Adventures in Coin Roll Hunting

I’ve been on and off collecting coins since I was 10 years old. Although not a formal collector, my grandfather got me into the hobby by showing me the coins he had amassed doing renovations on older buildings. Generally speaking that is where my love for history originated, but there was something about coins in particular that really spoke to me. I can’t help but look at them and wonder the hands they exchanged and the stories they could tell. It’s like a perfect mix of history, art, and wealth accumulation. Pictured below are a couple of my personal favorites from my collection.

An 1865 3 cent coin, I enjoy picking up odd denominations because people never believe me when I say these were once in circulation

Another strange denomination, half cents were minted from 1793 to 1857

The detail on this 1883 Liberty Head nickel is great. This "no cents" variety used to be gold plated by people back in the day and passed off as a $5 coin.

Despite the hole, this is one of my favorite coins in my collection. I've considered turning it into a necklace

This 1817 Bust half dollar is the oldest US silver coin in my collection

1880-O Morgan dollar, common date Morgan/Peace dollars are a good way to stockpile silver

Cynically speaking, the current state of circulating coinage shows what a piss poor state of affairs the American empire is in. For those that are unfamiliar, all dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollar coins minted pre-1965 were made of silver. That’s right, the coins themselves carried with it an intrinsic value rather than the representation of value. Pennies, on the other hand, transitioned over from a copper base to a zinc base in 1982. The reason for this is that the copper used in a penny eclipsed the value of a cent, to the point where a copper penny has a precious metal value of 2.5 cents. At the risk of sounding like a coin elitist (if there is such a thing) zinc pennies fucking suck. I couldn’t begin to tell you the amount of heavily corroded, nearly falling apart ones I’ve got back as change.

My ever growing "treasure chest" of silver coinage

A few general tips for aspiring collectors


2. While damaged coins (holed/cleaned/etc) are not always desirable to other collectors, I have found it is a great way to get some neat stuff on a budget.

3. Keep a magnifying glass handy so you can check for error coins.

4. Hold coins by the ridges to avoid wearing down the surface.