Pennies from heaven? No, coins from Canada
November 9, 2013 3:13 PM   Subscribe

I am in Portland, OR. I have >$50 face value of Canadian coins. I need to get rid of them fast. (Obtained legally!) Hope me? Details after the cut.

Helping a friend go through some of her late father's possessions. We are in downtown Portland, OR. We have plans all day tomorrow & leave early Monday to go back to the east coast. We have a lot of coins, old and new. The really old US ones are coming home. The new US coins are going in the Coinstar and we'll have a few beers on them.

What do we do with the Canadian ones? It seems silly to toss them but we can't use them nor do we wish to schlep them back home. Some are old (but not mint so likely not worth much). Many are "proofs" so only worth face value (could they be less?).

Coin stores and pawn shops are closed for the weekend or too far away. What should we do with them besides throwing them away? Toss them in a fountain? Any ideas?

If any Portland Mefites want them, me mail me.
posted by pointystick to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Currency exchange?
posted by mikeh at 3:16 PM on November 9, 2013

Airport currency exchange should be open tomorrow.
posted by COD at 3:39 PM on November 9, 2013

Response by poster: Update: Currency exchange will not take coins but there is a machine there that you can put foreign change (larger coins only) in and get a small %age back in US coins. We will try that although some of the Canada dollars are pre-loonies from the 70s...

Heck, I have a transit pass so the ride to the airport is free...
posted by pointystick at 3:42 PM on November 9, 2013

I live in North Portland and would give you a few bars of freshly made homemade soap if you brought them over. It's not worth $50, but soap! Oh and some homemade chocolate or something fresh from the oven. Maybe cookies or brownies.
posted by aniola at 3:47 PM on November 9, 2013 [8 favorites]

You can mix the recent ones ( except loonies and toonies) in with the rest of your change.
posted by brujita at 4:15 PM on November 9, 2013

Once in NYC I had a quarter with a moose on it pushed back at me with an annoyed "That's not one of ours." Canadians do not mind US coins in their mix, but I have never heard of that being the status quo in the opposite direction?
posted by kmennie at 4:21 PM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

"that was an outstanding latte, mr./ms. barista. the good news is, i'm leaving you a $50 tip..."
posted by bruce at 4:30 PM on November 9, 2013 [6 favorites]

Are there any museums nearby with one of those big Perspex change boxes that actively solicit foreign donations?
posted by zamboni at 4:48 PM on November 9, 2013

Close to the last suggestion. Find a church or someone else who would take a donation and might have the time and the capacity to either convert or sell the coins...
posted by NoDef at 4:52 PM on November 9, 2013

Certain Canadian coins pre-1968 may be high in silver.
A dime worth maybe worth $1 of silver, a quarter worth maybe much more.

posted by bottlebrushtree at 5:11 PM on November 9, 2013

Canadians do not mind US coins in their mix, but I have never heard of that being the status quo in the opposite direction?

It depends a lot how close you are to the border. In New England it is not that uncommon to have Canadian change mixed in, especially since the exchange rate is so super close at the moment.
posted by Miko at 6:04 PM on November 9, 2013

Canadian consulate? Straight up donate or try to get them to switch for you.

Canadian Consulate
805 SW Broadway Avenue, Suite 1900, 97205, Portland, Oregon, United States

There is also a Canadian Expat meetup group
posted by St. Peepsburg at 6:50 PM on November 9, 2013

Powell's on West Burnside takes non-US moneys. Or it used to... I've never availed myself of this service, so I don't know their policy toward coinage, but I remember seeing the signs behind the counter in the Orange Room with exchange rates. I assume they still do it. You could have books instead of coins!
posted by mumkin at 10:42 PM on November 9, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, all! The timing made this tricky what with being a weekend.

There is a foreign change machine at the airport that we gave the .25 pieces to. Crap rate but it got rid of the weight.

We do have some pre-1968 monies and those my friend is looking into selling for silver scrap. She carried them home in her backpack carry-on with the old American coins.

The dollar & .50 coins - a friend volunteered to buy them so we sold them to her at a fair rate.
posted by pointystick at 7:07 PM on November 12, 2013

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