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Turning in coins, Round 2

Ronstar

Well-known member
Im putting this out as general info for those who may not know……

Went to turn $115 in clad coins today. As requested by my credit union they want a supervisor to check the turn ins to insure they were trade-able quality. First supervisor inspects and declares they are mutilated coins, rejected. Cites policy. I inform her they are not mutilated rather discolored. Per Treasury/Mint definition they are readily recognizable denominations, neither bent nor chipped nor deep scratched etc. She again cites policy so I ask to see the policy. Nothing about discolored so stand my ground. CU manager steps in and inspects, worried about the slight green coloring or on some a reddish tinge. I again explain my research and even brought samples of dug coins not yet cleaned. She actually understood I had gone to some length to clean and we both admitted they probably would not ever be new looking again anyways. She asked if I was given these back as a customer if I would accept them. My response was I would because they are still legal tender but just not pretty, besides I’ve been handed nastier paper bills before. I suggested if the customer is simply looking for car wash money or travel coins for motel vending machines that they offer them out that way. Manager finally accepted the rolled coins….
What I learned from her is that CU’s are starting to establish a base of what coins are acceptable at face value and condition . A trade magazine they get had an article about a metal detectorist who turned in over a $1000 in “as is condition” (no attempt to clean dirt or rust off) and CU took a pretty good hit. They did get them turned in to the Treasury where they were exchanged but it cost them some expense to ship and insure. My CU has baselined their policy to basically follow the others. Both reflect the phrase mutilated, contaminated, and destroyed. Discolored, but not obliterated to the point they are not recognizable, is not addressed.
Ive not tried to turn in to a regular bank as we are CU members for 40 yrs now. Another interesting comment she made was even CoinStar is having difficultly in turning in the types of coins we deal with and is looking at technology to reject them.
So, it appears for now as long we use Elmy’s Super Secret Sauce you should be able to talk them into accepting the slightly discolored coinage.
 

Ronstar

Well-known member
Dirty coins will jam up the machine, correct. I take my daily coins when I get home and let soak in hot water and small squirt of Dawn. Then brush with an old toothbrush and check each coin for key dates. They they go in a plastic jug until enough to roll and turn in. First step is vinegar and salt and let set overnight, liquid pours out blackish green. Then half water and vinegar with pinch of salt and aquarium gravel and tumble in rotary tumbler, fluid still comes out dirty but coins now silver to dull gray and fully recognizable. Problem is they are are not shiny looking and just a slight green or red shading. I should have asked her to open her coin drawer and had her pull out the dirtiest looking coin and I bet there would be no real difference. Seems to be a stigma in accepting rolled dirty coins vs a single coin now and then. The one saving grace is in the Mint/Treasury guideline is no mention of discolored coins. Plus I would never attempt to just turn in those heavy reddish/blackish coins like we initially dig anyways, not unless they develop a policy where they accept the coins “as is” but charge a percentage fee to cover their costs to send them back in.
 
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Larbear2

Active member
Im putting this out as general info for those who may not know……

Went to turn $115 in clad coins today. As requested by my credit union they want a supervisor to check the turn ins to insure they were trade-able quality. First supervisor inspects and declares they are mutilated coins, rejected. Cites policy. I inform her they are not mutilated rather discolored. Per Treasury/Mint definition they are readily recognizable denominations, neither bent nor chipped nor deep scratched etc. She again cites policy so I ask to see the policy. Nothing about discolored so stand my ground. CU manager steps in and inspects, worried about the slight green coloring or on some a reddish tinge. I again explain my research and even brought samples of dug coins not yet cleaned. She actually understood I had gone to some length to clean and we both admitted they probably would not ever be new looking again anyways. She asked if I was given these back as a customer if I would accept them. My response was I would because they are still legal tender but just not pretty, besides I’ve been handed nastier paper bills before. I suggested if the customer is simply looking for car wash money or travel coins for motel vending machines that they offer them out that way. Manager finally accepted the rolled coins….
What I learned from her is that CU’s are starting to establish a base of what coins are acceptable at face value and condition . A trade magazine they get had an article about a metal detectorist who turned in over a $1000 in “as is condition” (no attempt to clean dirt or rust off) and CU took a pretty good hit. They did get them turned in to the Treasury where they were exchanged but it cost them some expense to ship and insure. My CU has baselined their policy to basically follow the others. Both reflect the phrase mutilated, contaminated, and destroyed. Discolored, but not obliterated to the point they are not recognizable, is not addressed.
Ive not tried to turn in to a regular bank as we are CU members for 40 yrs now. Another interesting comment she made was even CoinStar is having difficultly in turning in the types of coins we deal with and is looking at technology to reject them.
So, it appears for now as long we use Elmy’s Super Secret Sauce you should be able to talk them into accepting the slightly discolored coinage.
Do a google search for cleaning coins with borax in a tumbler. Looks like one fellow had excellent results with his method. I haven’t tried it myself, but his results look real good.
 

GeorgeinSC

Well-known member
I take my cleaned coins to my credit union and run them thru the coin counter. It will reject the worst ones and i feed them back thru. I do clean them as best as possible and rarely have any that will not get counted.
 

