This post is offered in the spirit of my occasional nickel roll hunting statistical updates ... with the special fact that my nearly 7 year quest is completed! I am now the proud owner of a competed 172 coin circulation strike Jefferson nickel set ... every coin coming from local bank rolls.
The roll-hunting statistics given below are the special point whereby I finally completed the search ... 320,800 coins.
Pull up a stool if you wish to read an update on USA nickel searching finds from a Maryland member ... with a completed CRH set of Jefferson's.
Fair Warning ... this will be a fairly long mathematical thread filled with fascinating USA nickel roll searching facts and figures!
This is the current update on my nickel roll hunting finds ... my prior update was at 300,000 coins in November 2013 ... I skipped a few of my traditional 10,000 coin updates ... work and life alas getting in the way ... hopeful that some of our newer members might benefit from this latest update in support of their own nickel roll search efforts ... and hopefully provide some understanding of the efforts necessary to complete the set from bank rolls.
Soooo ... to complete the 172 coin set I have searched through 320,800 bank rolled USA nickels ... $16,040 face value ... 8020 rolls ... 160 + boxes. Geepers ... that is a lot of nickels.
My simple goal from February 2008 had evolved into a Quest
... and I have finally filled my humble Whitman 9009 folder with a complete set of Jefferson circulation strike coins 1938 - 1961 ... with all coins coming from bank rolls in my home town Maryland USA.
I'm have also completed my Dansco 7113 ... filling the years 1962 - 2014 in that album from the same bank rolls.Keeping Track of My Searches:
I admit to being very accurate relative to tracking my nickel roll searches ... I log all of my nickel searches into an Excel spreadsheet and have used that spreadsheet to track my searches over time. Each coin in my database is logged by date/mm ... and the Excel sheet has been designed to update me with current find rates.
I've also created some statistics to describe the expected rates at which these coins should be found and in a rare moment of inspiration created for myself the concept of 'circulation obsolescence' ... a statistical method to describe just how many of these coins have been lost to us from circulation.
Prior readers of these updates are familiar with my concept of circulation obsolescence ... new readers can brush up at this CCF thread:https://www.coincommunity.com/forum...PIC_ID=58454
That said ... on to my 320,800 nickel search update:Overall Find Rate:
Recall that I consider a 'find' to be any nickel minted prior to 1960 ... so 1959 is the earliest I keep in my database.
My overall find rate is 1.309% ... that is I find (on average) one nickel dated prior to 1960 for every 76.38 nickels searched ... an average of 26.2 finds per $100 box (2000 coins).
This is down a bit from my 300,000 coin update of 1.320% find rate ... at that time it was (on average) 26.4 nickels per box.
I have now pulled 4,201 nickels older than 1960 from circulation ... starting to wonder if you can call me a hoarder! Jefferson Find Rates by Decade:
I keep track of my Jefferson find rates by individual coin and also by decade ... current decade find rates are as follows:
1930's: 1 find every 1,604 raw coins
1940's (excluding war silver): 1 find every 211 coins
War Silver: 1 find every 2,766 coins
1950's: 1 find every 139 coinsSpecial Coin Find Rates:
I consider 'special coins' to be any of the following ... Pre-Jefferson coins, war silver and any of the nine Jefferson with annual mintage below 10 million coins.
Liberty V: 1 find every 80,200 coins (found 4)
Buffalo: 1 find every 5,437 coins (found 59)
War Silver: 1 find every 2,766 coins (found 116)
Low-Mintage Jefferson: 1 find every 6,547 coins (found 49)Fun With Statistics!
Sooo ... as stated previously ... I have created an Excel spreadsheet which allows me to analyze my finds ... and I have as well developed and socialized here at the CCF the concepts of 'expected find rates' and 'circulation obsolescence'.
The CCF link above describes these concepts ... hopeful that a few newer interested members find this a useful idea
Onward to fun with statistics. Circulation Obsolescence:
Overall 1938-1959 Jefferson circulation obsolescence is 79.45%. This compares well with my reported 300,000 coin update where it was 80.11%.
Bottom line ... 4 of 5 Jefferson minted between 1938 and 1959 have been lost to us!
Current 320,800 coin obsolescence data is:
1930's @ 78.11%
Pre-War 1940's @ 80.40%
War Silver @ 97.67%
Post-War 1940's @ 77.18%
Early 1950's @ 72.37%
Late 1950's @ 64.16%
I believe I now have enough data (320,800 coins) to report on some other interesting obsolescence figures ... Liberty nickel
Obsolescence is 99.88% Buffalo nickel
Obsolescence is 99.12%
Low-Mintage Jefferson (9 coins) Obsolescence is 85.08%Circulation Estimates Based on Obsolescence:
You know the math by now ... by using the original mintage totals for any coin and the circulation obsolescence data ... we can estimate the total number of surviving members of any coin in my database ...
