How Do Coin Machines Work?

Written by sasha maggio Google
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How Do Coin Machines Work?
Loose change can quickly become an inconvenience. (coins image by Tomasz Nowicki from

With the increased use of bank debit cards, fewer people are carrying loose change around. Coin machines, whether for personal convenience or for exchanging coins for cash, reduce or eliminate the time spent counting and rolling coins.

Coin Bank

Many people who frequently, though unintentionally, "collect" loose change, purchase a coin bank for home use. These banks are smaller versions of the large coin machines found in stores. Loose change is tossed into the top, and when the coin bank is switched on, it sorts the coins by size and stacks them into tubular sections making it easy to roll them for deposit or exchange.


Coinstar machines are the large coin-exchange machines that resemble vending machines often seen in retail stores. Loose change, usually in large quantities, is placed into the machine, which sorts and counts the change and delivers the user a ticket. The ticket is taken to the store's customer service booth or a cashier to exchange for cash or to use as cash on a purchase.


Coin machines are designed to sort coins by size. Pennies and dimes are both small, but not the same size, for instance, and therefore are not sorted into the same area. The concept is similar to how vending machines know the user inserted a quarter and not a nickel.

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