Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coin Sorting Machine Etiquette

Journal Entry: Weight =174.2; Coinage = $1.04 (.63 from residual walk from 5/27/09), 89 pennies, one quarter; Glass bottles retrieved = 2; Ground Scores = 7. Significant Find was 57 pennies in the front load of a supermarket coin sorting machine. One of the pennies was 1919 wheat. Not rare, 1919 was a prolific year for Lincoln pennies.(See Feature Entry Below.) I also found 1951 wheat on this morning's walk.

Feature Entry: Yesterday the MoneyWalker found 57 cents in a grocery store coin sorting machine, but not in the rejected coin slot or on the ground, but in the main feed slot. Most of the coins were covered with a green powdery substance. Upon inspection, it appeared to be Comet or a similar cleanser. Then, unbelievably I noticed copious amounts of moisture on the conveyer pad. It appeared that some coin monster (see photograph) had attempted to wash the coins with water and the green cleanser, but instead of removing the cleanser and completely drying them, just dumped them into the machine. Obviously the corrupted coins and moisture shut down the machine.

In my coin shop are tools for rehabilitating damaged coins. The tools consist of an electric wire brush, a grinder, an anvil, pliers, and a hammer. In less than five minutes the coins were scrubbed and polished, then counted and stored in my change tender.

Seeing those abused pennies, perhaps there is a coin sorting machine etiquette that we can use for guidance. Not according to Google. What follows then is the MoneyWalker's six rules for bank and grocery store money sorting machine etiquette:

• Pre sort the coins and remove foreign, damaged and soiled coins before dumping.
• All coins are to be moisture free.
• Collect and remove sacks, boxes, plastic, coin roll papers and other containers from the coin sorting area when sorting is complete.
• Limit the time at the machine. For example, massive amounts of coins such as a five gallon bucket should be divided into smaller amounts and presented at different times.
• While using the machine, avoid blocking the aisles that others use for regular banking or shopping with your paraphernalia and or your friends/accompanists.
• For those that check the machines for lost coins, use discretion and polite behavior when searching the coin return and floor area.

There must be more etiquette principles, but these six are a start. The MoneyWalker urges everyone that seeks and finds money to use coin sorting machines owned by others with prudence and courtesy.



  1. I've never used one of those machines. My bank will count and deposit with no fee. Hubby is the one who counts and reports the morning finds before I deposit them in the Lucky Penny Jar. He scans them and looks for wheaties and any other odds that won't go through the counter. McDonalds is usually the recipient of the truly hammered ones for his morning coffee.

    A five gallon bucket? Now that's some serious numismatising!

  2. I was inspired by a man and several children in our local branch bank. They were turned away by the branch manager with their five gallon bucket of coins. I check their change sorting machine for rejected coins about once a week. I am always disappointed in the trash that people leave behind. Then when the "green" coins appeared a the grocery coin sorter, enough was enough.

  3. I didn't even know there were public coin machines! I need to get out more. Happy Vacation, Sharyn