How can I reuse or recycle old coins?

coinsAfter an idea sparked by [Am] last year and added to by Alice last week, I’ve started adding ‘Top Tips’ boxes to the most popular Recycle This pages (the ones with loads of comments) to highlight the best suggestions for reducing, reusing and recycling. It’s pretty time consuming but lots of fun, re-reading all the great suggestions that have come in over the last 3.5 years — you guys are wonderfully creative and inspiring! you’re awesome!

Anyway, while I was doing the old keys one the other day, I saw that the British charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind collect old house keys as a fundraiser – and they collect old coins too.

Like old stamps, certain ones are obviously highly collectable but there must be a lot that aren’t quite so popular – all those bogstandard 5pences and 10pences that were replaced in the 1990s for example.

Any creative or practical suggestions of things that can be done with them? Any other charities that collect them?

I also used to know about half a dozen charities who collect leftover change from overseas excursions but can’t think of any of them right now – anyone know of any?

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22 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old coins?”


  1. joss says:

    You can use them to make jingly tassels. My mum has done that a bit with one cent pieces (decommissioned some time ago in Australia), she hangs them from the bottom of wall-quilts. You could use the tassels for other things as well I imagine.

  2. Bobbie says:

    They make perfect squeak-stops to use on your old car’s dashboard. Just wedge a coin or two in beside the offending squeak and voila! no more annoying squeaks.

  3. Cipollina says:

    Make pretty bellydancer jewellery of them.
    Save them and give them to great grand children who’ll marvel at their lack of worth.
    Keep at least a couple to make remedies against athlete’s foot.

  4. anna says:

    I would like to one day make something like this – an entire floor out of small coins. In this one it’s quite a few one cent coins the floor was made of. http://www.notcot.com/archives/2009/06/floor_of_pennie.php

  5. Clare says:

    Cipollina — what’s the athlete’s foot remedy?

    In my town, there’s a shop that buys stamps and coins for collectors. They’ll take old coins for scrap metal — not that you get much, but it’s money you can spend, rather than money you can’t.

    I saw a table decorated with coins. I think they were scattered on the top, and then a sheet of glass was put over the top. It looked very good.

    • Cipollina says:

      Copper is a known fungicide. The classical recipe (from my village) is to leave/rub a copper coin in butter till the butter turns green, and then apply it on the afflicted area each night.

      • Cipollina says:

        Forgot to mention – the salve has traditionally to be used every night “from Thursday to Thursday” (Thursday being a sacred day) i.e. eight nights, but I’d say “till it’s gone” is probably more efficient!

  6. Make a treasure box or a coin saver by gluing the coins to the surface of a wooden or sturdy cardboard box. Give them to a school or kindergarten for use as pretend money to play shop with, or to make crayon coin rubbings. Put them in a microwavable/freezable cotton pouch or sock and make yourself a heat pack/ice pack.

  7. Elbowgrease says:

    The Royal National Institute for Blind People recycles old coins including foreign ones, stamps and ink cartridges. You can call their advice line to find your nearest sites for dropping them off – 0845 345 0054 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.

    Further information about recycling for RNIB at
    http://www.rnib.org.uk/recycle

  8. tatiana says:

    those coins are very usefull and could be worth alot of money why in the world would you want to throw those away

  9. JeffConn says:

    i’m sure there are many charities that would accept old coins or foreign coins. For some reason, i’m always finding foreign pennies or yen pieces, and they are of such a small amount, i can’t convert them to American money. Surely, some charity would love to use them.

  10. Shorty says:

    In Peru, their currency is about one-third of the U.S.’s and nobody ever uses the one-centimo piece. It’s very pretty and makes a great bracelet. You can also do that with the coins that have a hole in the middle.

  11. Marie Forrest says:

    What about old arcade tokens?

    What can/should I do with those?

  12. Ralph says:

    You can send them to me. I collect coins of any condition and am looking for different denominations, dates, mintmarks, and varieties. I have no “boundaries” beyond which I discard coins except if I have an exact duplicate which is extremely unlikely. Please email me before sending if you want some kind of renumeration.

    rneeper@verizon.net

  13. mary lou says:

    Ralph, it is remuneration

  14. Alyssa says:

    I made a bracelet of copper coins in school, and it was my pride and joy. Torching the coins makes it easier to punch holes in them, but if you’re going to do that, make sure the coin is full copper, not copper plated or something. I think (in the US anyway) they stopped using full copper in 1985 or something.
    I strung them together using brass wires that got torched also, but 8-shaped findings would work pretty well. (Circular findings would probably be pretty uncomfortable I think.)
    Too bad I lost mine. It was gorgeous.

  15. liam dyker says:

    hey im looking for anyone that has come aross foreign coins in change ect that doent want them please can they post to me as doing a project at school
    thankyou

  16. Dave says:

    Make batterys out of copper coins by soaking tracing paper in salt water and then place pieces between coins stacked up, then solder some wire on the bottom and top of the stack!

  17. Doreen says:

    Loads of good ideas here. I love the bracelet one . But I’m very intrigued buy making a battery out of them 🇬🇧

  18. Rik says:

    I make cufflinks from old coins such as sixpences and brass threepences. Also I make earrings from decimal period half pence pieces and sixpences.



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