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Scrapping foreign coins (not silver or gold!)

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  1. #1
    thebugguy started this thread.
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    Scrapping foreign coins (not silver or gold!)

    Howdy all-

    One of my (too) many hobbies is collecting coins- mostly inexpensive, foreign stuff that you pick up in pocket change while on vacation. After however many years of this I've accumulated five or ten pounds of "culls"- coins too damaged or dirty to sell of or give away. My question is, has anyone here turned in bags of foreign coins to their local scrap yard? If so, what happened? How'd they want them sorted and what did you get paid per pound?

    I can easily separate out the aluminum coins (not sure how my scrap yard would grade these, but I'm sure they'd take them). The stainless steel and nickel coins are harder to eyeball, but I can probably do it. However, there is a whole mishmash of copper-based alloys that are hard to eyeball- "pure" copper, bronze (copper and tin), brass (copper and zinc), "aluminum bronze" (copper and aluminum), "copper nickel" and the like (and there are always those pesky copper-plated zinc clunkers out there).



    I know each yard has their own rules, but has anyone turned in something like this? I'm just curious if there's any reason (monetary premium) for sorting these out of if they will all go as some sort of "brass". My local yard does sub-sort its brass, but I've never brought enough in to pay much attention to the varieties and prices.

    If anyone has any experience doing this I'd love to hear about it before heading over to the yard. They'll probably look at me like an alien no matter what...

    cheers,
    tbg


  2. #2
    Mechanic688's Avatar
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    Too damaged and bad shape that they could not be sold on Ebay in a "bag lot"??
    Might get more value out of them that way,,
    P & M Recycling - Specializing in E-Waste Recycling.
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  4. #3
    thebugguy started this thread.
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    I've been selling off my less-cruddy duplicate coins a half-pound at a time on eBay, but the shipping is a killer. I haven't sold enough lots to have a good set of statistics (nor have I kept very good notes), but after the fees and postage I doubt I've gotten much more than a dollar or two a pound. Given the time invested and the current price of various types of brass, I'd probably make out just as well selling them at the scrap yard, and with a lot less hassle. Still, I'd almost rather go through the effort to get the coins into the hands of someone who would appreciate them (as opposed to melting them).

    In this case, the coins I'm talking about are the real dogs- ones that I wouldn't want to sell to anybody. Maybe a good equivalent would be keys- I've seen buckets of keys dropped off at my yard- I wonder what they're classified as....

    cheers,
    tbg

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    Mechanic688's Avatar
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    a good equivalent would be keys- I've seen buckets of keys dropped off at my yard- I wonder what they're classified as....
    My yard takes them as brass,

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    I've turned in some brass foreign coins and brass tokens (car wash, etc.) with my clean yellow brass with no problems. These are obviously yellow brass and no one questioned them. Have no idea on your mixed metal coins...
    ~You have to start somewhere to get anywhere~

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    Would you not possibly get more by exchanging them to USD? I guess it depends on the currency lol
    If I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all...

    GC Metal Recycling & Recovery
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    Quote Originally Posted by jord0690 View Post
    Would you not possibly get more by exchanging them to USD? I guess it depends on the currency lol
    Old Roman stone coins maybe? haha, I guess they're in about the same boat, worth about as much at the grocery ; )

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    Just an advisory - Be careful selling these on ebay. You know how some people can't read? Well, some don't know what "culls" means. Just last night I was reading a guy's reviews. One "negative" was because all the coins were "beat up". Sure enough, right in the description, the guy said these were "culls" from his collection.
    People may laugh at me, but that's ok. I laugh all the way to the bank.

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    Your scrap yard does not want to deal with these. They would have to have the right book and a microscale to deal in these. E-bay is your best bet.
    "64K should be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates 1981
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  13. #11
    thebugguy started this thread.
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    All-

    Interesting replies...

    As for changing them for USD: nope. Most are demonetized (no longer current) and even then there are very few banks in the US that will accept foreign coins (bills yes, coins no). I did pick out a couple Canadian and Australian coins that could conceivably be spent on a trip...

    I took my pile and sorted out the Al, stainless steel, clad-steel (some of the coins from Colombia were actually rusting around the edges!) and clad-zinc (bounce them on a table and they *thunk*, not *ring*). I'm not done yet, but what I'm left with is Ni (not many of these), Cu-Ni (a common coin alloy- think of our quarters without the copper core), Bronze, and a series of "yellow", brassy looking coins. The "yellow" category is a pain- there are some straight-up Brass, some Al-Bronze (fairly common), and three or four additional copper-based alloys. A pain in the butt to look up and sort out, but interesting in a way.

    The question is how is my yard going to handle these (assuming that they trust my sorting skill which, on the face of it, I'm not sure why they ever would unless I show them my 900+ page coin catalog). I'd be perfectly happy chucking the bronze and "yellow" coins together- as "Brass"- that seems to make sense. Not sure what they'll do with the Cu-Ni. I'll only bring in even-pound bags-that should make it easier to haggle...

    We'll find out...

    cheers,
    tbg
    Last edited by thebugguy; 10-16-2013 at 01:28 PM.

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    Scrapping foreign coins (not silver or gold!)

    All you can do is ask. Worst they can do is say no and you can throw it in with the shred.

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    I collect foreign coins as well. One of the on line sites I'm a member of is Numista. I know you said they were "junk coins". Maybe? you can trade them, I once tradeded 20 "dogs" for one decent coin. I also made a wind chime out of my dog coins once, it came out pretty neat looking, had a nice chime sound too! Had it on my front porch, someone took it!

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    Put them in a plastic bag and sell them at a yard sale. Its hard for some people to pass up a hoard of coins, regardless of their condition.

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  18. #15
    thebugguy started this thread.
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    Interesting ideas. I like the wind chime idea- those types of metals do have a really nice "ring" to them (I saved the brass bells out of a couple old phones I took apart recently, just because)... Years and years ago I made earrings out of inexpensive but visually interesting foreign coins- easy and fun.

    I like going to yard sales (if they're convenient)- I don't much like having them, though. While I *do* have a lot of "junk" in the house, virtually all of it is stuff I actually want (and is of limited interest to most other folks). I mean, who has room for a garage full of stuff they *don't* really want or need? As soon as we fill up a cardboard box of that kind of stuff it gets taken to Goodwill as a tax deduction- heaven forbid we accumulate enough useless stuff to have a garage sale! In fact, Saturday was "clean out the carport day"- I sold a few scavenged items on Craigslist ($20 for a collapsible dog pen I found next to a dumpster- whoop!), dropped off some cheap household items at Goodwill and took the rest to the scrapyard.

    So I did take a couple of baggies of coins to the scrap yard- one "bronze" and one "copper-nickel"- and wound up getting $1.50/lb for both of them (the yard's going rate for "red brass", though that's not exactly how they describe it). The guy there is friendly enough and so far as I can tell offers square deals, but he isn't exactly the most talkative/informative guy (I don't think he's used to dealing with scrap-geeks). At first he didn't really know what to think and offered $1/lb, though changed his mind and gave me the better deal (maybe because he was just curious to poke through the baggies). I didn't bring any "aluminum bronze" or "real" brass coins, but I imagine he'd offer me the same deal for that stuff, too- I dunno. He might think about it a little more and ask a few more questions if I were to drive up with a 55 gal drum of the stuff.

    While I was there, another scrapper looked at my coins and suggested I should sell them elsewhere to get more money. It's kind of interesting how people perceive value differently. I, a 20+ year coin collector and reasonably knowledgeable about metal commodity prices, was happy to get $1.50 a pound. No questions, no shipping, no extra trip to the post office, no emails to write or phone calls to make, and not a whole lot less than I would get from selling better bulk samples on eBay. He just saw coins (!) and was *convinced* I was getting ripped off (not that he offered to buy them!).

    I guess value is in the eye of the beholder, though nothing is worth anything if no-one wants it. The trick is to combine knowledge (of an item/market/commodity) and opportunity (finding or producing an item and then finding the right time/place to sell it)....

    cheers,
    tbg

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    On another site I am on has buyers for foreign coin and tokens if anyone is interested here is there info.

    $4 -$5 a pound for bulk junk coins and $2 a pound for tokens, and one guy exchanges current foreign coins

    Realcent.org

    2nd person here
    Realcent.org
    Last edited by hobo finds; 04-11-2018 at 07:19 PM.
    Better than the dump!

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  22. #17
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    I would be willing to buy them above scrap price. Probably $3-5/pound for bulk foreign coins. Unfortunately I'm in Canada so shipping would be the killer


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