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What Was Coin Roll Hunting Like 15, 25, 35 Years Ago?

 
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United States
152 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2020  5:03 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Still In Circ to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hey everyone,
I have been meaning to do some research on how coin roll hunting has evolved over the past couple of decades and how have finds changed over the years.
I have heard a story of a gentleman who coin roll hunted in the 1960's and found some pretty amazing coins from Seated quarters and halves to a Trade dollar found in a roll of Peace and Morgan dollars (This was the 1960's so a lot of silver dollars still floated around in commerce).
Also, I have heard other stories of boxes of halves being loaded with silver before 2000, but I want to see if others can validate the truth behind that story.
If anyone can share some great stories or finds, and what it was like to coin roll hunt back in the day, that would be very appreciated!
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52124 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2020  6:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I can tell you that in, say, 1960, a roll of half dollars would have nearly 50% Walkers, and that with patience sorting every Saturday morning down at the bank, you could put together the whole set every 6 months or so. Problem was, most 12-year olds couldn't afford to keep the face value of the set, so you would usually turn them in and start over on another series.
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Canada
3551 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2020  6:57 pm  Show Profile   Check Pacificoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Pacificoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In Canada , roll hunting
1964 was great
1974 middling
Since then , if you were to monetize your time and
efforts , a complete waste of time .
You are far better off frequenting coin shops and shows
searching for varieties and grading rips .
Edited by Pacificoin
06/14/2020 6:59 pm
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United States
2032 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2020  7:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ijn1944 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For me, roll hunting the last three-plus decades has been fairly constant--90s finds seem similar to 2019-2020 finds.

Had access to a rather large piggy bank in the very early 60s, which was dripping with wheat cents from all Wheat cent years, Mercury dimes, Walking Liberty halves, Buffalo nickels, etc.
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 Posted 06/14/2020  7:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fortcollins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In the early 1960s, I searched the rolls of coins and the change till at our family hardware store. Here are a few observations:
Early Lincolns were common. Remember, they were only 50-ish to 55-ish years old, and that's the age of 1965-1970 cents today. Living in Denver, the Denver and San Francisco coins were most of what we saw. I saved all pre-1930 Lincolns, and am still going through them (slowly) for varieties.
Dateless Buffs were as common as early Jeffs and wartime nickels. I saved the wartime nickels and Buffs with dates. Again, almost all of my Buffs are Denver and San Francisco.
Silver dimes and quarters were extremely common. My mom and dad saved those, and they paid for my college education during the Hunt Brothers' hoarding. Dateless SLQs and badly worn Barbers still circulated.
Half dollars and dollars rarely circulated. We pulled the pre-1921 Morgans out, but didn't save the common date Peace dollars. Half dollars were mostly Franklins (my dad called them "those hippie half dollars") and Walkers. Some badly worn Barbers could be found.

By about 1967, all the silver dollars and half dollars were gone. Silver quarters were disappearing. Silver dimes remained common until the Hunt Brothers drove silver prices sky high.

Wheat cents were everywhere. Nobody saved 1944-date cents. People saved the steel cents, which were annoyingly easy to confuse with dimes.
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 Posted 06/15/2020  05:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fistfulladirt to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I remember silver was not common when I started back in '77, but I could find a dime or two now and then.
I quit my silver search after the Hunts were squelched by the gov, just wasn't worth the effort.

