How Many Nickels are in $17? (And How Much It Weighs)


Younger readers may first ask the question: What’s a nickel?

In the brave new world of popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Apple Pay and plastic pay methods such as debit and credit cards, loose change definitely doesn’t rate like before. In fact, in the past two years a coin shortage has existed not once, but twice, prompting federal action to bring coins back into regular circulation.

The truth is that nickels are methods of legal tender – and among other things, this post seeks to examine just how many nickels are inside $17.

There are 340 nickels in $17. One dollar contains 20 nickels and when you multiply that by 17, you get 340.  A roll of $17 of nickels weighs 59.96 ounces or 3.47 pounds.

Fun Fact About Nickels: Some nickels are worth more than others, ranging from $0.05 to OVER three million dollars for collector nickels.  

How Many Nickels are in a Roll?

Nickels are customarily stored in rolls of $2.00. A $2.00 roll of nickels contains 40 nickels and is usually a blue wrapper. A roll of nickels is approximately 3 inches long. Each nickel in the roll is 0.07677 inches thick and 0.835 inches in diameter, with a volume per nickel of 0.04204 cubic inches.

The first official nickel was made of silver and put into circulation in 1866. It was originally called a “half-dime” due to the fact that nickels were truly one-half the amount of silver used to make a dime. Back in the mid-1800s coins were still made of silver and gold and held intrinsic value, versus modern-day coins which are largely symbolic in value.

 During the time of the American Civil War many events transpired leading to the nickel being printed in the metal which is its modern namesake: Nickel. Fifteen million nickels were printed in 1866 with the format that eventually evolved into the nickels we know today. 

How Much Does $17 of Nickels Weigh?

Let’s say you’re crazy about nickels and you want to carry $17 worth of nickels around in your pocket (I have no idea why). You’ll be carrying eight-and-one-half rolls of nickels! This is equal to roughly 3.5 pounds of change.

Your standard roll of nickels weighs about seven ounces or 200 grams. Compare that to a roll of pennies ($0.50) which weighs 4.41 ounces, or a $5.00 roll of dimes which weighs four ounces, or a roll of quarters which weighs eight ounces at $10.00 per roll (40 quarters).

$100 worth of nickels weighs 350 ounces or just shy of 22 pounds. $1,000 worth of nickels weighs 3,500 ounces or 218 pounds. $10,000 worth of nickels would weigh 35,000 ounces or 2,187 pounds.

Where to Store $17 Worth of Nickels?

Where to put your nickels all depends on how many you have and – what kind of nickels you have. If it’s only $17 worth of nickels, 8 ½ rolls will fit nicely in your nightstand, your sock drawer, a safe, or even a jar. It’s probably a good idea to keep change rolls hidden, because unlike a jar of loose change, tidy rolls of coins are very easy to exchange and more likely to be stolen.

Recommended Financial Geek Article: 4 Ways to Save Money without a Bank Account (That are Safe)

Of course, where to store your nickels would also depend on what year and type of nickel you’re storing. Believe it or not, nickel collection is a hot topic for some collectors. The main types of collector nickels are the Shield Nickel, the Liberty Nickel, the Buffalo Nickel (most commonly known), and the Jefferson Nickel.

A 1913 Type 1 Buffalo Nickel might sell for $3,500, whereas a 2017 S-Jefferson Nickel could sell for a mere $17.00 (which is still a lot more than $0.05). A 1916 Buffalo Nickel 5c Doubled Die Obverse could sell for over $100,000, while a 1913 Liberty V Head Nickel could go for over $3.7 million! The more rare the mint and the better the condition of the coin (rarely circulated) drive up the value of the coin.

So If you’re a collector and you have one of these highly valuable coins you certainly don’t want to roll it up with a bunch of other newer Jefferson nickels.

Then again, even an occasional Jefferson nickel could be of higher value, so it stands to reason that your $2 roll of nickels may actually be worth more than $2. But coin collectors with rare nickels will likely store them in protective cases in a climate controlled environment, safe, or even a bank safety deposit box.

The Bottom Line

Most coins in circulation last about 30 years before they become too worn for use. But prior to their retirement, nickels play a vital role in rounding out exact change. There are 340 nickels in $17, but as we’ve seen here, one of those nickels could be worth quite a bit of money.

Thanks for reading folks!

Geek, out.

Noel Moffatt

Noel Moffatt is the founder and main contributor for his blog - The Financial Geek. Based in Canada, Noel's passion for personal finance has helped him amass over 300k readers to his Financial Geek blog.

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