Time to Put
Coins on Your Banking Radar
By David C. Harper
movement online urging Americans to take their
money out of big bad banks and put it into nice
small(er) local banks. However you might feel
about this particular movement, it is an
understandable one in the aftermath of the near
financial collapse of the country.
It would certainly behoove collectors to find
institutions that are collector friendly and to
do their business with such banks. The question
is how do you go about finding them?
Some banks do go out of their way to keep up
with the latest Lincoln cents or dollar coin
issues. Some banks do not mind when collectors
make inquiries about new coins. I receive
e-mails and letters about this from time to
Unfortunately, not all banks are helpful. In
fact, most banks are probably downright hostile
to the idea of collectors getting new issues
from them. My volume of e-mails on this topic
seems to bear this out. Just look at the Buzz
page for the latest poll results about whether
banks are making enough of an effort to obtain
the new 2010 cents with the Union shield.
I understand that getting coins is a banking
activity that incurs a cost that must be covered
by the banks in the normal course of business
and most collectors probably donít generate the
fees from this type of service that a coin-using
While this may be strictly true, and I certainly
believe it is, I also believe that that isnít
necessarily the right way to do the accounting.
If all banking amounted to was providing coins
to people, then banks certainly would need to
recover their costs on every coin supplying
transaction. However, as you know from your own
experience of banking, processing coins is just
a tiny piece of the larger picture.
Supplying new coins could be considered a
service to depositors who have checking
accounts, certificates of deposit, perhaps
consumer loans, or gasp, even a mortgage. Coins
are just a tiny part of a relationship.
Attempting to persuade bankers to see this is
probably not worth the effort. Finding bankers
out there who already believe this seems to me
to be a more worthwhile task. They are out
But that means collectors themselves need to put
bank coin services on their radar. Many
collectors who asked for new cents from banks in
2009 had probably never asked their bank for
Dealers who handle rolls and bags of coins have
long-standing relationships cultivated over many
years. The average collector, if he ever had
such a banking relationship, probably let it
slip long ago.
I certainly did. I had such a relationship with
a small Iowa bank when I had my paper route in
the 1960s and was actively searching change to
fill Whitman albums.
It probably was no accident that the institution
was small and it was in a small town. When I
moved to a larger city in Wisconsin, the
financial institutions were much less friendly.
I didnít push the coin matter. Maybe now is time
for collectors to push the coin matter and
cultivate banking relationships that will
satisfy them for years to come.
In short, the matter is up to you.