In 1971, the US Mint shifted the half-dollars to the nickel-clad alloy coins that are now so well known, saving the 90% silver for special commemorative coins.
In 1964, the US experienced an extreme coin hoarding situation when the US Mint switched the composition of everyday coins from an alloy that was mainly silver, to the nickel-clad coins that we are familiar with today. Many people hoarded and saved the 90% silver coins due to their intrinsic value.
Ever since, 90% junk silver has been a favorite among investors and preppers, knowing this is still recognized as US coinage. The fractional denominations range from Morgan Silver Dollars to Washington Quarters to Mercury Dimes. Sometimes referred to as Junk Silver because it has little to no numismatic or collector value and is purchased because of the silver content.
There is roughly .715 troy ounces or 22.23 grams of silver per $1 face value, regardless of the denomination.
Junk silver coins were once used as regular currency in circulation but are no longer in use as legal tender. They are primarily valued for their silver content. The term "junk" can be misleading, as it doesn't necessarily mean the coins are in poor condition; rather, it signifies that their value is based on their metal content rather than rarity or collectibility.
Utilizing 90% silver as a store of wealth is one of the most practical investments anyone can make. It is easy to stack and can be easily stored in paper bank rolls or canvas bags.
It is common to find junk silver being sold in popular face value denominations.
Making bulk purchases of circulated silver coins is the most effective way to get the lowest premium.
Junk silver is widely recognized and very simple to authenticate without any special tools or chemicals. The silver coins have a slightly different appearance than modern clad coins and can usually be identified with visual examination of certain characteristics that help them stand out.
The first and most obvious thing to look for is the date. The minting of silver in everyday coins ended in 1964. Quarters and dimes minted in 1965 and after are modern copper clad coins.
In addition to the date, the reeded edge on Pre-1965 coins is entirely silver. With modern clad coins, the copper core is visible through the coin edge.
Another way to identify junk silver coins is by the sound the coin makes when it's dropped onto a solid surface. Silver is a dense material. The "Ping Test" is easily recognizable for experienced preppers and stackers. Apps are available for mobile phones that can help new investors to help distinguish genuine 90% silver.
Junk Silver is an informal term used for any silver coin which has been circulated and has little to no numismatic or collectible value. The intrinsic value of the silver is the major appeal of these coin.
The condition of each coin in a bag of junk silver can range from cull condition all that way up to brilliant uncirculated. Older coins will typically have more signs of wear and tear.
Standing Liberty quarters were first minted over 100 years ago and it is common to encounter them with the dates entirely worn away. It is common to find Barber coins in cull or slick condition. While you may find a 1964 Washington Quarter that looks as shiny as the day it was minted.
Investing in circulated silver coins is extremely popular with people buy at regular intervals. It's easy to buy junk silver in $1 Face Value increments.
Franklin half-dollar coins were minted from 1948 until 1963. The Franklin half-dollar coin was replaced by the Kennedy half-dollar coin. The Kennedy half-dollar coin was minted in 90% silver only in 1964. From 1965-1969 Kennedy half-dollar coins were minted with 40% silver content.
The Washington quarter was introduced into circulation in 1932. The Washington Quarters were 90% silver until 1964. Starting in 1965, Washington Quarters were minted as a copper/nickel alloy.
All Mercury dimes were minted with silver. As did Roosevelt dimes minted before 1965.
Any combination of 90-percent silver halves, quarters and dimes that adds up to face value of US$1.00 contains 0.715 troy ounces of pure silver. Vintage silver dollar coins, such as the Morgan and Peace dollars were minted with .7736 troy ounces of silver.
Silver investors flock to junk silver because during times of lesser demand you can often buy junk silver close to spot price. Historically, junk silver has one of the lowest dealer premiums.
It has been almost 60 years since these coins have been minted. During that time, most of these coins have been removed from circulation by savvy savers and coin roll hunters. Millions of circulated coins were melted down for the value of the silver during the early 1980s.
Coin roll hunting continues to be a popular way for stackers to find free silver coins inside coin rolls and bank boxes. Though you might have better luck taking a look at the Coinstar reject tray the next time you're at the store.
Junk silver is often purchased as a way to own physical silver for investment purposes, as it can be more affordable compared to newly minted silver bullion coins or bars. It provides a means of acquiring silver in smaller denominations that were historically used in everyday transactions.
Collectors and investors often seek out Canadian 80% junk silver as a means of owning physical silver in smaller denominations. These coins can be purchased at a relatively low premium over the current spot price of silver, making them an accessible way to invest in precious metals.
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 easy to buy from online bullion dealers and marketplaces like eBay.
Additionally, there are a variety of well established "buy/sell" communities and groups on Facebook, Reddit, Instagram and other social media and community forums.
Locally, you can usually find junk silver at pawn shops, We Buy Gold stores, local coin shops and some antique stores.
In some areas of the country it's possible to find easy opportunities to buy, sell and trade using silver gold for both products and services.
Online bullion dealers typically sell junk silver in lots based on the total face value of all denomination.
Each $1 face value of junk silver in any combination dimes, quarters or half-dollars contains roughly .715 troy ounces of pure silver.
|Coin||Years Minted||Silver Content||Total Weight||Silver Weight|
|90% Silver Dimes|
|Roosevelt Dime||1946-1964||.90||2.5||2.25 grams (.072 troy ounces)|
|Winged Liberty "Mercury Dime"||1916-1945||.90||2.5||2.25 grams (.072 troy ounces)|
|Liberty Head "Barber Dime"||1892-1916||.90||2.5||2.25 grams (.072 troy ounces)|
|90% Silver Quarters|
|Washington Quarter||1932-1964||.90||6.25||5.625 grams (.181 troy ounces)|
|Standing Liberty Quarter||1916-1930||.90||6.25||5.625 grams (.181 troy ounces)|
|Liberty Head "Barber Quarter"||1892-1916||.90||6.25||5.625 grams (.181 troy ounces)|
|90% Silver Half Dollars|
|Kennedy||1964||.90||12.5||11.25 grams (.362 troy ounces)|
|Franklin||1948-1963||.90||12.5||11.25 grams (.362 troy ounces)|
|Walking Liberty||1916-1947||.90||12.5||11.25 grams (.362 troy ounces)|
|Kennedy||1964-1969||.40||12.5||5 grams (.148 troy ounces)|
|90% Silver Dollars|
|Peace Dollar||1921-1935||.90||26.73||24.06 grams (.773 troy ounces)|
|Morgan Dollar||1878-1921||.90||26.73||24.06 grams (.773 troy ounces)|
|35% Silver Nickels|
|Jefferson "War Nickels"||1942-1945||35%||5 grams||1.75 grams (0.0563 troy ounces)|
Coin collecting has evolved beyond merely acquiring coins for their monetary value. Many collectors now focus on various aspects, including historical significance, artistic appeal, rarity, and cultural context, with some collectors specializing in specific periods, rulers, or coin types.
With advancements in communication and technology, coin collecting has become more accessible to a global audience. The internet allows collectors to connect, research, sell and buy gold coins from around the world. Online auction platforms and forums have expanded the reach of numismatics.
Until 1965, U.S. dimes were composed of 90% silver and 10% copper. However, because of rising silver prices, the U.S. Mint decided to continue debasement of coinage by changing the composition of dimes to a copper-nickel alloy, starting with the clad coin production in 1965. Today's dimes are composed of 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel.
Online bullion dealers typically offer 90% silver dimes based on the face value that each contains. For example, a $5 Face Value standard bank roll of silver dimes will contain fifty individual pieces that were minted Pre-1965. Each circulated silver dime contains approximately .0715 troy ounces, with each standard $5 Bank Roll of silver dimes having a total of 3.575 troy ounces ASW.
The silver certificates were some of the country's first forms of paper money that were issued by the US government from 1878 until 1964.
The Morgan Silver Dollar production resumed in 1921 for a brief period before being replaced later in the year.
The notion of sales tax on precious metals investing is a contentious issue to some and represents a line in the sand between some legislators and investors. Despite the long history of gold and silver being recognized as money, many states continue to tax their citizens for the privilege of owning these metals.
We help find the best prices for the cheapest Junk Silver Coins when you're ready to buy.
FindBullionPrices.com compares precious metals prices from trusted and reputable online bullion dealers to help you find the lowest prices on Junk Silver Coins. The prices on our site are updated hourly and adjusted for silver spot price. This gives you the tools to compare silver prices.