How much is a pound of coins worth? (Take two.)
We recently hauled all of our collected loose change out to count and roll. Two years ago we did the same thing and I wanted to compare. We went ahead and sorted our coins by hand because there isn’t a bank around us with a free coin sorting machine and Coinstar takes enough of a percentage* that we consider the labor worth it (at least when it comes to nearly 20 pounds of coins). Happily our bank does give out paper coin rolls for free. So all it takes is some time in front of the television (two and a half 45-minute shows) and some beer to make it fun. Almost.
To speed things along and keep us from getting tired of counting (and, let’s face it, because I had too much time to think about this) I drew some grids on paper to be filled with coins. Rolls of quarters and nickles take 40 coins, and rolls of dimes and pennies take 50 coins. Grids in inches were great for all coin sizes. We made one
sheet with 40 squares and one sheet with 50 squares.
Last time I found some stats that say mixed coins generally work out to be worth $12.96 per pound. Two years ago I suspected we’d used a lot of the quarters for parking but our average wasn’t too far below the guideline. This time we had 19 pounds and 15.75 ounces and, thanks to Seattle’s new parking meters which take credit cards, lots of quarters. Let’s compare!
amount per pound of coins
two years ago: $11.27
this year: $13.14
two years ago: $248.02 (22 lb, 3 oz)
this year: $262.53 (19 lb, 15.75 oz)
Beyond the usual coins we had eight $1 coins, one fifty cent piece, two screws and six too-gross-to-touch pennies.
* update: I just wanted to add that I do know that Coinstar dispenses gift certificates to various retail outlets without taking a percentage off of your total. And, this is going to sound more snarky than I mean it to, I’d rather have the cash. However, if you are a regular with Amazon or Starbucks, this option would be well worth it.