Rules for Flights in the USA
On flights in the United States, coins are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage, whether they are pennies, quarters, or collectible coins. The quantity is not limited by TSA, so passengers can pack any amount as long as it complies with the airlines’ weight standards.
When going through security, you must remove any coins from your pockets and place them in the screening bins to avoid setting off the metal detector. If you’re carrying a large number of coins it’s also advisable to remove them from your bag for screening. Passengers that rather be discrete, can let the TSA agent know about the coins and ask for a private screening.
Passengers reaching the United States with coins that exceed $10,000 in value after an overseas trip must declare them to Customs and fill out an FINCEN 105 form. Gold coins and bullion must be declared regardless of their value and origin. Gold coins, medals, and bullion coming from Cuba, Iran, and Sudan can’t enter the country.
It’s also recommended to pack them in hand baggage and to have evidence of how these coins were acquired and that you are the owner.
Rules for Flights in Other Countries
Canadian authorities don’t mention coins in their banned or allowed list of items, but they follow similar rules to the US and permit coins in carry-on and checked baggage. Coins with a value of $10,000 or more should be declared.
Europe, the United Kingdom, and Australia
New Zealand authorities don’t specify if coins are allowed or not on planes, but generally, they are permitted onboard. Coins with a $10,000 value or more should be declared to customs. However, passengers should keep in mind they can’t take coins 50 years or older out of the country.
On Chinese flights, it is not specified if coins are allowed on cabin and cargo baggage, but overall, they are permitted on planes. Coins with a $5,000 or more value must be declared. Passengers can’t import or take out more than 20,000 RMB ($2800) from China.
In India, coins aren’t listed as allowed or banned from carry-on and cargo baggage, but they are generally allowed. Passengers must declare coins with a value of $5,000 or higher. If you aren’t a resident, you can’t bring Indian rupees (INR) into India. You must exchange your money after arriving in India.
Sources: For writing this article, we took information only from official sources, like airline regulators, government websites, and major airlines. If you want to confirm that our information is accurate and up to date, click on any of the links mentioned above. We linked out to where we found this information for each country.
Disclaimer: The final decision of whether you can bring coins on planes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Coins on Planes
Are gold and silver coins allowed on planes?
Gold and silver coins are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage on planes in the United States. However, it’s recommended that you pack gold and silver coins in cabin baggage to avoid losing them along with your checked baggage. If you’re returning from overseas with coins worth 10,000 dollars they must be declared to Customs and Border Protection. Gold coins must be declared regardless of their value. You can’t bring gold and silver coins from Cuba, Iran, and Sudan. Copies of gold coins must be marked as so and identified by the country that issued them.
Can I bring a collection of antique, historical coins on planes?
Generally, collections of antique and historical coins are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage on flights in the United States. It’s recommended to pack antique and historical coins in hand baggage exclusively to prevent any loss in checked baggage. Passengers carrying antique or historical coins can ask for a private screening to prevent other passengers from knowing there are objects of value in the hand baggage. If you’re traveling with them internationally, coins with a value over 10,000 must be declared to the CBP. Travelers must also fill out a FinCEN Form 105. Always declare historical coins made out of gold regardless of their weight or value. If you’re traveling internationally, keep in mind some countries prohibit taking historical coins out of their territory.
Do I need to declare valuable coins when traveling?
Yes, you need to declare valuable coins traveling in the United States. However, you don’t need to pay duty unless they surpass a $10,000 value. If your coins are valued over $10,000, you should also fill out a FINCEN 105 form. Copies of gold coins must be properly marked as so by the country of issuance. They won’t be allowed through the border if they are not. It’s also best practice to carry any receipts, documents, or papers that prove how you acquired these coins and that you’re the owner.
Is it better to pack coins in hand or checked luggage?
TSA allows coins both in hand and checked baggage, but it’s recommended to pack them in hand baggage to prevent losing them or getting them stolen from checked baggage. For large coin quantities, it’s best to remove them from the carry-on bag and place them in a bin, as they can cause problems with the screening process. Or, you can also notify the security agent and ask for a private screening, so other passengers don’t know you’re carrying valuables in your bag. If you have any coins in your pocket, you must remove them and place them in your carry-on when going through security.
Do I need to take out coins when going through security?
In general, you don’t need to remove coins from your carry-on baggage when going through airport security in the United States. But, it’s recommended for passengers with large quantities of coins to remove them from the bag as they can obstruct the x-ray screening. Passengers can ask the security agent for a private screening. If you’re carrying change in your pocket you should also take it out of your pocket and store it in your bag.
What’s the safest way to travel with coins?
The safest way to travel with coins is to pack them in your carry-on luggage. It’s not uncommon for things in checked baggage to get stolen or lost. Depending on your preferences, how many coins you’re carrying and their type, you can use coin capsules with a storage organizer box and pack it in your carry-on. You can also use a simple wallet with a zipper to store your change. In theory, you can also use a cash box but be prepared to open it for inspection at security.
Are there any rules for traveling with paper cash?
For the most part, there aren’t any rules for traveling with paper cash in the United States. Neither the TSA nor the CBP state a cash limit when traveling in the United States. If you’re traveling internationally with more than $10,000 or its equivalent, you must declare it to Customs and Border Protection. The TSA agent might also ask some questions about the origin of the money, or where you’re headed if he believes the money is connected to some illegal activity.
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