Letter Re: Seeking Silver Half Dollars

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JWR,

I have now asked for rolls of $0.50 pieces at two branches of my own bank (in the greater KC area) and one branch of a bank I do not use. All three of them could not produce a single roll. The second branch of my own bank whined about how “they would have to buy a box of 1,000 to get a roll, and they just can’t do this”. So much for culling silver halves. – DAB

HJL’s Comment: This is not an unusual occurrence, especially in smaller banks. You may have to actually visit a large bank branch and even then it’s not a sure thing. Interestingly enough, you might also try Walmart or other large retailers that deal with large amounts of cash. While the trend is moving more and more to a credit card type of transaction, these stores generally handle much more cash on a daily basis than most banks.

JWR’s Comment: In my experience, finding silver half dollars can be quite hit or miss. I’ve had the best luck in coin roll hunting silver by searching at small town banks. Most of what I found were 40% silver coins, but there were a few 90%ers. The trick seems to be getting to know the tellers and treating them with the utmost courtesy. Try to arrive at times when they aren’t busy with a queue of other customers. Always return coins to OTHER banks. (Commonly called a “dump” bank.) Some banks now have “no fee” Coinstar type coin counters, and that makes returns quick and easy. Simply by asking, I had one teller let me know whenever the local school district made large deposits of coinage, during the school year. It is “lunch money” that seems to be the biggest source of silver coins re-entering circulation.

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