for online listings of nearby estate sales. Local estate sales like this will likely offer smaller selections of coins, so theyre best if youre just beginning your coin collection or looking to acquire some new, non-specific coins.
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The $1000 Kennedy Half Dollar Roll Search
By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for CoinWeek.com
For the past seven years, I had longed for the opportunity to pore through a bank box of half dollars to look for old and valuable coins. Ive heard and read the stories for years about fellow collectors who had found silver half dollars, Franklin and Walking Liberty halves, proofs, varieties, errors, and more among rolls of half dollars. Until recently, I never had a spare $500 to buy a box of 50 half dollar rolls, each containing 20 half dollars .
The first half dollar roll I ever looked through as a coin collector came in 1993, when I was 12 years old. I had only recently read about fellow collectors finding old silver half dollars among rolls. I found a bunch of high-mintage 1971, 72, 74, and 1776-1976 Bicentennial half dollars in that first roll and a couple of pieces from the 1980s but no silver.
My fortunes changed for the better in 2009 upon my second half dollar roll hunt. Thats when I found three 1964 Kennedy half dollars and seven 40 percent silver halves among five standalone rolls I searched from random banks. Had I more money, I wouldve bought more rolls then, but at that point I was trying to wrap up my bachelors degree and was too strapped for cash to keep temporarily pulling money from my checking or then-meager savings to gamble on looking for silver half dollars.
And thats exactly what happened.
Let the fun begin
Whats The Weight Of A 40 Dollar Coin
The collector-grade coins were minted with 40% silver and 60% copper, owing to its low silver weight of 0.3162 troy ounces. The coin was never particularly popular with the public and mostly circulated in and around the casinos of Las Vegas. The silver-clad pieces, however, are and continue to be popular with bullion enthusiasts.
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The Bottom Line: Unsearched Coin Bags
Unopened coin bags and rolls of coins are a fantastic and fun way for investors to potentially expand their collection. Some fans of bullion are cautious of the claim that any bag of coins is truly unsearched. There is some truth to this fear. Many bullion sales people probably open up their bags of coins from banks and extract the key dates and valuable coins before passing them onto their customers.
Still, there are several ways to make the most of what unopened penny rolls and other unsearched coin lots have to offer. Our advice? Either work with banks or with extremely trustworthy dealers. Doing so helps to sure-up the odds that those lots have truly never been searched.
One of the biggest obstacles for new collectors is figuring out what to keep, and what to throw away. Getting around this barrier takes a lot of research and some hands-on work. Using tips like holding coins in roll form to identify which are made from unique precious metals are helpful. But at some point, collectors need to be able to spread the coins out and start to identify the rarer dates and mint symbols on the faces of their pieces.
With such a wide variety of valuable coins sold in bags from so many different retailers, it is important for collectors to take the time to orient themselves to the value indicators used for United States coins.
After you find the right kind of coin and the perfect distributor, its time to get searching!
How To Buy Coin Rolls From The Bank
Like weve already explained, buying coin rolls from the bank virtually guarantees that they will not be searched. But prying these coin rolls from the clutches of the United States banking system is often harder than it looks! The easiest way to get sealed coin rolls from the bank is to simply ask. Some bank tellers might not know exactly what customers mean when they say they want to buy rolls of circulated coins. This is okay collectors just need to be firm and informed about what they need from the bank.
Bigger banks are almost always going to be better for this purpose. Smaller banks might be able to get the job done. But collectors looking for unique or rarer varieties of coins might have trouble finding what they need from local banks. Some of the largest banks in America are in direct contact with the Federal Reserve, which makes it easier for them to special-order rolls of coins for repeat coin-collecting customers.
A lot of people dont even know that this is an option. But the truth is that almost all banks are capable of selling rolls of coins. There is an additional big advantage to this strategy: the coins just cost face-value. Buying these same untouched rolls of circulated coins from coin dealers often means paying an extra premium on top of the base value of the coins. But when collectors buy directly from the banking system, the cost is just the total face-value price of the coins in the roll.
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Inside Rolls Of Half Dollars
I remember one of the first times I ever began looking for silver half dollars while coin roll hunting.
I bought a single roll of half-dollars from my local bank and dashed home. When I got home, I opened up my rolls of coins to see what I had obtained.
Heres what I found in that one half-dollar roll:
- 1 1964 90% silver Kennedy half-dollar, About Uncirculated $5 to $7
- 1 1967 40% silver Kennedy half-dollar, Extremely Fine $2.50
- 6 1776-1976 Bicentennial half-dollars, Extremely Fine-About Uncirculated $3 in total, or face value
Not bad for a $10 roll of half-dollars from the bank, huh?
Two of the half-dollars alone are worth about as much as the face value of the entire roll thanks to the bullion value of the silver those 2 half dollar coins contain!
Heres a video I made showing the notable half-dollars that I found in that bank roll:
In addition to silver Kennedy half dollars, you should also be looking for these half dollars in rolls:
- Walking Liberty and Franklin half dollars $6 to $8+
- 1974 doubled die obverse Kennedy half dollars $20+
- 1982 no-FG Kennedy half dollars $25+
Government Reports & Resources
Jack Weatherford, an anthropologist who wrote the 1998 book The History of Money, says he loves coins, but he doesn’t love the billion dollar coins piled up in the nation’s coin vaults.
“Destroy them,” he said. “People will not accept these coins. Nobody in America wants to use them. As long as they have a paper currency, they will use that.”
Of using coins to save money, Weatherford says that in an era of electronic financial transactions, “the argument is about 50 years too late. Coins have rapidly become less and less important in our society â like paper money itself is becoming less and less important.”
Buyer‘s Remorse For Bill‘s Proponents
Delaware’s Castle, who left Congress after a primary loss and now practices law, acknowledges that the demand for golden dollars didn’t materialize as he had hoped.
Castle says he and others knew when they were passing the bill that widespread adoption of dollar coins would be hindered by the continuing production of dollar bills. But he says that mandating a wholesale switch from bills to coins was politically untenable then, as it is now.
“It’s not quite like cutting somebody’s Social Security,” Castle says, “but politically it’s not something the members want to deal with, so it’s just very hard to get something like that done.”
Castle says the coins should continue to be produced, but in smaller numbers.
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Buying Unsearched Coins Online
Companies online often offer coin rolls or bags that havent been searched or opened. These are almost always big sellers. But there are different types of online sellers. Bigger bullion distributors are one thing, but smaller coin sellers sometimes operate on platforms like eBay and Amazon, as well as Craigslist.
It helps for collectors to first figure out which types of coins interest them. Wheat pennies are some of the most popular coins to be bought and sold in the form of unopened rolls. Wheat pennies are generally not worth very much money their copper content certainly isnt worth anything significant. But some key dates are considered exceptionally rare. A few wheat penny editions can carry massive price tags with them. Well address some of these dates to look out for later in this guide.
Silver dollars are rarely found in rolls, where as , buffalo nickels, 90% silver dimes, and are some other major coin models sold in this way. Most Eisenhower silver dollars are clad copper nickel, and have no precious metal value, but there is a 40% silver Ike silver dollar so be sure to look at the edge of the coin to see if it is two toned. As a general rule, nearly any kind of coin can be valuable. American quarters are frequently sold in unopened bags, rolls, and boxes.
We recommend that consumers try to find a seller with an exceptionally strong reputation for honesty and consistency before choosing to buy this type of coin package.