One of the fastest – and frankly funnest – ways you can add coins to your modern coin collection is through a coin roll. Whether you buy a roll set from the United States Mint, or simply go get a roll or three from your bank, you can often find hidden gems in older rolls while finding great values in modern coins.
Indeed, it is not uncommon if you get a roll of new Cents, Nickels, Dimes, Quarters, or Dollars from your bank that they will be uncirculated rolls of the same mint mark and year. Considering that you are almost certain to have one or two of those grade high (MS-65 or higher), it can make the bang-for-the-buck ratio high on them. And that assumes you want to break up the rolls which may or may not make sense depending on the coin’s mint year and mint mark.
But how many coins come in a roll? That depends on the denomination of the coin. The good news is, whether you buy a special roll with special rolling paper from the US Mint, or buy a roll from your local bank, these coin totals per roll are the same. A roll is a roll is a roll.
Here is a breakdown of rolls per denomination here in the US. Note that I’ve also put the face value of that roll too. This is so you know how much the roll is going to cost when you go to your local bank to pick up some coin rolls.
- Lincoln Cent Rolls – 50 Cents, .50 Cent Face Value
- Jefferson Nickel Rolls – 40 Nickels, $2 Face Value
- Roosevelt Dime Rolls – 50 Dimes, $5 Face Value
- Washington Quarter Rolls – 40 Quarters, $10 Face Value
- Kennedy Half Dollar Rolls – 20 Half Dollars, $10 Face Value
- Native American Dollar – 25 Dollars, $25 Face Value
Believe it or not, back in the day, you could even get gold coins in rolls. Remember, in the early 20th century, having gold coins in your pocket was not that out of the ordinary as the country was on the Gold Standard. Unfortunately you can’t get these rolls below today, even from the US Mint directly.
- $2.50 Gold Quarter Eagle Rolls – 40 Gold Quarter Eagle, $100 Face Value
- $5 Gold Half Eagle Rolls – 40 Gold Half Eagles, $200 Face Value
- $10 Gold Eagle Rolls – 50 Gold Eagles, $500 Face Value
- $20 Gold Eagle Rolls – 25 Gold Eagles, $500 Face Value
Special Rolls Versus Bank Rolls
Depending on where you get your rolled coins from, they could be simple bank rolls or they could be special rolls. This all comes down to the paper in which the coins are wrapped. Take a look at the picture below. It is a roll of 2009 Lincoln Cents with the “Professional Life” Reverse that I pick up from the US Mint back in 2009.
Note the paper. That is a special roll that comes from the US Mint. If you were to buy any roll set from the Mint today, it is going to come in special paper. Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to open these rolls. First, you’ve paid a premium for that roll versus going to your local bank. Second, over time, rolls from the US Mint that are unopened will hold their value well. Think of it as a small investment.
Bank Rolls are just what they sound like. They are rolls that your local bank gets that are in generic, denomination rolls. Sometimes these rolls are from other bank customers who exchanged them for cash while others come from the Federal Reserve (which comes from the Treasury Department) in rolls that they have put together for banks. In customer rolls, that is your greatest opportunity to find a coin you need for your collection by opening them up. For official bank rolls, they are going to be all the same mint mark and year so they are a great way to add rolls to your collection for just the face value. Or, if you have more than one, you could break them open to pick out the prize (high grade) coins to add to your collection or even send off to a grading service.
You May Have to Order Rolls at Your Bank
Finally, if you are wanting to pick up a lot of coin roll sets or not-commonly-used denominations of rolls, you may need to order them from your bank. For account holders of that bank, there is rarely a fee associated with it and you just pay the face value for those rolls.
If you are wanting to pick up a handful of rolls of Cents, Nickels, Dimes, or Quarters, you likely can just walk in and ask for them and exchange cash with the Teller. For Dollar coins, they may not have many rolls on hand so you may have to ask them to order them. Generally they will get them over night or in two days (depending on how rural you live) and you can go pick them up. This holds true for large quantities of rolls as well as the bank will not want to give away all the rolls of Cents they have on hand.
For more Tips & Tricks on coin collecting, be sure to head over to the Tips & Tricks section here at US Coin News.