This Bank is Cray Cray.

Every time I get change from this place, they hand me back all kinds of crazy money. And sometimes it’s not EVEN money! Haha…

Now don’t get me wrong, I find it both hilarious AND entertaining as I get to then learn about all this new stuff they send me, but jeez – it’s just so random? And goes to show how different local mom and pop community banks can be vs. those “big banks” out there – which I love. (For many reasons than just these experiences I’m about to share with you – like them treating you more as PEOPLE!)

Case #1: The Guardian Angel Token

This was by far my favorite thing they’ve given me at this point. I had gone in to grab a handful of $1 gold coins like those Sacajaweas and presidential dollars, and when I got them handed over to me I see that one of them stood out and was most DEF not a dollar coin.

It was that guardian angel one up there in the pic and I was like, “Umm…. are you sure this is a dollar?” Haha… The teller took a few seconds to comprehend it, and replies back with, “Oh my! We must have been duped – I’m so sorry. Here, give it back and I’ll give you a proper coin!” “No no, no worries at all!” I quickly shot back, “I love it! Can I just keep it? I want to research and see what the heck it is.” “Oh, sure. Yes by all means. But here – let me give you a replacement coin anyways so we don’t cheat you out of a dollar.” Win-win!

I then promptly jumped on the computer to figure out what my new treasure was, and if on the off chance it was worth something significant :) Unfortunately it wasn’t worth that much monetarily wise (you can pick them up for a couple bucks on eBay), but it was cool learning that it was a guardian angel coin. The whole day I kept it in my pockets feeling good that I was being more protected, and it totally made my weekend :) And now it lies with my other coins in my cigar box just chillin’ and protecting over all them, hehe… You don’t see that every day!

OH! But the best part? That very next day (Sunday) I was at church and guess what the sermon was about?? GUARDIAN ANGELS!!! And how we all have them and it’s important to remember they’re there for us – What are the odds??? I mean, for real? Was that meant to be or was that meant to be?

Case #2: The Panamanian Balboa Coin

After my experience with the angel coin, I thought I’d go back to this same mom and pop bank (my new favorite!!) and get some more rolls to look through and add to my Whitman coin folders I’m trying to complete. I got one quarter roll, two dime rolls, and one penny roll. I normally prefer nickel ones because the odds of finding silver in them are much higher than the rest it seems (I found four the last time!), but sadly they were out so I got what I got…

Now the penny roll didn’t yield anything too exciting because I’m only missing a few years to complete my penny book anyways, but those others were definitely interesting! In one of the dime rolls I found a British 5 Pence coin – I guess cuz it’s similar in size and shape to the dime? – and then in the quarter roll I found a NICKEL?? Wtf??  Haha…

BUT, before I considered going back and complaining cuz now I’m out 30 cents right from the get go (10 because of the pence, and now 20 due to the nickel swapped out for a quarter), I found one more surprise in that quarter roll: A 1996 Panamanian Balboa coin! What the???

Just like the dime, it’s super similar in size and weight/etc, so it’s easy to see how it got confused as a quarter if you’re not paying attention much. Which this bank is of course NOT, man. Unlike the bigger ones who use machines to roll up and sort their coins, these guys obviously do not ;) But that’s the reason I love them so much too – they hand roll all their change! Which leaves plenty of errors for big nerds like me to get excited about, haha… It’s probably not good for everyone else out there who simply wants their money owed to them, but to me it’s starting to become a fun game :)

And these experiences are just from THREE trips to that particular bank too – how crazy is that? Imagine if I went every week getting some change? I might just have to make it more of a habit… I lose money every time, but you never know what I might find, haha… I’m gonna go again this weekend and try and make it three for three :) Wish me luck!

Have you guys ever received anything funky in your change?? Or from your own favorite banks? You wanna join me on an error finding quest over the weekend? ;)Let’s see who can find the craziest things from our banks!

PS: When I posted that Balboa coin on Facebook, one of my friends told me she can make a necklace out of it for me and I’m totally taking her up on it! I mailed her the coin and now just waiting for it to be put together and shipped back… You never know what can come out of this stuff!

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  1. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies February 8, 2013 at 6:41 AM

    I still have a 10 forint piece floating around our house that is almost exactly the same size/look as a quarter, but weighs a lot less. I have to be careful not to try and use it at the newspaper box =)

    1. J. Money February 8, 2013 at 8:21 PM

      Cool! I have no idea where a “forint” is even from? Haha… Googling it now ;)

      (Hungarian! Cool!)

  2. Lance @ Money Life and More February 8, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    I’d say you found yourself some cheap entertainment! Only 30 cents? Score!

    It does make you wonder about what other bank customers think thought. I doubt everyone is a huge coin fan like yourself but I guess it is only 30 cents… I’d probably get irritated but it wouldn’t be worth my time to mention to them.

    1. J. Money February 8, 2013 at 8:22 PM

      Yeah, if this happened to you ever single time you wen there for rolls? I’d probably start saying something after the 3rd and 4th time :( But lucky for me (and them!) I love it!

