I often get emails from potentially new roll searchers telling me
that it is difficult for them to obtain rolled coins from their local banks.
Getting coins to play with should be fun and easy. The following
two questions, accompanied by my thoughts, may help you do just that.
(1) Does your bank or credit union know why you are asking them
for rolled coins?
Some of you tell me that you have never shared with the management
of your local financial institution the fact that you are a roll searcher.
Some also tell me that you have never expressed to anyone on the
bank’s staff that you would like to look through coin rolls as a way
to add, in a fun and relaxing way, collectible coins to your
I understand the reluctance to share this information with the
bank since, by nature, roll searchers can be very secretive people.
But I am here to tell you that if you let the bank’s staff know
what you are up to, they actually become more open to the idea that
they can be of service to you.
If you are not a business customer, they have already probably
guessed that you are a coin collector, so why not confess and tell
them in the first place?
Believe me, it can really make a difference.
(2) Do you bring your coins back to the same bank when you are
done looking through them?
Some banks don’t mind you returning rolled coins to them once
you’ve completed your hunt for hidden treasures.
However, other banks view the departure and subsequent return of
the same coins as a bit of a nuisance. Here is the reason why:
Banks have to order coins based on their needs and the needs of
their business customers. Maintaining a coin inventory costs the bank
money, and roll searchers who take out and then bring back coins —
sometimes large amounts of rolled coins — can foul up their systems
and increase their costs of doing business.
If you can, set up accounts at several banks so that you can pick
up coins from “Bank A” and deposit them at “Bank B.” Using this
technique, you may find that you will have an easier time obtaining
Since I moved recently, I had to open new accounts at banks in my area.
While doing so I openly shared that I am a roll searcher. I also
let the bank’s staff know that I am a nut for half dollar coins.
As I was transacting business, they asked me if I wanted a roll of
half dollars that just came in.
Of course, I said yes!
Bingo! Two Walking Liberty half dollars became mine — a 1940-S
coin and a 1942-D half dollar.
Bill O’Rourke is a collector who has spent the past several years
searching coin rolls in pursuit of his hobby.