US Coins

Rolls of coins yield many great finds like a Morgan silver dollar

While he expected to find only Eisenhower dollars in a roll of 20 dollar coins, the author discovered this 1921 Morgan silver dollar.

Images courtesy of Bill O'Rourke.

For some, roll searching can be a frustrating endeavor and I occasionally hear from fellow coin roll hunters who ask why they can’t find as many neat coins as I do when they look through rolls of coins.

While I readily admit that it can sometimes be tough to find worthwhile coins in rolls, I want to assure you that it is very possible.

Whenever I am asked about the frequency with which I find truly collectible coins in rolls, I always try to answer any questions by placing the pursuit of my hobby in its proper perspective.

First, it is important to realize that I’ve searched through coins counting in the millions.

Then equally noteworthy is the fact that in the space of a year, with a frequency of one column per month, I can report on the discoveries of as few as 12 fun finds even though I usually try to feature the best of several neat discoveries in each column.

The fact is however, that in the overall scheme of things, I have found collectible coins numbering in the tens of thousands, and you can too!

The primary key to my success is that I look for a wide range of collectibles as I open each roll of coins.

Besides looking for coins struck in silver alloys or other obsolete coinage like Indian Head or Wheat Ear type cents, I examine each coin carefully to find major errors and die varieties.

You might be surprised to learn that, although scarce, many coins struck by doubled dies or dies with repunched Mint marks are still circulating and with enough searching, you can find them too!

Books like The Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties by Bill Fivaz and J.T. Stanton, and Strike It Rich With Pocket Change by Ken Potter and Brian Allen, can help you identify some of the fantastic coins that can be found in rolls.

I also make it a point to ask my favorite bank tellers for the “weird” stuff that may have been turned in by any customers, and this month’s finds were the result of my query!

I often say that you should ask your favorite bank teller if they happen to have any large-size dollars available.

Usually the answer is no, but this time, when I asked, the result was that I received one roll of 20 coins.

I discovered a 1921 Morgan silver dollar in the roll of what I expected to be all copper-nickel clad Eisenhower dollars.

Wow! It has been a long time since I’ve found an older silver dollar in a roll, but there you go!

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