Bank rolls & bank bags, and the US Mint

This is a little off topic from my list of blogs that I am working on, but it came up at work the other day and I just had to share.

So the US Mint does not sell coins or ship them individually, duh I know, but had to say it. They ship them in bags (up until the mid 2000’s except for specialty coins) and rolls in boxes to the 12 Federal reserve banks in the US. Individuals and banks then “buy” them in this format. If you go to the bank and ask for lots of change, you may even have even been given them in this format. They are the ones that cashiers “crack” to give you change. It makes them easier to ship and for everyone to know what you are getting. A box or bag comes in certain weights/sizes.

Rolls Denomination Bags
50¢ $50
$2 $200
$5 10¢ $1000
$10 25¢ $1000
$10 50¢ $1000
$20 or $25 $1 $1000

(Sometimes bags were also made in half and quarter sizes….)
It’s heavy you know!

Collectors have been buying and keeping them in these “original” formats for years. Again it preserves the integrity and lets everyone know what they have. If you are at a coin show and see a sealed bag or fed rolled coins, then there is no need to open them up. They are what they say they are.

So here is my small tidbit. If you are an appraiser, trustee, banker, inheritor, or just have been given a collection, don’t open these items. The older the bags/rolls, the more I stress do not open them. They are “preserved” in this format, they are still “untouched”. If you open them up, to count, to look at, and/or to verify the content, you will lose value on the coins. Sometimes a lot of value. An unopened bag or roll will sell very differently then a zip lock bag, or a hand rolled wrapper. Sometimes upwards of 20-30%.

Now yes, like with every rule there are exceptions. Some mint/dates are worth it to crack to find a special piece, but if you are not cracking them for that reason, then please trust me when I say don’t to it. My best suggestion is that only a person who knows what they are looking for, and knows why it may be in that roll or bag, should crack the seal.

Thank you from your Fast Talking’ Coin Girl!