Getting to Know Junk Silver (cross-post from

When it comes to silver investments, purchasing high grade silver coins at 99.9% purity is the go-to business but do you know that people who buy junk silver can also benefit from participating in the industry? Junk silver coins are those that have been minted prior to 1965 and contain 90% silver. While they are not as valuable as pure silver coins, the high percentage of silver in these coins still merits enough attention to be considered a worthy investment.

For those who are unable to buy 99.9% silver coins, here’s a great alternative. There are actually quite a lot of these “junk” silver coins floating around, such as the Kennedy half dollar, Barber dimes, quarters, and half dollar coins, Mercury dimes, and silver dollars. Here are some tips and reminders to help you pinpoint which silver coins you should watch out for.

1. Nothing can be done properly without some degree of knowledge. Going in blind will mean the possibility of buying the wrong type of silver coins, or wavering over whether or not to buy junk silver coins. Someone could come and snatch up the silver coins if you show indecisiveness, and that would mean a lost opportunity for you. To help you out, look for silver coins minted prior to 1965, as they contain 90% silver and are good options. Some examples are Franklin half dollars, Walking Liberty half dollars, Barber head quarters, and Mercury dimes. If you concentrate on these silver coins, you’ll have an easier time focusing on a long-term plan instead of getting caught up with too many details.

2. Practice calculating the value of silver coins. The formula is simple. All you have to do is multiply silver content by the spot price. For instance, with 1964 Kennedy half dollars, you can multiply the silver content, which is 0.36169 by the spot price of silver at the time. Assuming a spot price of $40 an ounce, this coin is worth $14.47. Practice makes perfect, but before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to calculating accurate silver prices for your junk silver coins.

3. You’ll also notice once you start making the rounds that prices for the junk silver coin are commonly based on a multiple of the face value of the coin. Confused? At first, it can be difficult, but here’s an example: if a silver dime is selling at a face value of 30, you would multiply the face value of the dime (.10) by 30 to arrive at $3.00. One tip would be to ask the coin dealer to explain how he calculates his rate. If he has nothing to hide, he will explain it without hesitation.

4. As a buyer, you should also know that the face value quoted typically applies the same to dimes, quarters, and half dollars; however, it’s common for the face value quote of silver dollars to be higher. This means that whether you are purchasing half dollars, quarters or dimes, it will always be in reference to the “prevailing” face value which in turn is based on the silver price.

5. Now that you have an idea of how the market works, you can start looking at potential junk silver coin bargains. You can buy junk silver coins in smaller lots or in bulk, such as $100 and $1,000 face value bags. A bag of Kennedy half dollars in $1,000 face value bags at 30x face value will cost you $30,000 to purchase. Consequently, for an increase in face value rate to 30.5, you’ll receive a $500 profit on your investment.

..If you’re unable to find a coin dealer locally that you’re comfortable with, don’t hesitate to go online to find a reputable coin dealer from whom you can buy junk silver coins. Just remember to calculate the silver value of the respective coins prior to buying junk silver coins so that you can approach your purchase with reasonable expectations.

Originally posted here. 

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