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Cash in your forgotten coin stash

The Great Recession made all Americans more frugal. Coin collectors are no exception.

Several years ago when silver was approaching its 2011 peak of almost $50 an ounce I suggested that collectors sell off coins made of silver that they might have lost interest in, particularly commems and 40 percent silver Ike dollars.

Silver has dropped in price, but collectors being who they are probably have other reservoirs of value that they might consider cashing in to help cover the budget for new coin purchases.

Certainly selling coins or sets that you no longer have interest in is a good place to start, but there are other avenues to pursue.

I bought a $100 bag of Kennedy half dollars a couple of years ago. I opened it. I searched it. I found nothing special. I need to cash this in to recover what value I can and spend the proceeds on something I will value more highly.

I lost the $39.95 premium. This is probably why it has taken me this long to decide to take the loss and move on.

I still have a tin of 95 percent copper cents. How much is in it? $10? $12? I should cash this in as well. The Treasury melt ban in effect since 2006 looks set to run for many years. I started saving the coins when the ban went into effect just to see how many I encounter along the way. Not many, I guess is the best answer.

How about ordinary change? I have been pretty good about that. I regularly take my yogurt container to the bank. I usually get back $60-$80 in paper depending on the mix of denominations.

It is only about one-third full presently and is filling very slowly. My daily rounds are yielding fewer coins. I brought a nickel and two cents back from lunch today.

How about circulated Ike dollars? Got any of those? If you have any significant number, they should go. Your money can be better deployed on something else.

Of course, the two 1971 coins that I went to the bank to get when they were first released I will not give up even if the $2 now would be better spent on ice cream. But at least I have a rationale for keeping them.

That’s just the point. Most of us have some coins that we have no rationales for keeping other than it might be a pain in the neck to get rid of them.

I understand.

But if you do undertake this kind of housecleaning, let me know your results so I can share it with other readers. You might surprise yourself and find a few pieces you forgot you had.

Sure, it won’t be as dramatic as proudly selling your 90 percent silver on the day bullion peaked in 2011, but a couple of hundred bucks could get you through the next coin show or two.

More Coin Collecting Resources:

• Strike it rich with this U.S. coins value pack.

• Build an impressive collection with Coin Collecting 101.