Started back up around '07 when prices started to climb again. You still couldn't give a 40% half away ha ha, and some bank managers were buying $500 boxes of halves that were at least half full of 40% silvers. Many hunters dumped the 40% with the rest of the clad, and kept only the 90%.
When I listen to LED ZEPPELIN...so do my neighbors...
Roll hunting since '77
Dirt fishing since '72
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 Posted 06/15/2020  10:23 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The period 25 to 30 years ago was my CRH prime. I filled plenty of holes and I found enough silver to fund the completion of my Franklin half dollar album.
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805 Posts
 Posted 06/15/2020  6:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add berto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Although not roll hunting, a couple years ago I bought a collection from a 75 yo man who had kept ALL his childhood paper route tips. It was a pretty neat mix of Walker and Franklin halves, liberty dimes, and Buffalo nickels. He had lovingly placed all of them in 2x2s, many of which have rust on the staples, so the coins have been in the flips a long time. I have most of his collection today, but have started slowly selling off duplicates.
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 Posted 06/16/2020  08:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is really interesting! I am glad you still have most of that collection.
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United States
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 Posted 06/17/2020  03:14 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Pistareen to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My grandfather started me coin roll searching in 1968. Every roll of dimes and quarters had from 4 to 7 90% silvers easy to spot among the high grade clad coin from 1965 - 1968 that had bright bands of copper on the edges. Any coin with much wear would be an old silver.. we did this before silver brought a premium and were happy to see silver rise in value after about three years to 1.6 times face value. He had about $300 in face value that returned over $100 profit quickly with no risk. He sold all in the early 1970s. At that time all half dollars were at least 40% silver but not found in normal circulation. Everyone had saved 1964 Kennedy halves and dollar coins were only found in circulation at casinos. Every roll of cents had wheatbacks, but they had less to offer than silver. If we were coin collecting instead of stacking no telling how much better we could have done.
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United States
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 Posted 09/02/2020  11:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JonNickelCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My brother and I did CRH for pennies only in the 1960's. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. By the 1970's, it was much harder to get good finds.

I think the 1960's were when a lot of people started collecting coins. I think when the government stopped making dimes and quarters out of silver, it spurred people into collecting the silver that was in circulation. Additionally with the change on the back side of the penny in 1959, it made "wheaties" a collectable item. Since there was no such change in nickels in the 1950's or 1960's, nickels remained the last frontier for CRH.
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 Posted 09/03/2020  11:18 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Since there was no such change in nickels in the 1950's or 1960's, nickels remained the last frontier for CRH.
And still one that offers the best chance of completing a set from CRH alone.
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United States
168 Posts
 Posted 09/03/2020  3:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add yelimsexa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the replies for detailing an era that I couldn't experience. Still, my CRH "prime" is around 15 years ago, right before and just when silver prices started to rise. Of course, it was pretty similar to today with a couple of exceptions: silver half dollars were quite a bit more common to where I'd even occasionally find complete rolls of them, and Eisenhower dollars were easier to find. Wheaties and early Jeffs/Buffalo/War Nickels were slightly more common, but naturally so due to more newer coins manufactured since. Even silver dimes seemed to turn up slightly more occasionally, like around one per $300 instead of around one per $500. Still, in the 1960s, where a half dollar was similar to a $5 bill, you definitely needed to have some money to search those, and the returns probably weren't as great as you thought it would given the unknown foresight that few saw coming with the Hunt Brothers. Even if you found a pre-1934 silver half, it was probably just lunch money unless if it was one of the few coins that were either VF or better or a scarce date like a 1921. I'd wish I could get access to those old Coin Worlds from the 1960s floating on the Internet Archive to get a good idea, well before its "Found In Rolls" section debuted.

Of course nowadays, my main thing to hunt now are VHS and Betamax tapes for TV content, focusing predominantly on the 1980s and early '90s, with a few finds from the late '70s occasionally turning up while setting for the better stuff from the mid-late '90s like VH1, sports, game shows, or first-run sitcoms. You need to be a lot more skilled to get the "finds" that it can be mind-boggling for those who aren't skilled from memorizing the "Encyclopedia of varieties".
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 Posted 09/14/2020  4:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Big-Kingdom to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
in the 1980s and early 1990s there was still a lot of silver out there in quarters and dimes. probably half dollars also with the invention of the internet, youtube and social media, the chance of finding silver nowadays is drying up everyone blew the lid off of coin roll hunting and it's no longer a secret silver mine with so many people doing it.

hunting today, dimes are probably the best bet since many don't think it's worth the effort for such a little amount of silver.
Likely there's still some 40% halfs out there also, but the 90% silvers are few and far between.




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United States
14 Posts
 Posted 09/22/2020  3:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oddguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In the mid sixties I was 12 or so, did not have a lot of money so 2 or 3 rolls was my limit to get from the bank to search but up to 1970 it was common to get 90% of a roll in silver
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 Posted 09/28/2020  8:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nick10 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
During the 1970s nickel rolls generally had 10+ pre-1960 coins, and maybe one Buffalo per 25 rolls. Near complete sets of Lincoln cents were still reasonably possible to assemble, not counting the 09-S VDB, 14-D, and 31-S.
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