Sunday, January 5, 2014

Coin Roll Hunting Goals For 2014 - Journey to 100 Pounds of Nickel Bullion

Now that we have started the new year, we have decided to lay out our coin roll hunting goals for 2014. If you are new to the blog, we have been coin roll hunting through boxes of pennies, nickels and dimes in order to try to find older coins that are worth more for their metal value in relation to their face value. It is an extremely enjoyable hobby and we are hoping that it helps to ensure that we protect ourselves during the current inflationary monetary and fiscal environment that we are currently living in. Far from a get rich scheme, we hope that the little effort we put into the hobby today will yield some reward in the future.

However, with the termination of the Canadian penny in 2013, it does not leave us with many options in regards to what we can search through these days. For this reason, we are focusing our goal on nickels and searching for 99.9% nickel nickels. Therefore, in 2014, our goal is to try to collect 100 pounds of nickel bullion during the year. We will be looking for nickels minted before 1982, since the nickels during these years were made purely from nickel. Even with the price of nickel being low these days, the 99.9% nickel nickels are still worth more than their 5 cent face value, and made sense for us to try to collect.

This is a reasonable goal for us and is a realistic target to aim for. We were not entirely happy with our coin roll hunting results in 2013, as it was probably our worst year since we began in 2010. This was mainly due to the sporadic nature that we were coin roll hunting through boxes of coins. In order to remedy this, we have placed a standing order with the bank in order to receive boxes of nickels week-to-week. This makes coin roll hunting infinitely easier as we have to go to the bank and pick up the box, rather than go through the entire process when we are available to coin roll hunt. Although no specific element of coin roll hunting is particular onerous or difficult, having a weekly order has made coin roll hunting much easier in the past and should assist us greatly in our 2014 goal.

We are also going to try to go through boxes of dimes throughout 2014, but due to the lack of success in the past, we are setting a goal of trying to go through one box of dimes a month, for a total of twelve during the year. If we are experiencing better results, or are finding that we can put a little more time into dimes, then we might reconsider increasing this as 2014 progresses.

I believe that my brother and I have set some realistic coin roll hunting goals for 2014. It is important to note that coin roll hunting is a hobby that we both immensely enjoy. We don't see it as a way to get rich. Getting to spend some time together, discussing economics or other interesting topics, is reward enough. Also, we have been amazed at how welcoming and great the coin roll hunting community is on YouTube, and it offers us a chance to interact with those who also find coin roll hunting to be a great hobby.

I look forward to a fun and exciting 2014, and tracking our progress on this blog to let you all know our results and how the goals are going. We would be interested to hear what your goals are if you have made them for 2014. I wish you all a wonderful 2014!


  1. Coin rolling for nickel is the only way to get nickel for cheap. If you were to get quotes for pure nickel from a metals wholesaler, you're looking at huge markups. Trying to get bullion in small quantities from dealers is also expensive. Luckily, in Canada, we were able to get our nickels made from pure nickel. Don't quote me on it but I believe that is quite rare for a coin.

    I've been coin roll hunting for a bit less than a year and so far I've got about 130 lbs of it. The best banks to deal with in Canada are CIBC and RBC. TD is good for the coin counter machines they have in some branches. It saves time.

    I've noticed that if I go into a bank and ask for a bundle of nickels (10 rolls), I get more of the hand rolled rolls. If I order a box, my chances of getting machine rolled boxes are higher. Occasionally, I'll get the hand rolled boxes but they're not easy to come by. The disadvantage of getting smaller amounts of hand rolled is that you spend more on gas going from place to place. That cuts into expenses for this hobby. That's one thing that should be considered is time and extra expenses.

    The types of boxes I get are either the machine rolled ones or hand rolled ones. The hand rolled ones usually yield about 7.5% to 12% pure nickel nickels. The machine rolled ones are either duds (no pure nickel or cupronickel coins) with nothing before 2000 or they'll have a smaller amount of pure and cupronickel coins. Usually, those boxes get a yield of about 5%.

    It seems like there are multiple companies that are processing coins for banks. There are those that are taking out anything prior to 2000 and shipping them off to probably be melted and sold and then there are those that just collect vast amounts of coin and simply repackage them for recirculation (5%). This tells me that of all the nickel out there that the 5%'s are closer to the real amount of pure nickel nickels in circulation. The hand rolled coins are usually from people who've saved up a large stack of coins of the years and just exchange that for paper money.

    Occasionally, I'll get a roll of coin that is mostly pure nickel and cuperonickel. They're rare but I've come across rolls with 10-20 pure nickel coins and the rest are cuperonickel.

    Keep the cuperonickels as well, one day they'll be worth it. I believe once the American mint changes over to zinc nickels, people will be stacking those as well a la Kyle Bass.

    1. Hi Koba, thank you very much for such a detailed comment! I certainly agree that coin roll hunting for pre-1982 Canadian nickels is a really effective way to get nickel bullion without the large mark ups as you say. It is amazing that you have gotten so much nickel bullion in the amount of time that you have been coin roll hunting. That is more than me and is a wonderful result for your efforts.

      And I also agree with you about there being multiple companies that are processing the coins for banks. Like you, I have received rolls that were purely nickels from after 1999 (i.e. steel nickels). I think you hit the nail on the head with the 5% number too. When we started, it was typical to get around 10% in a given box. However, today, we are typically hovering around 5%.

      Once again, thank you for your detailed comment and all the best with your future searches and coin roll hunting goals!