What is Junk Silver

Junk Silver is used to describe pre-1965 silver U.S. dimes, quarters, halves and dollar coins. These coins contain a whopping 90% pure silver and can be found in your pocket change.
With silver trading at record highs, now is the time to get into junk silver!


Junk Silver: The Big Silver Secret

Silver prices have been steadily climbing over the past decade but especially, the past year. Why?

Economically, the dollar is in trouble as are most stocks. The housing bubble brought about the largest loss of wealth since the Great Depression. IRA's, 401K's, mutual funds and stocks took a beating and lost billions of dollars. Then it got worse. The stock market lost 4000 points. Big name companies started closing their doors. The US watched ONE TRILLION dollars in accumulated wealth disappear seemingly overnight.

As the economy goes, so goes the value of the U.S. dollar. Considered the backbone of the world economy, the dollar was already beaten up, then the Federal Government started basically printing more of them to stave off larger economic problems such as propping up failing businesses and buying failed companies. The dollar grew weaker.

Now it gets more interesting. Silver, long used as the basis for real money, had been gradually adopted for industrial applications which resulted in most silver mined over the past 200 years converted to uses other than currency. This left a shortage of silver and the value, naturally has climbed.

Things developed into a perfect storm as investors wanted to move away from the dollar and found silver in short supply.

So can a savvy investor do?

First, as always, diversify. Next, they should consider adding junk silver to their portfolio. Junk silver means common date pre-1965 U.S. silver coins, namely, quarters, dimes and halves. There are still millions available, but many are now in investors hands and not available for sale.

A coin or jewelry exchange should have bags of junk silver dimes, quarters and halves available for sale. There are also reputable online retailers. An investment can be as simple as a roll of Mercury head dimes or a $1000.00 face value bag of quarters or halves.

Regardless of the type, junk silver coins are real money and becoming more rare every day. It might be worth your time to consider investing in junk silver today.


Junk Silver: Gold and Silver prices up

Gold prices have surged over the $1000.00 per ounce mark in international news. Expect to see more Cash 4 Gold commercials on TV anytime now. But with the good news for gold, we have similar good news for silver.

A little over a year ago, silver was sitting around $9.00 an ounce. Today, it is nearly double that price at $17.10 the last time I checked. That was a great investment if you purchased silver bullion, rounds or my personal favorite, junk silver. Junk silver is anything but junk. As you know, those are pre-1965 U.S. quarters, dimes and halves which contain 90% real silver content.

Where can one get their hands on some junk silver right now? Your best bet will be the local coin shop, jewelry store or "gold and silver exchange" retail outlet in their town. The exchanges advertise heavily and usually feature gold, diamond and silver jewelry, used Rolex's, gold and silver bullion in small amounts and plenty of junk silver coins.

Generally, most exchange shops will buy silver coins for a price below premium or for "melt value". However, they often keep a stash of coins on hand for investors to purchase. A good starter investment for junk silver could be a single roll of dimes or quarters. Pick up a couple of dime rolls and keep them in a safe place at home (piggy bank is a bad idea). Make sure little hands and curious eyes don't find those junk silver coins as they are legal tender for candy, sodas and cigarettes and all too often find their way to the 7-11 and spent by mistake.

Gold is a great investment, but at $1K an ounce, is out of range of many of us. Junk silver is a low cost and safe way to invest in precious metals for anyone.


Junk Silver: Silver prices rising again

Silver prices are on the rise again making investments in junk silver a good option for the new silver investor.

Summer, 2008, silver rose to nearly $20.00 an ounce before sliding down to $9.00 in the fall. There was some indication that the economic problems with banks and housing may have precipitated the rise in precious metals like silver. However, as the political situation stabilized in the U.S. silver prices dropped.

Reality has set in; the financial situation, the falling value of the dollar and increased government deficit spending has renewed interest in silver and gold and the pricing shows it.

Kitco has spot silver just under $16.00 an ounce this morning. If prices go higher in the future, this might be a good time to invest in silver.

First time investors should consider the value of junk silver. Junk silver means pre-1964 U.S. common date coins such as quarters, halves and dimes. These coins contain 90% pure silver and what's more, they are commonly available to buyers.

Ebay, coin and specialty jewelry stores are good places to get junk silver. A good amount to start with is with a roll of Roosevelt or Mercury head dimes. Even if the price of silver drops to less than a dollar an ounce, dimes still have "face value". They are still worth ten cents and are legal tender for all purchases.

With an uncertain economy and a recession, it may be a good time to invest in precious metals - junk silver is a great way to start.