BigTony

Well-known member
A bank here will accept all coins even zincolns with holes and crud. I can’t give them those because they just put them in their drawers and give them out to other folks for change.
I know because I got some one day in my change - I couldn’t believe folks turned in such bad coins.
I respect others and nowadays I don’t save those in jars....I throw them into the trash can.
I have about twenty pounds of them so that’s enough. I think I’ll bury them and let someone think they found a cashe!
Tony
 

Ronstar

Well-known member
I did see one youtube where his final rinse was water and baking soda to neutralize the little bit of vinegar left. Also one guy had some impressive video of using steel shot in the tumbler……I’m not going to go broke cleaning coins……..
 

jim tn

Well-known member
It appears with this so called "coin shortage" having ended some banks are not as fond of or in need of taking some size quantities of coins. Had a teller tell me just the other day when cashing in $83.00 of cleaned and rolled coins that they were getting back logged with coinage and the next time I came in with some I may be asked to take them across the street to another bank. I smiled and said if I am asked to do that, "I'll be taking my checking and savings accounts along with me." 2nd time I've had to say that to a bank teller since retiring. I clean my clad and cents about every 3-4 months. This way it only takes me a afternoon to clean and roll on average $75.00 worth and I don't overly burden the bank/teller.

One of my hunting buddies had a similar instance with his bank just recently. A teller told him she would have to unwrap a few rolls and spot check them to insure they were correct. He said that's fine, let me know when you are done. I'll be in a chair over there looking for a new bank.

Two different banks, same types of experiences. The teller I had has been with that branch for as long as we have. My buddy did state that he had a unfamiliar teller....????? HH jim tn
 

Ronstar

Well-known member
Here is a pic of coins in question….you decide.
Before they were the familiar reddish black…..
 

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Monkeys Uncle

Well-known member
After cleaning with a mixture of white vinegar and salt, followed by tumbling with a mixture of small amt. of Dawn and CLR. I finish by (dry) tumbling the dug coins with new shiny coins. I've never had a problem with acceptance by banks or Coinstar machines. NOTE - I do not mix copper with clad while cleaning.

ETA - I no longer use an abrasive. In the past...I used to use "broken glass" which worked pretty good (no/little residue) but was somewhat problematic handling when wet. By "dry" tumbling with newer shiny coins...the 'friction' between each other seems to work adequately.
ETA2 - The 1st step (white vinegar + salt) - I place the coins in a plastic pill bottle with screw on top and shake vigorously for ~ 5 mins. If "still dirty", I repeat a second time.
 
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Ronstar

Well-known member
Monkeys Uncle: I have a good size plastic canister that fruit comes in from the store. One cup vinegar and two Tbsp salt then fill with coins until just below liquid. I let that sit for a couple hours stirring/light shake every 30 min. Yucky green fluid just pours out, the lengthy water flush with hose. Repeat but way less vinegar and salt and mix in the aquarium rock. For whatever reason there was a slight greenish tinge left. One of the batches thru the tumbler I tried the water and baking soda suggestion (neutralize the vinegar) but that left the slight reddish tinge. Regardless, the damn coins were pretty clean and I thing the one supervisor was being picky. She about burst a vessel when I called her bluff on that being mutilated.
Also, I wonder just a bit if the small amount of copper in the clad is just enough to start that gas expansion. I can run the tumbler almost 30 minutes before the bottoms of the canisters expand and touch each other, then I have to “burp” it and run again.
 

jim tn

Well-known member
My formula is 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of salt for pennies. A handful of cents and aquarium gravel go into a rock tumbler and tumble for one hour. Then, dump a tumbler of coins and gravel into a colander and rinse thoroughly. Spread the coins out on a towel and blot dry with a paper towel

For clad, use same procedure except use white vinegar and insure no cents are mixed in with the clad. HH jim tn
 

Ronstar

Well-known member
A bit further info just learned…..
Apparently under the Covid guidelines banks were cautioned early on that currency could theoretically be contaminated. Its long been said one of the ways to infiltrate the general population with a slow reacting biological agent could be thru contaminated moneys. Think about how many times money changes hands in one day. Anyway, this new supervisor sees my green tinged coins and over reacts to that clause. If I was a terrorist Im pretty sure I would infect the money thats all bright and shiny, right? Just keep this in mind should anybody else be subjected to the same reasoning. And again, there is nothing in the US Mints guidelines regarding discolored coins.
 

fwcrawford

Well-known member
Here is a pic of coins in question….you decide.
Before they were the familiar reddish black…..
Those coins don’t look bad…. I’ve gotten worse looking ones in change.
Personally, I have not had any issues turning in coins at the banks.
Not yet anyhow…..
 

BobOso

Active member
Ron, The coins don't look bad. I put all mine in a tumbler with dish soap and pea gravel, tumble for an hour or 2. I have stopped digging zinc pennies though, unless they are surface finds. Seems if they are in the ground for more than 30 days they start to blister and corrode, banks here do not seem to have any problems taking them a little over $200 turned in a few weeks ago.
 

Donna(NJ

Active member
If you want to really make them shine, use 1/2 a fresh lime(cut up in smaller wedges) or lime juice from $1 store works well, aquarium gravel and water to top of coin level. Tumble for hour or until you like the results.

I bought stainless steel shot a few years ago for a special project. When I tumble with the coins, they come out shinier than the mint !!! It really polishes them.

I like to return my dug coils to their former glory. A new start in a new life.

HH
Donna(NJ)
 

Ronstar

Well-known member
Have to try that……
 
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