Site icon Things I find in the garbage

Making some coin


One of the things I found in the woman’s bags yesterday was a plastic bag full of coins. Included were a bunch of nickels and dimes, a few commemorative Canadian dollars from the 80s, a couple of American Half-Dollars from the 70s, a coin from Jamaica (1969), and a couple of coins from the British Carribean Territories Eastern Group (1955 and 65) which once encompassed Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Antigua. There were also around 200 pennies, a few of which date to the 30s.

It’s sort of bizarre to see valuable coins being casually thrown out (and having someone yell at you for wanting them!). Even the lowly penny, which many people don’t care about at all (and I totally get that), has significant value for the metals inside. The Canadian Mint, now that it has ceased production of the coin, has begun melting down all the old pennies to recycle the metal. The older ones were mostly copper which has a fair deal of value in the market.

By recycling them we can get that metal back into circulation, which means that we won’t need to mine as much new metal, which means there’ll be less pollution. All in all it’s a good thing. It’s sad to see the pennies go, but remember that there’s still many billions sitting doing nothing across the country! I’m going to throw mine in one of those change sorting machines to make a quick buck or two.

As an aside, will this impending influx of recycled copper into the marketplace drive down copper prices? Interesting to think about.

I’ll spend the nickels and dimes and try to sell the other coins at a yard sale for a modest profit. Overall I’m going to estimate that this bag of change will net me around 12$. I recently sold a pair of old police handcuffs I found a while back for 20$. I also sold the curling badges from a few days ago to an online buyer for 40$, making my monthly profit 210$.

I still have to sell / list some of the things I found this month, so my “real profits” will become more evident in the coming days.

Regardless, it’s nearing the end of the month. Hopefully I’ll come across some things that’ll give a nice bump to my profit margin.

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