It is most common for collectors to purchase their coins from coin dealers, mail-order,auctions, etc. When I was growing up, there was no Ebay as the Internet hadn’t yet evolved. Coin shops were far and few between, so I had to resort to a different tactic to fill the holes in my wheat penny album...a method I still use quite regularly today!
A lot of people don’t realize that it is perfectly OK to go to your local bank and ‘load up' on circulated rolls of coins. I like pennies, because for $50 you get 100 rolls -5,000 coins to look through! It gives me something to do on a rainy weekend, and quite regularly pays off. More than once, I’ve been handed solid rolls of wheat pennies at the bank! The best part is that everything you find, you’re getting for face value. I’ve found everything from errors, civil-war tokens, nicely-graded Indian cents, ‘better-date wheats’, BU wheats, and even SILVER DIMES, just in rolls of pennies! Just the other day I pulled out a 1912-S in Very-Good! I replace the ones I keep with a penny I found or picked up off the ground, so the coins I keep are literally FREE! Leaving out the ‘good score’ occasions, I’d estimate only 1 of every 100 cents is a wheat penny, but they quickly add up!
Another one I like to play with is half-dollars. Every now and then, I’ll ask the banker to order me a box or two of half-dollars ($500 face each). They are happy to do it, and there is no surcharge. I pick them up on Friday, and I have all weekend to look at them before having to get the money back in the bank! I’ve scored lots of silver and silver/clads, Franklin halves, Walker halves, lots of doubled dies, and even Proof halves! Again, I am getting collectible coins (not to mention the price of silver) for FACE VALUE!
I get the best results going to the smallest country towns, far away from the ‘big city’. In the city, I choose the banks that offer ‘free checking’ because those are the banks most elderly people deal with, and that seems to be where a lot of them take their old rolled up change, not noticing the difference in the designs.Banks can be a coin collector’s best friend. I’ve had bankers tell me about finding solid rolls of Indian cents, silver quarters, dimes, etc.
There are collectible coins to be found in all denominations, so whatever your favorite coin is, it’s always worth a shot at your local