How to Estimate How Much Money You Have in Your Bank for Change

You heard? America is facing a significant coin shortage , and like nearly every flame that fueled this garbage fire over the year, this one was fired by a pandemic. As we first explained back in early July , the decline in personal shopping and banking during the COVID crisis resulted in countless coins remaining in circulation. This week, according to a posting in The Hill , US Mint Director David Ryder is calling on all of us to help mitigate the crisis by using accurate change when shopping and finally cashing in all the change banks we’ve been collecting for years.

Before you do, you may want to decide if the trip to the bank is worth it (even if you disguise yourself and keep your distance, after all, every walk carries a certain degree of risk). If so, then there is an easy way to estimate how much money is in your bank for change, not counting it. If your coins are divided by denomination, it is easy to calculate based on weight. For example, according to the specification of the US Mint coins , a quarter of a coin weighs 5.67 g. It turns out that 10 dollars in quarters weighs half a pound, which is certainly convenient. At 2.268 g per ten cents, one pound ten cents is also $ 20. With other coins, things are not so clean – for example, one pound of nickel (every 5 grams) goes for about $ 4.50.

The trick to using these numbers for your own quick estimates is that you still have to split the coins before weighing them, which is a little tricky, but this is where the Coin Can Calculator comes into play . This simple website gives you a reliable estimate based on the weight of a can of mixed coins, judged by a representative handful of coins. Of course, if you just want to turn money into cash , you can always get the money from your bank or Coinstar at your grocery store. But if you want to quickly estimate what you have at hand, it is helpful to keep the weight calculation in mind. This article was originally published in May 2011. It was updated in August 2020 by Joel Cunningham to add modern context, replace expired links, update screenshots, and add a new header image.


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