  3. John S @ Frugal Rules February 8, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    I agree with Lance, it looks like you found some cheap entertainment! I worked at a larger bank for a short time years ago and I never saw anything like this. I saw other, similarly crazy things, but nothing like this. It makes me wonder what other interesting coins/things people are finding at this bank.

    1. J. Money February 8, 2013 at 8:23 PM

      I know!!! I want to hurry up and work there like once a week to snag them all, haha… that would be pretty hardcore though, eh? ;)

  4. Brian February 8, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Nothing too crazy in my change until this morning! 1963 dime! So I just turned a profit on my entirely too large soda purchase today!

    It’s been a long time since I have received any silver in my change. Mostly I have just been pulling out my pre-1982 pennies and throwing them in a large rubbermaid container.

    1. J. Money February 8, 2013 at 8:23 PM

      Woah nice!! I go LOOKING for silver in my dime rolls and nothing. EVER.

  5. Financial Black Sheep February 8, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    Your banks sounds like a slot machine where you actually get something in return haha. At least something different, not necessarily worth anything. My banks stopped carrying any collectible coins to minimize people coming in for rolls and then turning them back in. They now send it all to the main branch for what I have no idea, because the main branch won’t let me have any either. You think living in a city where they make money I would be able to find cool stuff easier, but I am wondering if everyone else thinks that way too.

    1. J. Money February 8, 2013 at 8:25 PM

      It seems your bank is just as smart as us and is pocketing/trading in all those collectible coins ;) I’m just waiting for a teller to tell me she has a $500 or $1,000 bill for me! Cuz those bad boys can be worth a loooooooooooot more than face value fo sho… And I’d rather find one or at least get a deal off one than cheat and pick one up at a coin/currency shop ;)

  6. Paul February 8, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Actually at today’s exchange rate, the 5 pence coin is worth 7.9 cents, so technically you’re really only out a little over 2 cents.


    1. J. Money February 8, 2013 at 8:25 PM

      Haha… well even better then.

  7. Joanna @ Our Freaking Budget February 8, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    How bizarre that you can depend on this bank to give you a few strange coins every time! Haha, I love it. And the guardian angel coin was most definitely meant to be! :)

    The only time I’ve ever collected coins is when the different state quarters first started coming out. I was probably in middle school at the time, and I loved trying to find each one!

    1. J. Money February 8, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      I’m STILL trying to find every one! It’s my mission to complete all my modern book sets like that and then move on to more older, harder, stuff… but jeez, some of those quarters are freakin’ hard to find in change!

  8. Jose February 8, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Lately I’ve gotten the “pre 1964” silver coin bug. Considering that dimes and quarters prior to 1964 were 90% silver it makes sense to carefully look at any change I get. To put that in perspective a pre-94 dime has an intrinsic silver value of $2.28 at the latest spot price of $31.46. It pains me that as a kid I had a bank full of old mercury dimes, several hundred dollars worth. If course that was all spent when I hit my late teens on things that I can’t even remember!

  9. Christine February 8, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    That’s awesome. I’m a Teller and I’ll have people come in and want $10 in dimes or pennies (and NOT for a business that was making change). I had no idea why until someone said that people will come in and ask for these rolls of coins and then take them home and sort through them looking for something valuable.

    1. Christine February 8, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      Ps, maybe you’ve found a new hobby! Haha

      1. J. Money February 8, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        Maybe YOU need to make this a new hobby! You have prime coins for the picking right there at your fingertips every single day!! I’m jealous!!!!

        Which reminds me, if you ever come across a $500 or $1,000 bill set it aside for me okay? I will pay you a nice premium for it (they’re worth a lot more than face value) and will drive wherever it is you live to come pick them up, cool? Cool. :)

  10. Cat February 8, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Do you think they give you the coins on purpose? It’s a small bank maybe they are like “Oh J. Money will find this entertaining… ::Insert Evil Laugh:: let’s hand them over and see what happens!”

    1. J. Money February 8, 2013 at 8:30 PM

      Haha I wish! I’ve only gone like three times and each time I get a new person ;) But you are giving me an idea that I *should* let them know what I’m looking for as they’re all super sweet there and will probably keep their eyes open for me… I’m gonna do that the next time I go in – thx!

  11. Squeezer February 8, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Occasionally I’ll get a canadian dime or nickel in my change. I live like 2000 miles from canada too!

    1. J. Money February 8, 2013 at 8:31 PM

      haha yeah – I find a lot in my penny rolls too… not as exciting as other finds unfortunately :)

      1. Catherine February 9, 2013 at 7:26 PM

        Hang onto those Canadian pennies since they’re no longer in production/circulation :)

  12. Sean @ One Smart Dollar February 8, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    It’s always nice when I find arcade tokens in my change. How does something from Chucky Cheese actually look like a spendable coin? haha

    1. J. Money February 8, 2013 at 8:32 PM

      HAH! Right??? I have one of those too somewhere in my collection… I think my grandma saved one for some reason?

  13. Nick @ February 8, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    I love your optimism, but unfortunately for the bank it is not a good sign. I used to be a bank teller and the kind of tellers that used to accept that sort of money in their deposits were very inattentive. Inattentive tellers are very bad for banks (lead to more robberies, financial loss, angry customers, etc.), and sometimes bad for clients too!

