What Coins Can/Should I Sort In Canada?

Canadian dimes and quarters offer a small chance for silver
A question that we have been getting quite a bit as coin roll hunters in Canada is what denominations of coins can you order (in boxes or loosely) in Canada. Another, perhaps an even more important question than the previous one, is which denominations of coins should I coin roll hunt? As coin roll hunters, it is important that we know the answer to both of these questions before we begin our searches. So in Canada, which denominations can we order so we can sort through them?

Most Canadian banks allow for coin orders to include Canadian pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies ($1), and toonies ($2). That means that all denominations of Canadian coins are possible to order and coin roll hunt. Unfortunately, unlike our American friends across the boarder, in Canada we are not able to order half dollars from the banks to coin roll hunt. This is unfortunate because many Americans are having good success finding silver half dollars in the boxes and rolls they order from their banks. There is a misconception that in Canada we can do the same thing. This is not true. If it were, you would surely see a half dollar results page on this site, as well as half dollar search/result videos on our YouTube Channel. So now that we know that you can order these coins from your bank, which denominations of coins should we sort through if we are going to coin roll hunt?

The answer to this question largely depends on your coin roll hunting goals. Are you looking to acquire coins for their copper content? Nickel content? Maybe you are interested in finding coins that have a composition that includes silver? Whatever metal it is you desire to begin hoarding, this will determine the coins you order to coin roll hunt. Also consider the percentage each denomination yield when you hunt. Penny boxes tend to contain, on average, 40% copper pennies. Nickel boxes average around 10%. Dimes and quarters yield extremely small percentages, probably around 0.1% silver coins, maybe even less. This means if you want to begin coin roll hunting to hedge against inflation, dimes and quarters may not be the best way to start since finding these coins are quite rare. Consider your goals, but also consider how likely it is that you will meet these goals based on the chances of finding the coins you want. This is why we like to start with penny and nickel boxes since these boxes will certainly yield some results for you.

Canadian hunters will find copper pennies 40% of the time
What about loonies and toonies? In our opinion, loonies and toonies offer no incentive to coin roll hunt, unless you are looking for a certain year or for error coins. Finding these types of coins is obviously quite uncommon. You never really know when you will find something of value, so often you will be wasting a lot of time hand sorting these coins with very little gain. This is why we believe pennies, nickels, and even dimes and quarters are much better denominations to start coin roll hunting when it comes to Canadian coins. Loonies and toonies lag far behind these other coins since their face value is worth more than their metal content.

Think about what metals and composition of coins you wish to acquire and also consider how likely it is you will find the coins you want. Be sure to start with pennies and nickels since these denominations will yield strong results (as well, pretty soon we will not be able to order pennies anymore, so get them while you can!). Dimes and quarters can also be a place to start, just be aware that the chances of finding them are very low. Lastly, try not to waste too much time with loonies and toonies when coin roll hunting. These coins offer little beyond their face value.


  1. why are you not focusing your attention on dimes and quarters dating before 1967???

    They contain 80% silver & 20% copper, much more valuable than copper pennies or nickel...

    1. We have gone through quite a few dimes in the past but just have not had the results that we looking for. However, we hope to do dimes more frequently one day. Not only that but because the penny was being terminated in Canada, we decided to put our focus there and try to coin roll hunt pennies as much as we could.

      But you are definitely right that trying to grab pre-1968 Canadian dimes and quarters makes a lot of sense. Thank you very much for taking the time to leave your question and all the best!

    2. True that they are more valuable per coin but the amount that's out there in circulation is minuscule. If I can walk away with 100-200 nickels it's better the relatively few if any per box of silver dimes/quarters. The melt value as of today for 1 nickel is about 6.6 cents. The value of nickel as a commodity will be going up because of a few variables. The value of nickel as a numismatic asset will also increase over time. I also believe there to be other influences that'll push up the value of nickel in the future.

  2. Don't forget that you can also simply order some unique Canadian coins at Royal Canadian Mint online. I used a discount through flipit once! Here there are some:

  3. Hello:

    As much as I love this hobby, I don't think it's possible to do it anymore. I recently started up the hobby again and I think it's dead. Correct me if I'm wrong.
    1. Pennies are gone
    2. Coinstar has a monopoly in collecting all coins, filtering pre-2000 coins and re-rolling and distributing back into circulation all coins 2000 and newer.
    3. It's impossible to obtain non-machine rolled coins.

    If you have any ideas how to obtain non filtered coins I'd love to know.

    1. Hi Nick, thank you for the comment. I agree with you in some respects, but I think there is still a good opportunity with nickels here in Canada. I definitely agree that it isn't as good as it once was, but I believe that it is still possible to get customer wrapper rolls from the bank. Thank you again for taking the time to comment and all the best with your searches as you jump back into coin roll hunting! :)

    2. Hello, I am from Vancouver, British Columbia, and recently I was very lucky enough to find a bank teller who gave me $25 in pennies. Obviously he did not know that he wasn't supposed to give out pennies. In it there were 5 King George VI pennies from 1940-1945 and one 1935 King George V penny.

    3. I buy 1942 to 1945 U.S. war nickels in Canada they are 35% silver I have hundreds of them.

  4. Do you coin roll hunt half dollars ? ? ?

  5. This is such an amazing site! I really enjoyed reading the content. Thanks!

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