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.
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:
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!
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!
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!
10 thoughts on “How to Use A CoinStar to Find Rare Coins”
[…] For more on finding silver in CoinStar machines, go to: “How To Use A Coinstar To Find Rare Coins”! […]
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found like 3 quarters one dime and a ww2 penny as well as other forgen coins and junk items.
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I am in canada, so the chances are lower. Though I’ve found some foreign and others before!
Haha, here in the US I find lots of Canadian coins in the Coinstar. I could probably afford a trip to Canada in another couple of years.
[…] sure you keep an eye out for coins that have been rejected. Then, you can register them back into the machine and check whether they are […]
[…] If you are interested in seeking rare coins while using the Coinstar machine, keep an eye on the rejection tray. Since older silver coins have different weights compared to modern ones, Coinstar may not accept them and they will end up in the rejection tray (source). […]
[…] an eye out for rejected coins. Register them into the machine and check whether they were […]
I am looking for recent coins (one coin for every year I have been alive) and I am missing a few pennies and nickels for my “collection sets” and rather than going to banks and getting rolled or lose coins that I am looking for, I think buying a “stash … bag … amount” from one of these machines may help me better find the missing coins I need. Is this something the machine owner (company) does or will do? Thank you
Hi Cliff, I have heard of people befriending the Coinstar operators/mechanics who have helped them get some loose coins at the bottom, or coins stuck in the machine. I am doubtful that someone would let you bring a full bag home to search through. They engineers I’m sure have a timeframe for when they need to bring the coins back.
Even if you did, I don’t see why the Coinstar would be more likely to have the coins you are missing than the rolls at the bank.
A better option may be to:
– Ask the bank for older rolls or coins.
– Ask friends/family to help.
– You can reach out to people online or on a coin forum to see if they will trade you coins for the ones you are missing.
– Keep searching! If you find the coins, your hunt will be over 😦
– Buy the coins off eBay.