Requester Magoo asks about a roll of US Susan B Anthony dollar coins. The roll has never been opened. What treasure might it hold? Most likely, it holds 25 SBA dollars worth face value. But there are some *better* SBA dollars (like the 1979 'near date' coin shown at this link [Press Here]), and there might be 25 good ones in there!
Welcome to the world of Coin Roll Hunting.
Often abbreviated CRH, the goal of this fringe area of coin collecting is to search through dozens, hundreds, or thousands of rolls of coins in the hopes of getting something that is worth more than face value. CRH'ers are rewarded more often than you might think. Some numismatic magazines have sections dedicated to 'found in rolls' treasures.
(Note to Magoo -- 1999 was the last year of SBA dollars. There is no such thing as an SBA dollar dated 2000. The roll had been marked by a coin shyster to intrigue, nothing more.)
Roll hunting is not exclusive to the US. There is an active community in Canada and there may be other countries where it's done. The coins are acquired from banks, from other collectors, or from roll dealers. Different banks have different policies when it comes to repeat pickups of large quantities of coin, so if you are considering getting into this hobby, check with your local branch first!
Coins from banks are acquired at face value, so any special coins will be acquired for free, so to speak. Of course, it is extremely time consuming to open dozens of rolls containing thousands of coins and check them all. But if you are a coin roll hunter, you probably find the work relaxing and its own reward!
Coins from collectors are normally bought at above face value. Rolls of pennies are commonly traded on web auction sites. The older the rolls, the higher the value. Some rolls contain all identical coins, for example you might see a roll of pennies all dated 1959P. Other rolls contain a mix of different dates. Some shady dealers carefully steam the end of the rolls open and insert an old but common coin so it's visible on the end. Be careful about who you buy from.
In the US, different denominations are searched for different reasons:
PENNIES are searched for rare key dates, double dies, error coins, wheat cents, and Indian head cents. Some people also look for pennies dated before 1982, since these are made of copper, not zinc with a copper cladding. The value of the copper in pre-82 US penny is about 2 cents, so it requires a lot of storage space to turn a significant profit.
NICKELS are searched for rare key dates, error coins, war nickels containing 35% silver, as well as buffalo nickels and sometimes even Liberty head nickels.
DIMES, QUARTERS, and HALF DOLLARS are searched for key dates, errors, pre-1965 coins with silver content, as well as Barber coins and other old designs, such as Mercury dimes, Standing Liberty quarters, and Franklin halves. At today's silver price, pre-1965 coins are worth a ton of money over face value. See our page about these coins at this link [Press Here].
DOLLARS are rarely searched, though some people do search them for errors. They require the largest 'deposit capital' of all denominations, and so it's expensive to search a lot at one time.