How to Use A CoinStar to Find Rare Coins

Most people know Coinstar machines as places to exchange coins for cash, but did you also know that Coinstars are a great way to find valuable coins?

Coinstar machines work by weighing coins and checking their magnetism. If a coin is outside the parameters of most US coins, the Coinstar will reject it. Since silver coins (mostly dimes quarters and half dollars minted before 1965) are heavier than modern coins, the Coinstar will not accept them.

A Coinstar Kiosk

Most people who exchange coins at a Coinstar do not realize that their coins that are rejected may not be accepted because they are silver! Some people take the rejected coins back, but many people leave the coins in the reject tray or on the countertop of the Coinstar.

Getting into the habit of checking the Coinstar reject tray every-time you go to the store can be very profitable. It takes seconds to do and you can find silver, tokens, and foreign coins.

Where do I check a Coinstar for silver?

Here is the handy Coinstar coin-finders guide for all the coin hunters out there:

Coinstar Labeled Coin hunting finding silver guide reject tray
Coinstar Guide Labeled

I recommended looking first in the reject tray. Check with your eyes quickly, then reach your hand along the bottom of the reject tray to feel around for any coins. It doesn’t take more than a second to do.

How often do you find rejected coins at a Coinstar?

This will really depend on the area you live in. I have some Coinstars where I will find rejected coins about 1 in 5 times I check, and others that are closer to 1 in 10.

The best Coinstar’s to use will be ones at busy places, the more often the Coinstar is used, the more likely you will find something good!

Buy Gold and Silver



Are all Coinstar rejects valuable?

Not all Coinstar rejects are valuable. Coins can be rejected for being dirty, damaged, or just due to a machine error.

Along with coins, I have also found lint, plastic, and nails in the Coinstar reject tray.

Does this only work for Coinstar brand coin counting machines?

No! You can find rejected coins in any brand of coin counter.

I simply refer only to Coinstar machines as it is the most popular coin counter. You can also find counter counters at some banks and credit unions. (And some coin counters at banks don’t charge a fee!)

What is the most valuable thing ever found in a Coinstar?

One of my friends told me that his brother once found a gold sovereign in a Coinstar! His brother sold the gold to a pawn shop, then went to buy an Xbox.

There is always a small chance you can find something amazing in a Coinstar, so it is always worth it to check.

What are the most common coins or tokens to find in a Coinstar reject tray?

Without a doubt the most common coin to find in a Coinstar is this prayer token pictured below!

Prayer Token Angel Golden
Prayer Token

I have probably found about 5 of these prayer tokens while searching the Coinstar reject tray over the last couple of years!

Is it legal to take coins from the Coinstar?

I’m not sure if a store could make a case that they own the coins once they have gone through the machine, but I have never been asked to not check the machine. Plus, it would be hard to prove they are not your coins.

It only takes a few seconds to look for rejected coins, so I doubt most employees even know what I am doing when I go over to the Coinstar.

Where can I show off my finds?

There is a great Reddit community on the sub r/CoinstarFinds where you can post images of coins, tokens, and random objects found at the Coinstar.

You can also share your photos on my Contact Page or on the American Coin Stash Facebook page!


Share a comment below on your best finds and vote in our poll!

3 thoughts on “How to Use A CoinStar to Find Rare Coins

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