Where to Find Collectable Coins | How to Start Coin Collecting

Where to Find Collectable Coins

You can find collectible coins in several places beyond rare coin shops and antique stores. Moreover, you may even make exceptional finds in some of the most unexpected places. Here we’ll cover some of the best ways to find collectible coins.

Explore Your Pocket Change

Collected Coins Pile

One of the most surprising and regular sources of far less common coins is in your pockets and those of your friends and family. People often carry thousands of coins in their pockets over a year. Keep an eye out for collectible coins that circulate into your possession, and ask your friends and family to do the same. It might surprise you to learn how often you or they find something interesting. Here are some of the most common collectible coins found among pocket change:

  • Jefferson nickels produced before 1960.
  • Antique wheat pennies.
  • Silver versions of common coins.
  • Canadian cents or Mexican pesos.
  • Quarters from the 50 States Program.
  • Buffalo nickels.
  • Kennedy half dollars.

Scour Internet Sales Boards

While there are many places online to find random collectible coins, prospective buyers should be cautious with these sources. You’re better off sticking with sales board sites that are broadly used and highly reputable. These include sites run by eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Facebook, Shopify, Poshmark, Squareup, and many others. It’s also best to avoid random boards that don’t have rankings for seller accounts. Seller ratings and reviews are the most reliable means of telling whether a seller is consistent and honest in their interactions with buyers.

Here are some other important tips to keep in mind when dealing with seller accounts on sales boards:

  • Sellers who provide no means of direct contact are less likely to be honest. Ensure you get a valid phone number, email address, or chat messenger or app link that allows you to speak to the seller.
  • Insisting on seeing the coins on live video ensures they have the items in question and allows closer inspection without being there in person. Sales posters can post coin images they find on the internet in an attempt to scam buyers out of their money.
  • Any explicit as-is sales with no return policy are questionable at best. These sales offers may result in the receipt of coins that are not in the condition claimed by the seller.
  • Insisting on the insured mailing of the coin or coins is a good idea. This ensures that the value spent on them isn’t lost if the mail gets lost during delivery.
  • Buyers should not accept damaged or opened packages as they may be missing some or all the collectible coins. Accepting such packages may void the related insurance coverage since the company can’t be sure that the receiver isn’t taking the items and making a false claim.

Check Spare Change Trays

Some restaurants, gas stations, and other establishments keep spare change trays on their cashier’s counters. They do this to make it easier for their customers to pay with exact change. It’s common for these trays to contain coins that aren’t considered legal tender in the United States. You may find coins from Canadian, Mexican, or Caribbean sources. Most places want collectors to leave behind coins of equal value when they take something from their trays, so be sure to bring a dollar or more’s worth of change with you when you go on this kind of coin hunt.

Sift Through Old Coin Jars

These are more common on farms, in the homes of older adults, and in antique shops. They tend to contain many coins of all shapes and sizes. It is a good idea to bring a stack of standard coin rolls with you when you ask to sift through someone’s old coin jars. This will allow you to offer something useful to the jar owner in exchange for permission to search for collectible coins. During these searches, it is common to find U.S. coins from many decades past.

As with spare change trays, it is a good idea to bring some spare change to contribute in exchange for any collectible coins you find during jar searches.

Use the Old Vending Machine Coin Swap Trick

This is one of the more labor-intensive forms of coin searching, but it can be worth a try. You’ll need to bring a stack of coins for this to work. For this trick, you’ll need to insert the coins you brought, not make a selection, and press the coin return button. The machine will spit out coins of equal value to those you initially put into the machine. These returned coins usually aren’t the same coins you insert and tend to be matching coins from the internal coin trays of the machines.

Suppose the collector wants to determine whether the released coins are the same ones they had inserted. In this case, using a non-permanent marker on the coins they bring might be a good idea. While same-coin returning is rare in modern vending machines, it’s even less common among older ones.

Hunt For Coins Using a Metal Detector

This method is best left to collectors who live near beaches or similar recreational areas with lots of foot traffic. This is because these areas are the most likely to have random coins dropped into them. Collectors using metal detectors mustn’t wander onto private property during their searches. This kind of unrestrained searching can lead to prosecution for trespassing or worse.

This is especially the case in states with “Castle” laws. Castle law often allows landowners to fire at any intruders they find threatening without risk of prosecution. Remember that the specifics of these laws vary by state.

Have you already found a stack of valued collectible coins? If so,  consider selling them  to us for a profit at the  Las Vegas Jewelry & Coin Exchange. We offer fair prices for rare coins and bills minted and printed around the world. Call us at 702-747-6535 to find out what your coins are worth.