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: US Silver Eagle vs Junk Silver

Silver prices are going through the roof. Yesterday's price nearly touched $22 an ounce. That is leading many investors to consider purchasing silver to add to their portfolio.

For new investors, there are a number of options for first time silver investors - bullion, coins and junk silver.

Bullion is best described as silver ingots. Bars of silver minted and priced by weight.

Coins can be minted or common date, but let's consider coins to be government minted such as the US Silver Eagle. These are beautiful coins in one ounce denominations with a one dollar face value but are priced according to the latest spot silver prices.

Junk silver is common date US quarters, dimes and halves minted 1964 and earlier. Junk silver is priced by silver weight (90% of total weight) and listed as "face value". So ten dollars face value junk silver quarters would be 40 US quarters and priced at the 90% per ounce of the going spot silver price.

So which is preferrable? In my opinion, and I am not a professional investment councelor, but merely a collector, I would put my money on junk silver. Why?

- Junk silver has face value to the holder and the receiver. Everyone knows what a quarter or a dime is and what it is worth.

- Junk silver is portable. It is difficult to make change with a silver ingot.

- Junk silver is money even if silver prices drop. A junk silver quarter will always be worth twenty five cents at minimum.

- Junk silver will attract less attention. A Silver Eagle or bar might get the notice of the the wrong people; an old dime is an old dime.

- Junk silver is historic.

I love Silver Eagles. They are beautiful coins worthy of any investor or collector. Ingots are suitable for the safety deposit box or safe. But junk silver is my favorite for the practical and possibly, cash short investor, to get started with.

Junk Silver | Finding Silver In Coinstar Machines

I have mentioned before one of the idiosyncrasies of Coinstar is the machines have the tendancy to reject junk silver coins. I have found pre 1965 dimes and quarters in the reject tray on more than one occasion. The secret I have learned is WHEN to search the Coinstar machine.

Sunday morning I went to the market to pick up a few things for breakfast. While shopping, I heard one of my favorite sounds in the world; someone emptying a container of coins into the Coinstar machine. It's magical because I know when they are done there is a very good chance they will leave something in the reject tray at the bottom of the machine.

However, it got better from there. Not only was one person swapping out their spare change in the Coinstar machine, but two more were waiting right behind him. I took a few minutes to observe the situation. All men, all on Sunday morning and all dumping their coins off that morning. It turns out this is a big day to get rid of all that change at Coinstar.

After the three had completed their transactions, had taken their slips to the customer service counter for redemption and had left the store, my son went and checked the tray. Sure enough he found an old nickel and a couple of foreign coins. No junk silver - this time - but there were more rejected coins in the tray than we normally find.

Maybe the busy day for Coinstar is different where you live. But Sundays will be the day I check out Coinstar near my home for the possibility of locatiing some easy junk silver coins.

Happy hunting!


Junk Silver: Kennedy Halves | Kennedy Half Dollar Coins

Kennedy half dollar coins, Kennedy halves, are a common circulation coin which contain silver in a few certain years. Be on the lookout for these Kennedy junk silver coins for the silver content!

The Kennedy halve was introduced in the 1964, the year after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

What is the silver content of the Kennedy half dollar?

The 1964 version, like the quarter and dime of the same year, is 90% silver. These have .3617 troy ounce of real silver. At today's silver prices, that equates to $5.46 for a single fifty cent piece. Nice return. However, 1964 Kennedy halves are hard to find naturally.

Good news though. Kennedy halves minted from 1965 to 1970 are still 40% silver. That means the still have a value at today's rate of $2.23; not too shabby. And halves from this time period are actually quite common.

There are some simple ways to get Kennedy silver halves. You can buy them online or from a coin store. Or do what many junk silver hounds do. Purchase a few rolls or even a flat ($500.00) of silver halves from the bank. Sort through them and there's a good chance of finding at least a few 1968-1970 halves in there.

Either way, hang on to those Kennedy half dollars. Silver prices have soared the past two years and look to only go higher in the future.
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