Coins from Public Fountain - Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by 2manycoins, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. 2manycoins

    2manycoins New Member


    Hoping this is posted in correct thread. I'm involved with a public park that features a very popular fountain for coin throwing. We generally pull around $3,000 - $5,000/year of coins from this fountain. While I approve of the sentiment, these coins have become a nuisance from an operational standpoint. They are wet, generally dirty, and labor intensive to deal with. We've been hand-rolling as fast as possible, but we're being overwhelmed.

    Does anyone have experience dealing with this type of situation? We would love to be able to keep some of the profit, but would be more than happy to come up with a solution to just get them off our hands!

    Things we've tried:
    - Coin Star: does not accept dirty/damaged/wet coins
    - Hand Rolling: too slow, labor intensive
    - Donating: Most orgs I've spoken to will only accept rolled coins or cash

    Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions!
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  3. TexAg

    TexAg Well-Known Member

    Welcome to CT, @2manycoins ! Where do you live, I'll come over and search them for you ha ha! Seriously, if you are just trying to turn them in for cash, I would open an account at a bank or credit union that has a free coin counting machine for customers. Then dump away at your heart's content. But, you might be passing up some collectible coins in the process!
    Ima Dragon and Randy Abercrombie like this.
  4. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    First, welcome to the neighborhood!

    Quite a few years ago, I recall watching a TV show about a company that bid on jobs to remove coins from fountains, cleaning them before putting them back into circulation. It was on one of the stations like History Channel, but I can't remember which one.

  5. ewomack

    ewomack Senior Member Supporter

    I used to bring wads of change to my bank and they would just dump it all in a machine that would count it and credit my account. Have you checked with your organization's bank as to whether they accept loose change? That won't help you from drying and cleaning them, but it would save you the hand rolling.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  6. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    Cleaning the coins is quite labor intensive. That is why the job was awarded to the highest bidder on the TV show.

  7. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Wow, these coins need to at least be rinsed. A drum roller would be perfect, but you could possibly spread the coins on a large piece of wire gauze or some kind of plastic netting while hitting them with a hose. Afterwards they could sit in the sun till dry, and the bank would deal with them then.
    Ima Dragon likes this.
  8. A drum roller is a good idea. I was also thinking a commercial dishwasher or washing machine using CLR instead of detergent might work. There’s got to be a business that handles this though.
  9. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Derp, derp, derp!

    50 lb bag of rice
    Kentucky likes this.
  10. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    That's for the cell phones people threw?
    CoinCorgi, Stevearino and Maxfli like this.
  11. Maxfli

    Maxfli Well-Known Member

    I'm just blue-skying here, but had a thought...

    Many charitable organizations and corporations are involved in "checkout charity" where loose change contributions are collected in containers at retail checkouts. I doubt these organizations and corporations have the time, resources and manpower to process perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars — maybe millions — in loose change, even if it's just collecting the containers and hauling them to banks to be run through change sorters.

    So, I'm wondering if maybe there are third party contractors who provide this service for a fee. If so, talking to some of the aforementioned organizations and corporations might give you some useful information . . . or not! I'm way out of my arena here, so maybe it's a dumb idea.
  12. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Variety Collector

    I don't recall where or when but on TV there was a guy who actually cleaned /washed ,dryer and rolled coins from fountains etc. He charged a percentage of the gross.
  13. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Well-Known Member

    The problem is none of the free counters will process skanky dirty coins. You have to at least wash them in clean water to get rid of the algae and stuff and then let them dry. The modern zinc Lincolns are even worse they're mostly going to be damaged and rotting away....
  14. 2x2 $averKrazy

    2x2 $averKrazy Hopelessly coined in

    the government has made some bad decisions in it's time , but the zincoln has got to be in the top three!!!! they definitely didn't think about them ending up in fountain's! drill some holes in the bottom of a 5gal, bucket & take them to a car wash! BLAST away
    Kentucky likes this.
  15. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Variety Collector

    If I recall the person who cleaned the coins used a large rock,poisher.and tumbled the coins clean.
  16. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    There was a guy that once posted about cleaning stuff like this. He used a mixer and dish soap. After several rinses, the coins were clean enough to take to a bank for deposit.
    Paddy54 likes this.
  17. cladking

    cladking Coin Collector

    Just take out the dimes and quarters while throwing them on towels .

    When they dry dump them in a bucket and take the bucket to the bank.

    Discard the pennies and nickels.

    It shouldn't require more than an hour's work to retrieve $4000 out of the $5000.

    I'll work for that much.
  18. Dillan

    Dillan The sky is the limit !

    Maybe try using a blow dryer to dry them off , or a air compressor with a air nozzle. Buy some old blanket from a thrift store spread them out and use a hair dryer to dry them . Then you might be able to put them through a coin counter machine someplace. Contract the job out to someone looking for work . Put them in a room tell them they are under surveillance so they do not fill up their cowboy boots with dollar coins. Maybe an organization like Boy Scouts would do that for a percentage of the take relieving you of the painstaking work. Dillan
  19. littlehugger

    littlehugger Active Member

    Look for a local coin club.
    Most would be delighted to do this for you, and would charge little, if any.
    Worst case is, they get to keep the collectibles. Or, simply let them have those coins for face value.
    So far as it goes, zinc pennies corrode if you just give them a dirty look. Best to get them out quickly, spread them out and air dry them.
    If they are truly dirty, you can wash them with soap and water.
    Thing is, you dont want to invest a lot of resources.
    When I detected, I had to deal with lots of dirty, corroded coins, with Zincolns being the worst. I washed them, bleached them. Soaked them in vinegar and salt.
    Some banks objected to the dirty coins or the funny looking ones from the soak.
    Well, you can always roll them. I also discovered I could mix my dirty detector coins in with large numbers of loose coins from roll searching, and they didnt stand out.
    This was before my bank moved their coin counting machine to the lobby for direct customer access. Before that, it had to pass the cashier wrinkle nose test. Now, as long as it doesnt jam the machine, its cool.
    Hey, you ought to put a bill changing machine in the lobby. You could be like Coinstar and take a percentage. Or, even without the percentage, most people hate having a pocket full of change. So, instead of a penny, nickel or dime, they change a dollar into 4 quarters and throw the whole thing in.
    Also, I have a
  20. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Idhair has the easy solution, concrete mixer. If they have corrosion problems tumble them awhile with steel shot. For drying purposes if needed tumble with sawdust or wood shavings. The shot can be separated from the coins with a magnet, from the wood shavings/sawdust with compressed air.
  21. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    First I would install a sign requesting not to throw coins in the fountain.

    Check about having a nonprofit organization remove them. No, costs to you and they keep it all.

    Hire a company to do the work or hire from a temporary agency as needed.

    Don't clean, dry or roll the coins. Remove them and let them dry on their own, then take to coin counting machine. Rejects will be kicked out but they can go directly to the bank. Hopefully the bank you deal with has a no cost counting machine for their customers.

    Welcome to CT.
    Legomaster1 likes this.
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