If you're in the habit of tossing your spare change into a dish or a jar at the end of the day, you'll find that your coin stash can build up pretty quickly. The best way to put that money to use is by depositing it in a checking or savings account, but first, you'll need to put the money into coin rolls. Although banks once accepted uncounted coins for deposits, many now require you to count your change and place it in a paper coin holder before bringing it in for deposit.
Types of Coin Holders
A coin wrapper, also known as a coin roll or coin holder, is a paper or plastic holder that contains a fixed number of coins of the same denomination. The color of each wrapper indicates the denomination:
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- Red: pennies, 50 per roll ($0.50)
- Blue: nickels, 40 per roll ($2)
- Green: dimes, 50 per roll ($5)
- Orange: quarters, 40 per roll ($10)
The most basic wrappers are distributed flat. You hold this type of wrapper open while you fill it. When the correct number of coins are in the wrapper, you must fold each end closed.
There are also coin wrappers that have been pre-formed into a rigid tube. Each end has a crimped edge that will hold the coins in place when full, so a crimping tool is needed to close a filled tube. This type of coin wrapper is also referred to as a cartridge coin wrapper.
Where to Get Coin Wrappers
If you only need a few coin wrappers, you may be able to get them free of charge from your bank or credit union. You can buy wrappers in larger quantities from dollar stores, office supply stores and on Amazon. Both flat and cartridge wrappers are available in retail stores, while banks typically give out only the flat type.
How to Fill Coin Wrappers
The old fashioned way to fill flat coin wrappers is to count out the coins and then manually fill the wrappers. To fill a roll of quarters, for example, you might first create four stacks with 10 quarters each, then you would fold one end of the wrapper, insert a stack of quarters at a time and then fold the other end closed. Counting out the coins first eliminates the need to start over if you lose count while filling the roll.
Coin Wrapping Tools and Machines
Rolling coins can be tedious, but there are a few tools available to speed up the process. The most simple are plastic sorter tubes that hold the exact number of coins for a roll. Each tube is typically color-coded to indicate which coin wrapper to use. A wrapper is placed in the tube and the tube is then filled to a certain level. The full wrapper is removed by inverting the tube.
If you rolling a lot of change, you may want to consider a coin sorting machine. In retail stores and on Amazon, prices range from about $30 to more than $200 for manual and electric machines that automatically sort random coins into the coin rolls.
If you use cartridge-style coin wrappers, you can buy tools and machines to securely close the open end after a roll is filled. Options range from a flat metal tool for $7 to an industrial quality crimping machine for about $650. Some coin wrapper manufacturers include a crimping tool with the purchase of cartridge coin rolls.
Cashing in Money Rolls
There was a time when banks would count coins and convert them to paper cash for anyone who asked. Most commercial banks have eliminated this service, claiming coinage is heavy, takes up too much room and require special machines for counting. Most banks will still accept rolled coins, but usually only from customers. This is entirely legal since the U.S. Department of the Treasury does not require financial institutions to accept coins.
Coin Rolling Alternative
As banks exit the coin counting business, Coinstar and other coin counting machines have shown up in many grocery stores and convenience stores. For a fee, these machines will count loose change and return a store voucher. Fees can be 10 percent or more of the counted change. Coinstar allows you to avoid the fee by taking a gift card for a retailer like Amazon instead of a voucher.