The Short Guide to Giving Coins & Paper Currency

When the holiday season rolls around, we all have that one person that’s a nightmare to give to. You want to get them an awesome present, but they already own EVERYTHING. You want to avoid giving a gift card, because there’s absolutely no holiday spirit in that! So what are you to do?

This year, consider something a little different. Something that’s not hard to wrap. Something that won’t cost a fortune to ship. Something really memorable that can start a growing collection. How about some coins or paper currency! But where to start? Read below.

Single Coins

Single coins make great gifts for a few reasons, the first being price. In your typical Yankee Swap, Secret Santa, or any other type of gift exchange, you don’t have a lot to spend. So you need to be able to get something fun and different in the $20 range, which is why one coin is perfect.

But what if your gift requires a little more thought? You can choose one that will be meaningful to someone special in your life. Lets pretend your grandmother was born in 1921. A 1921 Morgan Dollar might be the perfect gift!

The third reason for choosing a single coin is that it’s a perfect starting point for a collection. You might not want to give someone too many coins to start, because they’ll want to build the collection themselves.

Coin Lots

Even though giving just one coin has its advantages, there are also reasons to give a “lot” of coins. Lets take pirate coins, for example. How many pirate chests do you know of that have three coins sitting in them? None! They need to be full of gold! You can buy 100 shiny gold doubloon replicas, or something similar, as a great starting point at a very reasonable price. Lots of coins are great for giving that “Wow!” factor as well. When you give somebody 10 coins instead of just one, it feels like you’ve given more. It’s an especially good tactic for making children more excited.


A lot of people are coin collectors, but you’d be surprised how many of them completely skip out on collecting currency. Paper currency is a fascinating part of history! And you can give it in single bills, or in lots, just like coins. For example, a 1929 Federal Reserve note from the Depression Era can be given to someone who’s really into history. Or if you need something a little more lighthearted, give them a lot of 50 trillion dollar notes from Zimbabwe. Just make sure you record their reaction on your phone!

Coin/Currency Holders

If you’re giving valuable coins and currency to a new collector, chances are they won’t know how to take care of their money. Placing the bills and coins in a Ziploc bag isn’t going to cut it. Make sure your gift receivers have some Air-Tite holders for their coins, or some BCW currency holders for their paper currency. And if you’re giving some pirate themed currency, make sure you top it off with a Skull & Crossbones pouch!

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on 


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