    1. J. Money February 8, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      I’m sure!! I wouldn’t want to know all this if it were *my* bank! Cuz you know they’re messing up people’s deposits and transposing numbers here and there too – you gotta be detailed in that line of work, and clearly these people aren’t as much… though they’re also much much older than most tellers I run into, but still not a good excuse :(

      You ever come across anything fun or valuable (or freaky??) in your teller days?

  14. My Financial Independence Journey February 8, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Whether it’s selling mortgages or rolling coins, it’s good to see that quality control procedures are firmly in place in America’s banks.

    1. J. Money February 8, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      Haha… Do I sense a tinge of sarcasm there, my friend? ;)

  15. Harrison February 8, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    I worked at McDonald’s as a cashier for my first job.

    One day in the drive through window a person came through and bought something off of the dollar menu with a very old dollar. I swapped it in the till with a dollar from my own pocket and took my antique home.

    Upon further inspection, it was a silver certificate circa 1938, not worth much but very cool regardless…

  16. stephanie February 8, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Very awesome blog today! You seem to find the best stuff, and it’s all random! I LOVE the guardian angel story too; talk about the Karma Goddess looking out for you.

    My mama had quite a few bags of coins in her safety deposit box; when we went through them after her passing we found silver $1 coins. She knew the value and socked those babies away for years. There were over 1000 of the coins, and between my siblings and I, we can still account for every single one. That was such a cool find, and I fondly remember mama every time I think about it. Not even my father knew what she had in those bags!!!

    Speaking of inattentive tellers, last week I went to my big-name bank and asked for $200. When the teller asked me to confirm the withdrawal with my signature, he had misunderstood and tried to give me $700. Holy crap! One of the two of us was obviously still asleep and I remember thinking I would avoid him in the future. That kind of scared me.

  17. J. Money February 9, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Wow that’s a HUGE difference! Haha… I’m glad you guys caught it though cuz it could have turned into an annoying mess fixing it later :( But SO COOL about those coins!!! At the very least they’re probably worth around $30 a pop (and even more in “coin value” if she has some rare ones in there!) so you’re looking at $30,000 off the bat! How exciting!! And smart of your mama for sure :) You should for real have someone look at them just to see if there are any super valuable ones in there – you never know!

  18. Tony@YouOnlyDoThisOnce February 9, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    I always find something interesting when I get change; usually from the parking ticket machine at my University. Have a great weekend!

  19. Kylie Ofiu February 9, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    That is so cool! How exciting about the guardian angels, then to be talking about them at church the next day, that is fantastic.
    That is cheap as entertainment and you make me want to go to that bank! I wouldn’t care I was losing money, because it would be so much fun and cheaper than a lot of other hobbies! I think about you now every time I come across a funky coin.

    Actually, I loved when I worked as a check out chic because we saw all sorts of weird money and if the right supervisor was on, sometimes she’d let us swap out coins and notes for the equivalent value. My sister got quite a collection and even has all the paper notes (We have had plastic notes pretty much since I was born in Australia and no $1 or $2 notes, pennies etc.)

    1. J. Money February 12, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      cool!! that’s the best way to grow your collection – by working with the money all day at a job :) you learn a lot about the history of currency too!

      See you at FINCON again this year, my friend?

  20. Nicole February 10, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    I always check my change for the old quarters that show a mountie on them (I’m in Canada). I probably have more than 20 now – I don’t even think they are worth more, I just like them.

    1. J. Money February 12, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      Hey, those are pretty cool looking! Just Googled to check them out :)

  21. debtgirl February 10, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    I would be very concerned about a bank that doens’t double check their own currency on hand. Yikes!

  22. stephanie February 10, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Holy bitches Batman, I mean JMoney-Man! I had no idea those $1 silver coins are worth that kind of money-thank you so much for the advice. I will definitely get the right person to take a look at them. Damn-I usually get all excited when I find a couple pennies on the ground, or a quarter. Right now you could literally knock me over with a feather…thanks a million!!!!

    1. J. Money February 12, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      Haha, well good! And the odds you have coins that are worth more than just the silver content is big too – especially if they’ve been kept in pretty good condition :) Some years are crazy valuable, especially the farther you go back in time. You’ll have to let me know the status when you get them checked out! You could always hit up any coin dealer and ask them too, just don’t *sell* anything to them as you’ll always get way less for ’em…

      Yay for coins!

  23. Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter February 11, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Your bank is cray cray, lol. We never find coolness from our normal change. Although this does remind me to go get some gold coins for gifts coming up…little kids LOVE those gold dollars (who am I kidding…so far everybody thinks they’re cool)…

  24. J. Money February 12, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Haha yup! Half dollars too. Most of the time when my bank is out of them it’s because parents are getting them on behalf of the Tooth Fairy :)

  25. wally March 22, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    It is not coincidence lol coin incidence that you have been giventhese two coins
    you are protected and that by God.

    1. J. Money March 23, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      Coincidence! Hah! I like that :)