Any coin collector who searches for coins at ebay have noticed the copious amount of "unsearched" roll auctions. It appears, some version or other of cent rolls make up the bulk of these auctions.

It stands to reason since the Lincoln Cents are the most numerous and often the most least expensive coin. With the exception of low mintages years and mints.

A few Lincoln Cents do have low mintages, plus varieties and mint errors that demand a decent premium.

Another fact that make unsearched rolls more appealing, is that Indian Cents and sometimes Flying Eagle Cents are found in bank rolls of Wheaties bought in collections.

It's no wonder, how popular unsearched cent rolls can be and with only a face value of 50 cents. It's also no wonder so many sellers on ebay sell unsearched rolls, and that's where the problem begins.

Unsearched roll sellers know how to use the cent's reverse, or key date cents, or Indian Cents, or Flying Eagle Cents to their advantage and to entice would-be buyers to bid.

Lincoln Cents are cheap, but Indian Cents are worth more, and Flying Eagle Cents are even more valuable. So certain sellers put 49 common date, low grade, Lincoln Cents in a paper coin roll, place the Flying Eagle Cent's reverse out, and on the end, then crimp the roll.

It creates the appearance that this roll might contain other rare Flying Eagles or even Indian Cents. Also that it's unsearched. So this roll will sell for much more than it's actually worth.

Furthermore you might have seen a roll of unsearched pennies with the reverse showing the V.D.B. designer's initials.

Only two Lincoln Cents have the V.D.B. on the reverse, the 1909 V.D.B. and the rarest Wheat date cent, the 1909-S V.D.B. Both of these dates and mints demand a premium, and if the reverse of a 1909 V.D.B. cent is showing on the end of the roll, it begs the question "Is is a 1909-S V.D.B. rare key date?".

It's obvious, since so many similar rolls are for sale, that these rolls are "salted". No dealer would let a 1909-S V.D.B. go for less than it's worth or take chance by not searching the roll.

The sellers knows this fact, and they sell their rolls with the question, "Is it the 1909-S V.D.B.?", and post feedback of buyer's finds in their description.

Don't buy into this, it's a scam and fraud!

You, the coin collector or investor, must use your own good judgment and common sense when buying unsearched rolls.

As I stated before, anyone can buy thousands of wheat cents for a small premium, and old paper cent rollers, and a few semi-key dates or even a complete collection of Lincoln Cents, for a small investment.

If such a person were to make these purchases and roll these rolls, placing the best dates on the ends, then it can be realized just how easy it would be to create shotgun rolls that seem to have rare dates with the possibility of others inside.

Especially if you lie and say they're unsearched (even "by me") and hype the fact that it might contain a rare coin, or more could be inside.

This scam can also be accomplished by using a few low grade Indian and Flying Eagle Cents. Consider that complete cent collections demand high premiums, as do high grade Flying Eagle and Indian Cents, but scratched, cleaned and very low grade examples can be bought for much less.

Furthermore, a tightly "self" wrapped roll of cents can also be given the steel wool treatment, where steel wool or another abrasive is used to make the roll seem older and more "rugged".

Just because a roll is tightly wrapped, shouldn't imply it was bank wrapped. You can buy roll crimpers to tightly wrap a roll.

It's amazing the lengths some sellers will go to just to make a profit.

I have watched ebay for several years, and I have seen some of the worst and most sad tricks to convince buyers to part from their hard-earned money.

However, it's not just the sellers fault, but the buyer must take some blame for being foolish, instead of educating themselves on coin collecting and using a little common sense.

The internet is full of helpful guides and articles, as is are website, so there's just no excuse for coin collectors or cherry pickers to fall for these scams and schemes anymore.

Author's Bio: 

Daniel Malone, owner and operator of CoinHELP! A coin collector's website for research, images, and help buying, collecting and selling coins.