Nebben11's Blog

30 May 2015

Lost and found - Vending Machine Chronicles

Coins | Nebben11

I'm surprised that a lot of vending machine people aren't coin collectors. As someone who has been in the business for 11 years, I have found a lot of foreign and US coinage that normally haven't been seen by the mass public. Days into this industry, I found a vending machine at a UPS facility that for some reason took tokens(the chuck e cheese kind) as quarters, this got me wondering what the possibilities of other coins to be accepted and or get jammed in the machine.

Besides US coins, pocket lint and wrappers get stuck in a coin mechanism(mech). Even odd things like small 50 cent vending toys, stickers, gum, and for sale tabs. Kids can be a living nightmare on my life, but I can not only blame kids, adults are can be down right dumb! Like the time I found a rubber baby stopper(not used... I think/hope). But there is a good side to what we call "Coin Jams".

In certain demographic locations you will find coins from all over the world. In soccer arenas EU coins, Laundromats Mexican pesos, and even in workplaces as lucky/inappropriateheads or tails slugs.
As far as US coinage most Vending machines nowadays don't accept JFK halves let alone Ike dollars, in fact if the front slot is big enough, they get stick as the mech as its trying to reject the coin. I don't have to be a JFK to jam up the coin mech, that lint as I call it, can cause some of the foreign to become part of my collection. for example a soccer arena yielded a silver50 Céntimos Bolivar.

Speaking of silver, US silver coins are rare in the vending industry(I have NEVER seen a silver dime). Most coin mechs no longer accept silver since they set them to close tolerances to avoid accepting counterfeits. If they do, its an old mech or have not been serviced since they first have been put into service.

Vintage US coins are still in circulation and can and are accepted in modern vending machines, my favorite finds are a 1912 Liberty V nickel and 1916 and 1927 Buffalo nickel.



Level 7

Never thought of vending machines. If I get cash from an ATM I look for star currency or errors with the serial number. In my neighborhood we don't need vending machines so that's that. It's a good idea if they were here I would definitely check them. Thanks for the blog.


Level 4

That's pretty cool!


Level 2

If you have a Coin Star or a coin counting machine at a grocery store, some people don't bother with what ends up in the coin return after being rejected. I found Euros, Pesos, other foreign coins, and even silver just left sitting in the return slot when no one around using the machine.

Jake Sherlock

Level 4

Check it out -- Nebben11 got mentioned on Coin World: http://www.coinworld.com/news/vending-machines-prove-to-be-a-coin-quandary-morning-report.html#


Level 6

That's really interesting. I never thought of all the stuff people into vending machines! I think it's wild that you've found a silver dime! Thanks for a cool blog post!


Level 6

Never thought of that. I've read that the vending machine industry had a lot to do with coin design.

Ian Fenn

Level 5

Interesting to read from the perspective of someone in the business. I have also wondered how a collector would do working in the used furniture business( coins inside sofas etc? Every so often in Austria you hear of a family panicking because they suddenly realise the life savings of a recently deceased relative were actually stored in the back of the sofa the threw out . In austria banks are not trusted by some of the older generations( they recall the inflationary period and the time after the second world war)...so cash and gold is preferred. It is some times stored in some of the most cliched ways


Level 5

Interesting post. It sounds like this would be an interesting collection or maybe a post with pictures of your finds.

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