How to: Tips and Advice

Coin Roll Hunting | Learn the Best Tips and Strategies

coin roll hunting tips

Coin roll hunting is one of the fastest growing activities that are embarked on by avid metal detecting hobbyists. While it is often confused with metal detecting, it is a completely different activity. Both are based on the idea of discovering potentially valuable items or objects such as coins and so is the value of your find.

What is Coin Roll Hunting?

Coin roll hunting is the process of searching for a roll of coins in order to find potentially valuable items. Not all coins are valued the same. Some have no value while others are extremely valuable. This is part of the excitement that comes with this activity because there is a real potential to make money.

It is no wonder why coin roll hunting is the preferred way to go treasure hunting for hobbyists, new or experienced. It is a great way to find collectible coins, especially among those still in circulation. 

strategies for coin roll hunting

Tips & Strategies for Coin Roll Hunting

Searching through rolls of coins can be a fun and easy way to discover collectible coins. The great thing about this activity is that you will only have to pay for the face value amount of the coins since they are still in circulation. But once they become collectible items, their value can go up and they can be good to have in your portfolio.

Among the most coveted collectible coins are error coins, half dollars, silver quarters, and wheat pennies, to name a few.

Below are some tips that you can use when searching through rolls of coins to potentially find collectible items.

1. Know what marks to look for.

The challenge with coin roll hunting is to identify the valuable coins (from those that are not). You need to look for coins that have marks on them. These marks distinguish them from other regular coins that are in circulation and this is also what makes them coveted. 

In particular, you want to look for the “S” mintmark. Meanwhile, coins that were minted before 1965 are hard to find, which makes them more revered in the coin hunting community. Stamping is not illegal in the US but make sure to check within your location if this is allowed. Otherwise, any illegal markings can cause the value of your coins to decrease.

2. Be on the lookout for dirty silver rims.

The presence of silver rims (especially ones that are dirty) is a good indicator that a particular coin is old. Aside from the dirty rims, make sure to check the date and for any signs of error. This is not always easy to find so you need to keep your eyes sharp for these minor details.

3. Check for die errors.

Coins with die errors are considered valuable in the coin hunting community. Therefore, you would want to get your hands on them when hunting rolls of coins. 

Die errors are categorized as something that looks different from the original die settings that the coin makers intended for it to be. In some cases, they are able to produce multiple copies of the coin before they notice the error. 

A good example of die errors in coins is the 1955 double die obverse penny. This is one of the best examples of double dyeing known in history. This particular error is highly sought after by coin collectors, though. The cost of each coin can range from $750 to as much as $16,000 per coin (it varies based on the condition of the coin). 

4. Look for other signs of coin errors.

Aside from the double die error, there are many other coin errors to look out for when coin roll hunting. Again, collectors love to get their hands on unique items so they put a huge price on coins with the following errors.

  • Missing design elements
  • Die clash
  • Punching errors
  • Overdates
  • Die cracks or chips
  • Strikethroughs
  • Mule
  • Misalignment 
  • Trails

5. Invest in coin hunting tools.

There are several tools you can invest in if you want to make your search among rolls of coins a lot easier. One of them is a digital microscope. This tool will help you closely examine your coins and spot markers with ease and accuracy. By employing these tools, you won’t miss any important detail that you would have otherwise missed. 

Which Coins to Look For?

When looking through rolls of coins, it can be overwhelming. However, you need to know how to identify popular coins or ones that are collectible items. You could be staring at a precious piece of coin and not know it!

Therefore, it is important to know what to look for so you can make the most of your coin roll hunting. The easiest coins to find and also among those highly coveted are the junk silver coins. Coins from the US are made with a significant amount of silver, such as dimes, quarters, and half-dollars. These coins minted before 1965 are made up of 90% silver and 40% silver for those minted up to 1970. 

Aside from silver coins, pennies are also some of the most coveted coins for roll hunting. Two of the most sought-after coins are the wheat cent and Indian head cent. These coins were made with copper. 

In addition to the coins mentioned above, error coins are also highly popular. These coins can be worth thousands of dollars so they are coveted. If you cannot get your hands on error coins, commemorative coins are also worth finding. There are plenty of collectors who want to have these types of coins so they are willing to pay a great deal of money for it. 

coin roll hunting strategies

Summary

Just like metal detecting, patience is a very important trait to possess when coin roll hunting. As you will be going through multiple pieces of coins at any given time, it can be overwhelming and tiresome. It is easy for you to overlook the details when you are not paying close enough attention. If you do that, you could potentially lose out on finding valuable coins. 

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