Just for fun ... as a way to illustrate the method ... consider that the entire Buffalo nickel
mintage 1913 - 1938 was 1,212,899,041 coins. That is a fact.
My obsolescence data says that 99.12% of them have been removed from circulation ... that is an estimate based on my 320,800 coin data ... this leaves what may appear to be a trivial 0.88% still around ... but that still represents a significant number of Buffalo nickels
hanging out there waiting for us to find!
Do the math ... 0.88% remaining of an original population of 1.212 billion Buffalo nickels
... and you can understand my numbers below ...
Sooo ... keep in mind these estimates of current total circulating nickels when you hit your next long roll-searching dry spell.
Estimated number of Liberty nickels
in circulation today is 722,045
Estimated number of Buffalo nickels
in circulation today is 10,650,163
Estimated number of War Silver Jefferson in circulation today is 20,283,041
Estimated number of low-mintage Jefferson in circulation today is 8,567,836Toughest Jefferson to Find Today
I changed this section of the report to tailor it to the current Jefferson roll-searcher.
There are 56 Jefferson nickels
by date/mm from 1938-1959 (the span of my database) ... and I realize many of you search for them by boxes.
Sooo ... using my predicted find rates ... there are 11 of these 56 coins that you should expect to find today, on average, in less than 1 per 20 boxes (40,000 coins searched).
Recall the issue I discussed with hoarding of the 1950-D in my original thread on obsolescence ... I recognize the predicted find rates for the 1950-D are not correct ... anybody who knows the correct 1950-D hoarding rate can help me out here.
Following are the 11 toughest Jefferson that on average take more than 20 boxes (40,000 coins) to find in circulation today ... these are the current 'Top-11 Toughest' ... in order of current predicted find rate:
1943-D @ 157,298 coins
1944-S @ 111,170 coins
1950-D @ 77,197 coins (assuming no hoarding ... actually tougher)
1939-D @ 72,909 coins
1944-D @ 74,460 coins
1942-S @ 73,112 coins
1945-D @ 64,743 coins
1938-S @ 62,412 coins
1938-D @ 47,737 coins
1942-P (Silver) @ 41,569 coins
1945-S @ 40,817 coins
Dedicated nickel roll searchers will recognize all eleven coins on this list .Stop Bothering Me ... Easiest Jefferson to Find:
Again ... considering the series 1939 - 1959 ... there are 7 coins which show up on average more often than 1 per box (2000 coins) ... in easiest order they are as follows with predicted find rates:
1958-D @ 930 coins
1959-D @ 974 coins
1957-D @ 1,144 coins
1941 @ 1,408 coins
1946 @ 1,525 coins
1940 @ 1,622 coins
1954-D @ 1,733 coins
Dedicated nickel searchers have plenty duplicates of these 7 coins!Fun with the Variety:
Current USA nickel roll searching offers much more than just the hope to complete the 172 coin circulation strike set ... there are potential treasures waiting to be found in every roll .... hence the thrill of the hunt!
In addition to the Liberty V (4 coins) and Buffalo (59 coins) ... I have found:
Two CUD Jefferson ... very rare indeed.
Eight impaired proof Jefferson ... 1964, 1981-S, 1988-S, 2000-S, 2001-S, 2004-S (Lewis & Clark), 2005-S (Bison) and 2006-S. My find rate for impaired proof Jefferson is one find (on average) every 40,100 coins searched (approximately 20 boxes per find).
Foreign finds ... amazing that so many foreign coins continue to find their way in to USA nickel bank rolls ... and I enjoy setting them aside.
I have found 322 foreign (non-USA) 'nickels' during my searching .... representing 22 countries. My find rate for foreign coins is one find (on average) every 996 coins searched.
Most prevalent are Canadian nickels (128 found). I enjoy finding the Bahamas 'Pineapple' (8) and Bermuda 'Fish' (13). Status of my Quest:
Done .... Completed!
It took me 6 years-11 months and 320,800 nickels searched from local bank rolls.
Likely that I will continue to search nickels ... for all the reasons given above believe this is the absolute best way to engage with the hobby ... at the lowest cost ... with the best opportunity to complete an entire USA set at face value.Final Thoughts:
If you have read this far in this long (but hopefully informative) post ... then you realize as I do that roll searching for nickels brings great numismatic pleasure ... the variety of possible finds (US and foreign) is wide ... the entire set can still be completed at face value ... and in general it's a great way to enjoy the coin hobby.
I commend to all the humble nickel ... and wish for you the best of fortune in your roll searches for them.Postscript ... I have been blessed by the fortunes of CRH to have found my second 1950-D and third CUD ... both amazingly appearing in the same roll ... and after my set completion statistics stated above.