US Coins

Pleasant discoveries

While I always enjoy searching through machine-wrapped rolls of coins, nothing is quite as thrilling as looking through rolls of coins that were carefully counted and wrapped by hand.

During the past few weeks I had the opportunity to examine $200 worth of cent rolls, and I had a great time finding coins of all kinds hidden within the older style paper wrappers.

I could immediately recognize, as I began my searching, that these coins had been sitting around for quite some time before they were wrapped and ultimately deposited at my local bank. My first clue came as I found several older cents that were beautifully preserved.

I discovered more than 200 Lincoln, Wheat cents, with the oldest one being dated 1918-S and the latest piece dated 1957. I found it strange to find not a single 1958 Lincoln cent, the last year of the Wheat reverse design, but as unusual as that was, that’s how the mixture of dates in the rolls turned out.

The nicest coin in the batch of Wheat issues was a 1948-D Lincoln cent that I graded as About Uncirculated 58. Since it still has traces of luster on both the obverse and reverse, I was happy to add this coin to my Found In Rolls collection along with all the others!

Also found were many Lincoln, Memorial cents that were in a remarkable state of preservation. Especially plentiful were cents dated from 1968 through 1981 that I would grade as Mint State 60 and higher. Some of the nicest coins found were from the 1960s, with a beautiful 1960-D Lincoln, Small Date cent and several gorgeous 1968-S Lincoln cents emerging from the rolls.

Also emerging from within the rolls were many cents of Canada. I found 87 coins, the oldest one dated 1949 and bearing a portrait of King George VI. The most recent piece was dated 2004 and a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II is seen on its obverse.

While most of the Canadian coinage found was common and dated in the 1960s and 1970s, I decided to keep them for my collection rather than return them to the rolls. Here in the Pacific Northwest, cents of Canada actually circulate to some degree so I could have easily placed them back in circulation, but I like to save them.

Finally, the oddest and best finds were three 90 percent silver composition dimes! Imagine my surprise when one roll of cents contained two Winged Liberty Head dimes, dated 1942 and 1944-S, and one 1957 Roosevelt dime.

Please share your finds with me. Go to and Use the Submit Question button to send me an email.

Bill O’Rourke is a collector who has spent the past several years searching coin rolls in pursuit of his hobby.

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