How to Start Coin Roll Hunting

Do you know which coins to keep?
Coin roll hunting isn’t very complicated. It tends to look more difficult than it really is. In its basic form, all you are doing is ordering coins at your bank, sorting through these coins once you have them, and then re-rolling and returning the remaining zinc and steel coins back to your bank. However, before starting this simple (and fun!) hobby, there are a few things you will want to consider before beginning. As well, here are some helpful tips and things to remember if you are just beginning with coin roll hunting and have never gone through the process before.

Step 1: Consider how much money you want to spend coin roll hunting, as well as how often you would like to place an order for your coins to sort. These two points are interconnected. The more often that you place an order and sort, the more money you are going to spend coin roll hunting. Be sure to think about what you are comfortable spending before placing an ongoing order. As well, you do not have to have an ongoing order. You can choose to sort as little or as often as you want. Decide what will work best for you, make your plan, and than put it into action.

Step 2: Consider what types/denominations of coins you will want to sort. Will you be sorting through pennies? Nickels? Dimes and quarters? Maybe it will be a combination of some of these types of coins, or perhaps all of them. You can see what coins to look for in regards to these different types of coins here, here, and here. Also, think about if you will be sorting for rare coins that hold numismatic value. Will you want to keep Wheat pennies and King George pennies separate as well as other coins? What about foreign coins?

Step 3: Think about where you might store your coin hoard, as well as how you will store these coins. For further ideas regarding this point, please see our post on storing coins here.

Step 4: Where are you going to get your coins? This is an important question to answer. Most likely it will be the bank that you are already a member of. However, is there a closer bank near by? Maybe you will want to try this bank so it is easier for you to pick up and drop off your coins. Perhaps there is a bank that you pass most days that would be easiest. Determine which bank you might order from, and weigh your options.

Step 5: When you order from your bank, make sure you are polite and respectful. Let the bank know exactly what you want in your order. As well, you will want to inquire about an ongoing order if you will be returning. Always let them know if you want an ongoing order (for example, a weekly order that you will be picking up on Saturdays). The bank tellers/managers will actually appreciate this, and will order your coins in advance. You don’t want to blind-side them when they have a shortage of coins. NEVER pay bank fees.

Step 6: Once your coins our home, you can sort them whenever you are ready to.

Step 7: Once you are done sorting through your coins and have separated them in your desired way (date, weight, rarity, etc), you then need to re-roll your coins before bringing them back to the bank. Always re-roll your coins. Use the empty rolls that your coins came in. There is no reason to go out and buy coin rolls since you should have plenty of rolls left over. Re-rolling your coins will save you needless problems when you return your zinc and steel coins back to the bank.

Once you begin you'll be seeing a lot of these!
Step 8: Once your zinc and steel coins are re-rolled, you should bundle them with elastics in groups of ten rolls. This will also save you unwanted problems with banks accepting your coins. Bank tellers tend to be quite appreciative that you went to these lengths to make their job a little easier, and will most likely accept your coins. This will be an ongoing step, so it is best to stay on these individual’s good side.

Step 9: When you return your zinc and steel coins, make sure you have thought of a bank that is different from the one you are picking up at. Since you are coin roll hunting, why would you want to increase the chance of coming back into contact with these already searched through coin rolls? Keep them away by having a separate bank to drop them off at.

Step 10: Every few weeks analyze how successful your coin roll hunting has been going. Are you getting above the average yields per box? Are you below? This might mean you will want to increase or decrease your order. Perhaps you are happy with how you are doing and keep the order unchanged.

Step 11: If you are finding great success with coin roll hunting and want to increase your volume of coins substantially, then perhaps you should start to consider using a Ryedale machine to sort your coins. When coin roll hunting through a large volume of coins, the time it would take to hand sort these would not be very efficient and would eventually become burdensome. Consider the price of a Ryedale machine and if this investment is right for you and your coin roll hunting goals.


  1. You can make a simple device to sort pennies and even nickels using tape, rectangular piece of corrugated cardboard, and magnets.

    It's a good idea to have a fold on both sides of the cardboard, tape the magnets to the underside of it and viola you have a gravity fed coin sorter.

    I use rare earth magnets on one end of mine.

    I put a roll of nickels or pennies on the cardboard, let the magnets trap the steel coins, and tilt the cardboard so that tin or copper pennies or copper-nickel nickels fall through. You can do some additional sorting there after.

    1. Sorry, that's zinc or copper pennies...

    2. Thank you for sharing this method! I am definitely going to have to try it out for myself. Much cheaper than a Ryedale, that is for sure. :)

  2. wow this is Awesome.. Thanks for the tips.. i see lots of silver dimes. but never kept them.

  3. I am so happy that you found the tips helpful Karr. It is amazing to see what passes through our fingers sometimes. :)

  4. Which types of coins would you recommend hunting for. Nickels,quarters or dimes?

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  6. I live in the US and want to coin roll hunt Canadian coins. How do I do that? My bank won't let me exchange without taking my arms and legs.