I have many foreign coins from friends and relatives who have traveled extensively. Where can I go in Washington, D.C., to exchange these coins for American cash?
–Cheryl, Washington, D.C.
One way to get cash for your foreign coins is to use a vendor, such as U.S. Penny & Coin Service, which will exchange foreign coins for American cash. If you have to mail in your coins, you'll often face a hefty surcharge, from 3 percent to as much as 50 percent (depending on the service and coin). But with U.S. Penny & Coin Service, their offices are near D.C., so you can go in person and get the exchange made for as little as a 1-percent surcharge.
Alternately, Unicef's Change for Good will put your coins to good use feeding, clothing, and providing medical care for poor kids the world over. This program is actually run through American Airlines, which accepts donations of foreign currency on many of its international flights. But if you don't fly American and still want to contribute, you can mail your donations to the following address:
U.S. Fund for UNICEF
ATTN: Change for Good Program
125 Maiden Lane
New York, N.Y. 10038