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Junk Silver is a commonly used name for coinage that contained 90% silver that was in circulation in the United States prior to 1965. Buying Junk Silver is a one of the best and most affordable ways to grow your investment in precious metals.
The term "Junk Silver" is broad term that includes any government issued coinage that was in circulation containing silver that has no numismatic value to coin collectors. It is collected only for the silver content that it contains.
In the United States, coinage that contained 90% silver was in circulation prior to 1965. Coins containing 90% Silver were minted by the US Mint. The coinage included dimes, quarters, half-dollars and one-dollar coins. During World War 2, some nickels were minted with 35% silver alloy as well.
There is a limited supply of junk silver available. Although millions of coins containing silver were minted by the US Mint they have not been minted for more than 50 years.
The most common types of junk silver available on the market today is described below.
Some junk silver coins have numismatic value to collectors and will also carry a fairly high premium over spot price.
The junk silver coins that will be available at or close to spot price will be those that had high circulations and were minted during the later years of the time when coinage was minted with 90% silver. Those include Roosevelt Dimes, Washington Quarters, Franklin and Kennedy Half-Dollars.
When the minting of these coins was changed to copper clad in 1965 many collectors hoarded and carry a higher premium over spot. These are typically early minted coins such as Liberty Head and Mercury Dimes, Liberty Head and Standing Liberty Quarters and Walking Liberty Half-Dollars. Morgan dollars and Peace dollars will
|Coin||Years Minted||Silver Content||Total Weight||Silver Weight|
|Jefferson "War Nickels"||1942-1945||35%||5 grams||1.75 grams (0.0563 troy ounces)|
|Liberty Head "Barber Dime"||1892-1916||.90||2.5||2.25 grams (.072 troy ounces)|
|Winged Liberty "Mercury Dime"||1916-1945||.90||2.5||2.25 grams (.072 troy ounces)|
|Roosevelt Dime||1946-1964||.90||2.5||2.25 grams (.072 troy ounces)|
|Liberty Head "Barber Quarter"||1892-1916||.90||6.25||5.625 grams (.181 troy ounces)|
|Standing Liberty Quarter||1916-1930||.90||6.25||5.625 grams (.181 troy ounces)|
|Washington Quarter||1932-1964||.90||6.25||5.625 grams (.181 troy ounces)|
|Junk Half Dollars|
|Walking Liberty||1916-1947||.90||12.5||11.25 grams (.362 troy ounces)|
|Franklin||1948-1963||.90||12.5||11.25 grams (.362 troy ounces)|
|Kennedy||1964||.90||12.5||11.25 grams (.362 troy ounces)|
|Kennedy||1964-1969||.40||12.5||5 grams (.148 troy ounces)|
|Junk Silver Dollars|
|Morgan Dollar||1878-1921||.90||26.73||24.06 grams (.773 troy ounces)|
|Peace Dollar||1921-1935||.90||26.73||24.06 grams (.773 troy ounces)|
Junk silver is an informal term used for any silver coin which is in fair or cull condition and has no numismatic or collectible value above the bullion value of the silver it contains. Such coins are popular among people seeking to invest in silver, particularly in small amounts. The word "junk" refers only to the value of the coins as collectibles and not to the actual condition of the coins; junk silver is not necessarily scrap silver.
Precious metals including silver are measured in troy ounces (ozt). A spot price for silver is the price for a troy ounce of silver which is 99.9-percent pure, or 999 fine. Silver coins including junk-silver coins have set silver-alloy contents ranging from 35-percent to 90-percent or more. The term "coin silver," for example, refers to 90-percent silver alloy which was the most common alloy used to mint silver U.S. coins.
Any combination of 90-percent silver U.S. coins which have a face value of US$1.00 contains 0.715 troy ounces of 99.9-percent silver (0.7234 troy ounces if uncirculated), except for the silver dollars (Morgan and Peace) which contain .7736 troy ounces of silver. In other words, a full troy ounce of 99.9-percent silver is contained in any combination of 90-percent silver U.S. coins which have a face value of $1.40
During the Great Depression, gold coins were ripped from the economy and seized from citizens under Roosevelts Executive Order 6102 and quickly became scarce during the mid-1930s forcing many businesses to close causing significant job losses to millions of Americans that had already been living through significant hardships.
Silver coins continued to be used for day to day spending and became the primary way for people to save money without having to depend on banks.
Most generations of people that survived those times are gone. Older generations that lived through the economic recessions of the 1970s and 1980s are a source of wisdom for Millennials and Generation-Z looking for advice on how to get through tough economic times.
With the exception of pennies and nickels, the coins that circulated until 1964 were minted from an alloy that contained 90% silver. Some nickels that were minted during World War II are minted with an alloy that contains 35% silver.
Further debasement of the dollar occurred when Lyndon Johnson authorized the removal of silver from most circulating US coins, in 1965, reducing the half-dollar coin to 40% alloy of silver and minimize the production of 90% coins for primarily commemorative mintings.
Today, we refer to these coins as "Junk Silver" because the condition typically shows signs of circulation and has little to no numismatic value to collectors.
Junk Silver continues to be an affordable and accessible way to begin buying and holding silver and other precious metals as a store of value and wealth.
Silver half-dollars, quarters and dimes comprise the majority of junk silver and it is typically sold by the majority of online bullion dealers through both their websites and online marketplaces like eBay and Walmart.
Additionally, various buy and sell communities have become established on Facebook, Reddit, Instagram and other social media and community forums.
Locally, you can buy junk silver from most pawn shops, We Buy Gold stores, and local coin shops.
In some areas of the country it's possible to find easy opportunities to buy, sell and trade using silver and gold for both products and services.
Online bullion dealers typically sell junk silver in lots based on the total face value denomination.
Each $1 face value of junk silver in any combination dimes, quarters or half-dollars contains roughly .715 troy ounces of pure silver.
Most online bullion dealers organize junk silver on their website in similar fashion as standard bank coin rolls.
Some of the most popular junk silver from online bullion dealers: