What Does Coinstar Do With Rare Coins? | Hidden Treasures

While Coinstar machines primarily focus on processing everyday coins, rare coins occasionally discovered within these machines receive special attention. If it is a coin that is not recognizable it will be dropped to the bottom of the machine where you may grab it. In this article, we delve into the specific protocols and possibilities surrounding rare coins found in Coinstar machines, shedding light on how these valuable numismatic finds are handled and highlighting the potential outcomes for both collectors and individuals using the machines.

Coinstar's Main Function

Before delving into the fate of rare coins, it is important to understand Coinstar's primary function. Coinstar machines are designed to process and count loose change, providing users with an efficient way to convert their coins into usable funds. Individuals can pour their coins into the machine, which counts and sorts them, issuing a voucher or gift card redeemable for cash or merchandise.

Rare Coins and Coinstar Machines

Given the vast number of coins processed by Coinstar machines, it is not uncommon for rare coins to occasionally find their way into these machines. Rare coins may include those with historical significance, unique minting errors, limited editions, or those possessing high numismatic value. While rare coins are not the intended focus of Coinstar machines, the discovery of such coins can create excitement among collectors and enthusiasts.

Coinstar's Protocol for Rare Coins

When rare coins are detected within a Coinstar machine, the handling and fate of these numismatic treasures can vary depending on the specific policies and procedures in place. Coinstar, as a company, does not typically specialize in rare coins and their valuation. Instead, they primarily focus on the efficient processing of everyday coins.

Collaboration with Third Parties

In some cases, Coinstar may collaborate with third-party coin dealers or numismatic experts to handle rare coins discovered in their machines. These specialists possess the knowledge and expertise to assess the rarity, authenticity, and value of the coins. Coinstar may facilitate the connection between the machine user and these experts, enabling a potential sale or further evaluation of the rare coin.

Return to the User

In certain instances, Coinstar may notify the individual who deposited the rare coin, providing an opportunity for them to retrieve it. This is more likely to occur if the machine has a mechanism to capture unique or unusual coins during the counting process. In such cases, Coinstar may reach out to the user and facilitate the return of their valuable coin.

Corporate Decision and Disposition

As a corporate entity, Coinstar does not possess the infrastructure or expertise to actively engage in the trading or auctioning of rare coins. Their primary focus remains on the efficient processing of common coins for customers. Consequently, the disposition of rare coins found in Coinstar machines may ultimately be determined by the policies and decisions of the company, potentially involving collaboration with external experts or facilitating the return to the original depositor.


While Coinstar machines primarily handle everyday coins, the occasional discovery of rare coins within these machines adds an element of intrigue and excitement. The specific fate of these numismatic treasures largely depends on Coinstar's policies and practices, which may involve collaboration with third-party coin dealers or facilitating the return to the depositor. Ultimately, Coinstar's role in dealing with rare coins extends beyond their intended function, as their focus remains on the efficient processing of coins rather than the valuation and trading of numismatic finds.

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