How to Roll Coins

As we transition more towards digital transactions, it becomes easy to forget about the logistics of using paper money and coins. However, tangible money will always be a necessary part of the economy. Even the most dedicated card users probably have a jar of change somewhere at home. 

Rolling coins is the best way to store your loose change or prepare it for a bank deposit. The task may seem daunting, but it’s worth the effort for most people. 

We have presented a few simple instructions on how to roll coins below. We’ll explain the importance of coin rolling along with the most efficient processes for rolling coins by hand.

Is rolling coins truly necessary? 

The short answer is an emphatic, “Yes.” 

Rolling coins is the best way to organize and store change. Whether you’re preserving genuine silver coins to resell when prices are highest or taking your money to the bank next week, the coins should be in wrappers. 

Many banks only accept change in rolls, but every location is different, so be sure to ask your local branch about their preferences. Some banks will only take a specific type of wrapper, and others prefer loose change that works better with their particular counting machines. 

It’s tempting to consider saving time and effort by taking your money to a for-profit coin sorter, too. These services charge an expensive fee, however. It sometimes only gives you your money back on a location-specific gift card, as well. 

Even though you save time on these services, you spend money. You also find yourself restricted by how you can use that hard-earned cash you handed over the counter.

When you know how to roll coins, you’ll realize that it’s an easy process. Gather all your spare change, and let’s begin. 

Find quality wrappers.  

Not all coin wrappers are equal—there are a variety of styles and qualities. If you don’t choose a durable wrapper, you’ll find yourself doing more work than necessary when it inevitably breaks. It would defeat the object of the exercise to recount and re-roll all those coins.

When you begin your search, you’ll notice the different options available. The most common materials are brown paper or transparent plastic. You’ll also see some selections with pre-folded ends, and others that require a seal once the coins are inside.

Many banks will give away coin wrappers to their customers (usually the free benefit is reserved for account holders at the facility, though). The service saves you a few pennies and ensures that you’ll use a wrapper style that your bank accepts. 

No matter how you acquire your wrappers, ensure that you have a variety of sizes for each type of coin that you’ll be wrapping. Most countries have standard colors to distinguish between the size of the coins in each wrapper. 

In the United States, each type of coin has a color designation—red tubes fit pennies, blue ones fit nickels, green units fit dimes, and orange tubes fit quarters. You will rarely see a variation in this pattern. 

Adherence to the established color-coding system is another indicator that you have selected high-quality coin wrappers. 

Find an ideal surface for sorting.

Location is everything when you’re sorting large amounts of change. You’ll need a flat surface that is big enough to sort and move the coins. Crowded spaces can make it challenging to sort the change into piles, often leading to mistakes and frustration while learning how to roll your change. 

The best places to sort change are a dining room table, a freshly made bed, or a firm carpet. You need to be able to see all the coins in front of you and limit the risk of losing any of your hard-earned money. 

If you can’t see all the coins simultaneously, you may derail the sorting during the first phase. Then, you’ll have to keep returning to roll currency that you have already completed. The extra work will slow down the process significantly.  

The cushioning on the bed or carpet flooring makes it easier to pick up the coins, too. Sometimes, it can be challenging to lift the change from a table without sweeping it off the edge, which easily risks losing a few coins.

Sort the coins by type first.

Efficiency is vital when sorting change. You’ll perform the tasks much quicker if you finish one step before moving on to the next phase. Switching actions slows the process.

For the first step in the rolling process, sort your coins by type—pennies in one pile, dimes in another, and so on. Once the change is separated, then begin the next phase.

Sometimes, when you’re sorting by type, it is helpful to use jars or bowls for different coins. If you don’t have unlimited space, you might find your piles merging into each other, causing you unnecessary frustration and extra work. 

Divide each type of coin into piles of 10.

Choose one type of coin to focus your attention on first, pushing the others aside. You’ll finish the entire rolling process and then repeat it with the next kind of coin until all the change is in rolls.

First, divide your coins into piles of ten. Don’t worry about staking these coins yet—if you do try at this point, it often falls over and requires a recount, which wastes time and effort.

Divide the coins into piles of ten. It saves time. If we begin by sorting the coins into smaller piles, you avoid the need to count to a high number. If ten is the maximum for each pile, you won’t lose count with distractions.

Prepare your wrappers. 

Most coin wrappers arrive flat, so you will need to open the packages to prepare for the coins. If you have wrappers that are already in tubes, you can skip this step.

Take time to familiarize yourself with the type of wrapper in front of you. Some wrappers require that you open one end for the coins to enter. Others work best when you fold both ends simultaneously. If so, take the time to prepare the ends before you begin.

You shouldn’t have to tape the wrapper closed if it is a high-quality material, and you are using it correctly. Many banks will not accept taped rolls of coins, either. 

Don’t waste your effort by switching tasks too often—open all the wrappers of the coin type at once. It won’t hurt to have extra rolls waiting if you have underestimated your task. Opening wrappers midway in the process will slow you down.

Fill the wrapper with the correct number of coins. 

Once your coins are in piles of ten and your wrappers are open, it’s easy to grab the correct number of coins for each roll. Instead of counting to a higher number like 40 or 50 for each roll, this method ensures that you never have to count higher than ten. 

Here’s a list of the standard number of each coin that fits into one roll:   

  • Pennies: Five piles of 10 coins for a total of 50 pennies per roll
  • Nickels: Four piles of 10 coins for a total of 40 nickels per roll
  • Dimes: Five piles of 10 coins for a total of 50 dimes per roll
  • Quarters: Four piles of 10 coins for a total of 40 quarters per roll
  • Half dollars: Two piles of 10 coins for a total of 20 coins per roll
  • Dollars create a challenge for this system requiring 2.5 piles of 10 coins for a total of 25 silver dollars per roll.

Once you’ve gathered the right number of pieces, hold all the coins in one hand and form a sideways stack, like a snake. The line of coins should run from your fingers towards your arm for the most natural way to slide the pile into the wrapper. 

Double-check that the bottom of your wrapper is secure. Then, slide your row of coins into the open wrapper tube. Fold the unsecured edges towards the middle to secure the coins in place.

Once you finish this process with one type of coin, repeat it with the next pile. Continue following the steps above, beginning from sorting into piles of ten. Then continue inserting the correct coins into the wrappers until you finish sorting all your change. 

Wouldn’t a coin sorter make this faster and easier? 

If you’re someone who frequently finds themselves in possession of lots of change, then a coin sorter might be a worthy investment. The time and effort a coin sorter saves might balance the upfront cost. 

For most individuals who have mastered the coin rolling process, it’s not usually worth the price. 

Once you adopt our handy coin sorting process, you’ll be amazed how quick and painless it is to complete a coin roll on your own. As with anything, the more you repeat the steps, the faster and more comfortable you’ll be with the work.

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