On a lighter note, after saving pocket change for nearly two years, I was able to fill a one galling container and an old beer pitcher. Using all the strength left in my aging arms, I carried the container and pitcher to the local bank that offers free coin counting for customers. Even though I am not a customer, my wife is and I deposited the results into her account to save money on the fees.

During the counting process, two of the bags in the machine filled and the teller had to replace them. But after a little more than a half-hour of feeding coins into the machine and checking the rejection bin, all the coins that were countable were counted and I came up with the following totals:

Coin Type Quantity Value
Dollar coins 18 $18.00
Quarters 1405 $351.25
Dimes 1247 $124.70
Nickels 793 $36.95
Cents 2108 $21.08
Total  $551.98

While I am not surprised that there were more cents than any other coins, I was a bit surprised as there were less than one thousand nickels. Over the next few days I carefully looked at the amount of change and figured out that most of the time, I am receiving quarters and dimes for most transactions ending with a 5. Change of 25, 35, and 45 cents does not require a nickel to be used while change of 55-cents adds a nickel to two quarter—of course I could have received 3 dimes and a quarter, but that was not the case while I was watching carefully.

Of 5,571 coins counted, 38-percent were the lowly Lincoln Cent that represented 3.8-percent of the total value. Although I still maintain that the United State should not end the coin’s production, seeing these results can lead to an interesting discussion. And before you do respond, an informal conversation at the Royal Canadian Mint during the World’s Fair of Money that they are delaying the buy back of their one-cent coins because of social issues brought up by merchants and many citizens. It appears that while many say they were for the elimination of the one-cent coin, when it really happened there are some significant objections being heard. We can discuss this further in the spring after the RCM begins their buy-back program.

There were several rejected coins including six wheat-back Lincoln cents from the 1950s. Somehow a steel cent ended up in the pile—but that may have happened when my cleaning people picked up a stray coin I may have dropped and added it to my pitcher. I also found several foreign coins including Canadian Cents (sorry, I am keeping those), two one-cent coins from Jamaica, a penny from the United Kingdom, a Canadian 5-cent coin, a 5 Eurocent coin with a French reverse, and two 1976 Bicentennial Quarters. There were also three buttons and a $1 note buried in the pitcher.

Proceeds are being donated to three different charities as well as being used for a nice dinner out with my wife. A special donation (on top of divided donation) of the $21.08 from the proceeds of the cents will be donated to Common Cents, creators of the Penny Harvest and the “Official Charity” of the Coin Collectors Blog.

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