Junk Silver Dimes: Mercury Head Dime

Dimes are some of the most common junk silver coins available in random searches such as in pocket change, coin jars or piggy banks. The size of the dime has not changed in nearly a century and only the images have been redesigned twice during that time frame.

The Mercury Head Dime was minted from 1916 to 1945. It features the head of Mercury, a Roman god most commonly associated with floral delivery these days, while the reverse features a fasces, an ax surrounded by bundle of sticks and an olive vine.

While there are a few rare numismatic years, such as 1921, for the Mercury head dime, most years are considered common and collectors rarely have a hard time completing a set for each year the Mercury was minted.

What is more interesting to precious metal investors is that the Mercury head dime is 90% pure silver (the other 10% is copper). Investors like the Mercury dime because it is small and makes a highly portable form of silver wealth.

The Mercury head dime was replaced in 1945 with the Roosevelt dime which it remains to this day. Roosevelt dimes minted until 1964 are also 90% pure silver.

Junk Silver: Which U.S. coins contain silver?

Quick rundown for those new to collecting silver. Many are starting to look into their pocket change, change jars, piggy banks and purses for U.S. coins which contain real silver. Or maybe they have heard the term "junk silver" and want to know what it is all about.

Junk silver is used to describe older U.S. minted coins (and some Canadian) which contain a majority or percentage of their composition in silver. Many may not realize it, but today's coins are minted of copper, zinc and nickel. None minted today contain any precious metals like gold or silver.

What may be more surprising to many in the U.S. is that none of the money in circulation is backed by precious metals at all. Some still believe that United States currency is backed by gold in Fort Knox and other banks and while that may have been true many years ago, it is not the case today.

The United States stopped minting majority silver coins (90% in silver weight) after 1964. Often you will hear junk silver referred to as "pre-1964" which means it was minted that year and earlier. These coins have real silver value.

The United States minted coins in several denominations since its origins as a country. While many coins were minted for a short period of time, were odd denominations or had staggered intervals of acceptance, the U.S. minted several well known coins for many years.

If some older silver coins are in your possession, it might do you well to know what to look for.

Silver dollars; dollar coin - the U.S. had silver dollars only until 1921. After that, there were a few odd silver dollar coins until the Eisenhower coin was minted in the late sixties. The Eisenhower did have a brief run with 40% silver content.

Half dollars; fifty cent pieces, halves - the most popular junk silver coin in recent times. Found in the Franklin and Kennedy version, the half dollar has 90% real silver content. Only the 1964 Kennedy has 90% silver. 1965 to 1968 contain 40% silver content. Franklins used to be very common but are now rarely if ever seen in day to day transactions.

Quarter; quarter dollars; twenty five cent pieces; two bits - The Washington quarter has been minted in its current state since the 1920's. They are every bit as common as any other coin. All pre-1964 Washington quarters are 90% silver. Post-1964 quarters have only a trace amount of silver.

Dime; dimes; ten cent pieces - The dime, both the Roosevelt and earlier Mercury dime, contain 90% silver in pre-1964 years. The dimes are often found in change as they are nearly identical to the current dime minted post-1964. Junk silver dimes are a great find.

Other coins, nickels and pennies contain no silver with the exception of the "War Nickel". Minted during World War Two, these nickels contain 40% silver and can be found from time to time.

Anyone may have a hoard of junk silver coins waiting in their coin jar or ash tray at home. With silver constantly trading in the $10 to 12.00 range, it is worth your time to find some junk silver today.


Junk Silver: The incredible value of junk silver

Unlike "silver rounds" or even gold bars and bullion, junk silver has an advantage to the investor in these trying times.

Most precious metal investments are comprised of bars or coins. Bars are found in weights such as one, five or ten ounces. The bar is merely an acceptable means of trade and transport of gold or silver bullion.

The coins are usually a special pressing or mold with artistic or historical value for instance, to commemorate a person or event. You see these frequently advertised in magazines or on late night television.

The problem with precious metals in bar or coins is that their value is determined by the market rate for the metal at the time and that the buyer and seller agree upon their value. An educated consumer and merchant are required to give the bullion value.

Junk silver has both bar and coin beaten with one simple fact; junk silver comes in a face value coin which can be used for daily transactions at nearly any retail outlet.

Even if silver drops to a dollar an ounce, a 1964 dime will still be worth ten cents. A 1943 Washington quarter will still be worth twenty five cents and so forth.

A junk silver bag of quarters with a face value of $1000.00 will contain 4000 quarters. While the price of the bag may vary between 9 and 12,000.00 over the past couple of months due to the price of silver, the face value of each of those 4000 quarters is still twenty five cents.

This is a hard to beat fact about junk silver that other forms of precious metals are hard to beat. Junk silver keeps a value no matter what the silver market is running at the time.

And that is another reason junk silver is such a great investment.


Junk Silver Quarters

This is a "junk silver" quarter. Hardly junk considering with current silver prices, this 90% silver content quarter is worth about a dollar.

The Washington quarter was minted between 1932 and the present with several changes. Most notably, was in 1965 when the coin went from 90% silver to zinc, copper and other base metals known then as the "Johnson Sandwich" for Lyndon Baines Johnson, then the president of the United States.

Prior to 1965, the Washington quarter contained silver and was minted in large numbers - as many as 704 million in 1964 alone.

Many silver coins including the Washington quarter were melted by the federal government in an effort to reclaim the silver. However, many are available if you look carefully.

- For instance, I found a 1946 Washington quarter in the change tray at a Coinstar machine a few months ago.
- My daughter found one in my change from a gasoline station last summer.
- I found another in a change jar recently.

Many are reporting receiving pre-1964 quarters as consumers empty their change jars for essentials like gas or food due to the economic problems in our country.

Keep your eyes out for one of these beautiful coins with a high value.


Junk Silver: Coinstar Find - 1964 Silver Dime

My son, daughter and I went to the supermarket after basketball practice on Tuesday.

My son, always on the prowl for loose change, looks below the self checkout registers as I pay for my groceries. He usually comes up with a quarter, dime or penny for his troubles.

When we leave the supermarket, he always checks the Coinstar machine for change. There are a number of places to look as most people swapping their coins in are sloppy or in a hurry and overlook coins they may have dropped.

My son always checks the tray on top where people drop their coins in. Sometimes he finds an odd penny or two there.

He looks under the Coinstar machine, naturally, and is often rewarded with some coin or another.

But the best place to look is in the Coinstar return tray. Why?

Because rejected coins fall into the return tray and many times, the customer in a hurry leaves their rejects behind.

Certain coins are rejected by Coinstar machines such as dirty, damaged or sticky coins. Foreign coins. Silver and new "gold" dollars i.e. President coins.

And silver coins.

That's right, junk silver coins are rejected by Coinstar machines. I found a 1946 quarter in the reject tray a couple of months ago.

This time, my son found three foreign coins and lo and behold, a beautiful 1964 Eisenhower silver (90%) dime!

So the next time you stop off at the grocers, check out the Coinstar machine.. You never know what you might find!


Some great advice regarding junk silver

I found another great website with practical advice regarding junk silver, not only as an investment, but as preparation for use as a currency when and if our current money loses its value.

First, our current money, the dollar, is backed by the full faith and trust WE have in the federal government. If you have lived here your entire life like I have, you know there have been several instances where trust in the government has been tested.

Further, our dollar is based upon nothing tangible; not gold, land, oil or silver, nothing.

In short, we are indeed trusting that the federal government will make good on its promise that the dollar can be used, for all debts, public or private.

If you have concerns, consider silver as a safeguard in the event the dollar loses much of its value. For this particular purpose, junk silver is ideal.

Junk silver are U.S. coins, dimes, quarters and halves, minted before 1965, and which contain 90% real silver in their content.

Yes, there are silver dollars, but the U.S. ceased minting silver content dollars in 1921 and they are seldom available unless one purchases direct from a coin or jewelry store.

Junk silver has real value and is easily recognizable. While Walmart may not know their value, the merchant who survives a real economic meltdown will.

Read the article I mention here and let me know what you think.


Junk Silver Bags

"I have been interested in buying some junk silver coins and keep hearing a term - junk silver bags. What does that mean?"

First junk silver is a great investment and hedge against inflation and the further eroding value of the dollar. Junk silver, pre-1965 U.S. silver coins, dimes, quarters and halves, represent a real investment in silver as they contain 90% silver by weight.

Although many silver investors purchase silver in small quantities, such as in rolls or loose, coin dealers prefer to deal in bags. A bag is described by its weight of the coins it contains.

For instance, a quarter pound bag contains a quarter of a pound of junk silver quarters, dimes, halves or a combination of the three. Now the weight is not the number of coins, but the weight of silver content. So a quarter pound bag actually weighs more than 4 ounces.

GovMint, our featured advertiser, sells quarter pound bags of junk silver for as little as $99.00 making it an affordable way to get into the precious metals investing game.

Bags can contain more than a quarter pound with popular sizes being quarter, half, full pound and larger sizes. After a certain limit however, it can become impractical to purchase larger bags, especially for transport.
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