# Coin jar calculator

Do you want to know how much your jar of change is worth?

First, weigh the jar, then grab a handful of coins and enter the number of pennies, nickels, etc. into the form and click "Get Estimation." Link (Thanks, Mouser!)

### 21

1. Tommy says:

Is the distribution of change in a jar homogeneous? Or would the smaller coins fall to the bottom with agitation?

2. jwz says:

But where’s the web page that can tell me how much this steamer trunk full of bills is worth? Time is of the essence here, man!

3. bach says:

I grabbed several handfuls of coins out of my change jar and they averaged 2.35 cents/gram. But the standard deviation was a whopping 0.68 cents/gram, so the distribution of coins in each handfuls was rather volatile, to the point where this calculator seems largely valueless.

Also, there’s no way to account for the weight of the jar.

4. loftwyr says:

And what if I put foreign coins in m jar? Will it account for Canadian two dollar coins and 500yen coins?

Boy what a terrible world we live in where even our calculators are American-only.

5. bigdebacle says:

I’d thought about a calculator like this for some time, but never coded it.

While you can’t account for the weight of the jar (probably negligible anyway–if the jar is a factor, just count the coins by hand), the estimate should be close.

Dimes, quarters and half dollars weigh out the same — \$20 per pound. Pennies (\$1.81 per pound) and nickels (\$4.53) will lower the average and dollar coins will increase it (\$56).

Unless you have a wide fluctuation in the distribution of coins (eg. Lots of pennies on the bottom and dollars on top), you should have a decent approximation.

In my case, I’ve sorted out pennies and have no half dollars or dollars. I ended up with 150 pounds of nickels, dimes and quarters. My handful is an accurate representation of the total, in my opinion. I ended up with \$2500 of coinage. If it were all quarters or dimes (or a combo), I’d have had \$3000. As it stands, the \$2500 feels about right.

Viewed in another light: I’ll take this tool over trying to count \$2000+ of coins by hand.

6. Crash says:

I bet there’s a brilliant paper on experimental combinatorics waiting somewhere in this.

7. Warren Camishen says:

w hv nt thng clld *CN STR* t r lcl sprmrkt

t cnts cns tht ppl brng n nd gvs thm mny (mns srvc chrg) – prtty nt

8. agnot says:

What is the service charge?

9. Warren Camishen says:

gnt: *wht s th srvc chrg?*

nt mch – myb 8 prcnt

r fmly thrws ls cns n lttl plstc jr nd
bt vry 6 mnths w drg rslvs dwn t CN STR
nd gntly pr r cns nt th lttl srtng mchn (vry nt!)
nd whn dn w gt vchr fr thr grcrs r csh

nrmlly w rk n pprx \$70.00 nd s t s md mny

thght vry str n mrc hs ths mchns (?) thy’v rlly trnd th rt f pnhndlng nt trly prftbl vntr
nd w sv vry sngl pnny w fnd – ts fn!

10. eih10dv65g says:

I guess I am the only person so far who saves coins and then builds towers out of them. It’s fun, and if you do it right you can count the coinage really quick at the end. For example, a ten pillar tower with ten coin pillars and five-high pillar tops would be two hundred coins per level. Have four complete layers of pennies and three extra pillars? \$8.30.

11. hyperkine says:

Regarding coinstar you can avoid the service charge by going to one that does giftcards. So long as you get paid with a giftcard, no service fee.

You can also get straight cash with no fee by unplugging the modem connection–when the machine can’t call home, no fee. I’m sure this is illegal though there’s a very definitive guide somewhere in the web explaining in great detail how to time it.

12. Warren Camishen says:

Th 8 prcnt srvc chrg t s CN STR s nthng cmprd t th ld dys f cntng nd shvng pnns (dms, nckls) nt cn wrpprs. sd t tk hrs!!!!

13. Diatryma says:

I’ve not understood CoinStars for a while. My bank does the same thing with no surcharge. When my change gets baggie-sized, I pull out all the quarters for laundry and take it in.

14. Steve Stair says:

I used to sock all my change into a large jar, but for the last few years, I use my credit card everywhere, so the jar isn’t getting full as fast as it used to.

15. Warren Camishen says:

wll, t’s 2008 nd w’r ll d fr sm srt f CHNG

16. NoneMoreNegative says:

HSBC in the UK have a coin machine that will take all your change and credit it straight into your account. I told a friend just before xmas I’d do his change for him rather than him pay the 8% in a supermarket machine; he met me with (no kidding) a small suitcase full of change, Â£50 in 5ps and another Â£70 in copper – we monopolized the macine for 55mins feeding it all in, 6000+ coins :)

17. gnoodles says:

#13 Diatryma:

Unfortunately, most banks don’t seem to offer a coin counting service anymore. If yours still does, count yourself as lucky (no pun intended).

As someone else pointed out, the way to (legally) avoid the coin counting fee is to use their gift cards. Every night, I throw all my change in my jar & every three months or so cash it in for an Amazon.com gift card and use that as my “Amazon allowance”. It’s kind of like getting all of my Amazon purchases for free. Sort of.

18. Warren Camishen says:

GNDLS: *th wy t (lglly) vd th cn cntng f s t s thr gft crds*

lmst ny f ths n-str cntng nd rdmng schms s gng t rqr t lst smll F f sm srt.

n-fr-n trd n jst nt gnn hppn, s t csts mny t mntn cntng mchns

gft crds snd nc, f th crd s fr str r prdct n lks

19. ratatouille says:

@WARREN: Are you posting just for the sake of it?

Some of us (like Gnoodles) regularly use coinstar and we know for a fact that choosing a gift card (rather than cash) comes with NO service fee.

“a one-for-one trade in just aint gonna happen, as it costs money to maintain counting machines”

Again, did you just pull that out of your ass?

See here from the constar website: http://www.coinstar.com/us/WebDocs/A1-0-3-1

“gift cards sound nice, if the card is for a store or product one likes”

Again, they are not offering gift cards to some obscure mom and pop store in the middle of nowhere. What is it that you want that Amazon (or any of the numerous nationwide giftcards) doesn’t carry?

20. kingkool68 says:

I decided to give this site a run for it’s money (pun intended) with a jar full of coins I had in my room. CoinCalc.com came within \$10 of the actual total, a pretty good ball park tool. A much better estimation that I would have come up with by myself.

More details about my experiment can be found at my blog -> http://www.russellheimlich.com/blog/coincalccom-guesstimates-spare-change/

Thanks for sharing this!