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Coinage, how to handle loose change

March 13, 2018

Coinage, how to handle loose change


You've slimmed down your everyday carry with The Ridge wallet and phone case, but those chunks of change jingling-jangling in your pockets are going to waste. In the world of Apple pay, Venmo and credit cards where do these seemingly useless, bane of space fit in? There are a number of options, ranging from utterly unreasonable to the rational, and we break them down below. 

Naturally, the further you’re willing to go, the slightly higher the rewards. The internet is littered with stories of coin counters saving their change for vacations or car payments, but is that actually realistic? The answer is kind of. Here are the most reasonable courses of action for your coinage.

Bank Them:

A trip to your local bank loaded with enough coins to make it a workout, should be a quick transaction. You arrive and boom, you walk out with feather-light greenbacks, simple right? Not so fast. The days of dropping 30 pounds worth of pennies and letting the banks sort you out are coming to an end. Most banks require you to roll them yourself before bringing them in for cash. Some don’t accept them at all.

To figure out which banks do, those links are helpful. But to be absolutely sure you have to call your local bank and ask what their change policy is. In all likelihood, they will require rolls of coins for cash, not a milk gallon full of them. Then the question is, do you want to separate and roll all your pocket change? At home coin counters range anywhere from $20 to $200 and streamline the process. If you have kids, you could always put them to work and give ‘em half as an allowance or just keep it and call it their rent money. Isn’t that why we have kids anyway?

Be A Coinstar:

Most would write that off as the cost of doing business but for others, that may a bridge too far. One alternative is getting gift cards back as opposed to cash. If you take that route, there is no 10% fee. Since you can buy anything from toilet paper to tires on Amazon, that may be the best way to get the bang for your buck.The commercials for these may have gone the way of the dinosaurs but many machines still exist in grocery stores across the country. Take as many shoeboxes worth of coins as you like, while enduring the awkward stares deserved for hoarders and walk away with cash. It is the perfect alternative to spending hours sorting and rolling your coins. The only catch: if cash is what you’re after, these greedy machines take a 10% percent cut of your loot.

Go Full Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind”

This route may not be for everyone. In fact, it’s amazing people actually do this but, trust us, they do. Everyone knows that very old coins are valuable. People collect them like stamps and they can be worth a lot. That’s no big deal, but did you know that coins of a certain age, can be worth slightly more than their face value?

For instance, in 1970,the government replaced silver with a cheaper metal. Therefore, you could sort all your coins, find silver coins minted before 1970, take them to a smelter that takes “junk silver” and exchange them for more money than their face value.The same is true for pennies and copper, dated before 1982 are actually worth more than the one cent you could spend at a store. To do this requires a very, very special kind of mind but hey, if you got the time, go nuts.

The beauty of being able to carry less, whether that be with a slim wallet, or a couple strategically chosen credit cards, is that you don't have to worry about being bogged down by the everyday clutter. Loose coins can easily become just that—clutter. So take a step back and re-evaluate your everyday carry. Best of luck!