Are coin counters accurate?

1/26/2008 Update:

The results are in!

See the results of the coin counting experiment in the picture below.

I counted $170.53 in coins. The machine spat back one quarter and three dimes. So my count and the machine count differed by one dime, two nickels and a penny. I would suspect it was human error and these machines can be trusted to convert your money accurately!

Faith in humanity is now restored.




Do those change counters count accurately?

This is something I hope I’m not the only one that wonders about.

Our friendly neighborhood Commerce Bank revolutionized the coin-counting industry in Hoboken by offering no-fee machines for you to convert your metal into paper. Previously, we had to use those awful CoinStar machines, and pay a surcharge. However, is there a “built-in” surcharge on the Commerce Bank version?



Today’s experiment will answer the following:

  • How much is 15.2 lbs of accumulated pocket change worth?
  • Does the Commerce Bank coin counter secretly steal your money?

Only I’m insane enough to painstakingly count each and every coin just for this fruity experiment, hereby defeating the very reasons these machines were created for to begin with (convenience). It’s a lose-lose situation no matter how I think of it. Time, and money.


Today’s fun game:

  • How much change do you think is here (15.2lbs)?
  • How much will the change machine be off?

FYI, here’s a good starting point to guesstimate the amount. I subtracted 0.2lbs for the container weight. Then assumed each coin represented 25% of the weight. Pennies are 2.5g, nickels 5.0g, dimes 2.268g and quarters 5.67g. There are 454 grams in a pound x 15, 6810 grams/4=1702 grams per coin type. This resulted in an estimate of 680 pennies, 340 nickels, 750 dimes and 300 quarters. My ball-park is around $173.80. But keep in mind there can be more of one coin than another (i.e., less quarters because of laundry?)

Check back LATER TODAY to find out the answers!

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40 Comments on "Are coin counters accurate?"

8 years 4 months ago

I recently took my quarters into my credit union to use their coin machine and make a deposit. I counted the quarters and had 145.00 dollors. The machine counted them and came up with 122.85. These machines make mistakes! Don’t trust them. First the bank tells me it never makes mistakes then they say its 99% accurate and that they do get bags returned that are not counted right. Who’s pocketing the overages?

8 years 8 months ago

The money that gets “stuck” in the bottom buys the tellers lunches.

8 years 8 months ago

They were bought by TD BankNorth which also has fairly decent policies and I think they will not be making many changes.

8 years 8 months ago

[quote comment=”64269″]Am I a wise ass stupid yuppie? Why would native hobokenites be on this site anyway…they should know the 411 about Hoboken and not need the services H411 provides.[/quote]

it keeps me busy at work

8 years 8 months ago

My understanding is that Commerce was sold to one of the giant banks a few months back. I’d assume that we are in the final few months of free services and decent customer service from them.