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 Blog: Easy Ways To Get Junk Silver Below Spot!

Receiving or finding a junk silver U.S. coin is far more fun than going to the coin or jewelry store and buying them, isn't it? It is for me, so I have my secret ways of finding junk silver that I want to share with you. Some may already be known, but it's fun to discuss this with other junk silver fans like me.

Coinstar - I have promoted this for years and I can't get to every Coinstar machine so check this tip out. Coinstar rejects junk silver coins. Not only have a found silver in the return slot, I gambled not once, but twice(!) with a 1952 silver Roosevelt dime to prove it. Coinstar machines are found in most grocery stores and from personal observation, weekends seem to be the time when more people dump their change off at Coinstar. With over 12,000 Coinstar locations, there are probably ten or more machines near you right now. Next Sunday or Saturday afternoon, make an excuse to visit a few locations and see what turns up. (If you are smart, bring a small kid with you who does not mind getting on the floor and looking under the machine!)

Bank or Credit Union - I ask every time I visit the credit union if they have any halves in the drawer I could purchase. While most banks are savvy enough to know that the old coins have silver, many over look the 1964 Kennedy (because that version of the half is still in circulation) and 1965-1969 versions which contain 40% silver. I have purchased, at face value, one 1964 and seven 40% halves over the past year this way.

Take change, please - Spend cash on all small purchases. When receiving your change, ask the cashier for 2-3 dollars in quarters or dimes. Tell them you have to do laundry if you want to be sneaky. Do this a few times a week and silver will turn up.

Put an ad in the local shopper paper - Greensheet, Thrify Nickle, etc are cheap places to put ads like this "Need cash? I buy coin collections. Call 555-1234". Sure, you will get some calls from people wanting to sell state quarter collections, but there will be some good deals out there. (Hint: Never buy anything for more than face value). Please, don't rip off some old, naive person if you do this. However, many coin collections are sold by bum relatives who received them in inheritances, as gifts or divorce settlements and could care less about their real value.

There are ways to get junk silver for less than spot, but it takes some work, creativity and a little shoe leather. Good hunting!


Junk Silver: Roll Searching

These days, most silver investors who are banking on junk silver, build their investment portfolio through purchases at coin stores, eBay or other online, reputable coin and precious metal dealers. Very few will tell you that searching for coins at stores or in pocket change is a reliable way to get pre-1964 junk silver coins.

A number of silver enthusiasts continue to do the old standby of  "roll hunting" and are slowly,  but steadily increasing their junk silver holdings at face value.

It works like this; go to your local bank or credit union and ask a box of halves. Typically, a coin roll hunter will order $100 - 500.00 in halves which the bank will have to order as well and have shipped in to the bank. The buyer picks up the halves and the fun begins.

Coin roll hunters will sit down and unroll each roll searching for silver coins. First they hold up the unwrapped roll and identify those coins with silver rims - those are easy. After going through all the rolls, they start checking the individual dates and pull halves dated between 1965 and 1970. These coins have 40% silver content and are worth collecting as well.

Afterward, the coin hunter rolls the halves back up, returns them to the bank and deposits them into their account. Sometimes, coin rollers will use the leftover coins to order and pay for more halves. Rinse and repeat.

Roll hunters will tell you to focus on halves and not quarters or dimes as those rolls were "mined" long ago - quarters and dimes are circulated more often than halves so the silver gets picked out sooner. Halves on the other hand have a low circulation rate so the rolls can pay off.

Some roll hunters are complaining that the returns on roll hunting are dropping each year as silver increases in value. Others say that the economy has more people dumping their coin jars and collections into the bank and that has the silver coin supply experiencing a "bump" in old coins returning to circulation.

Remember, if coin roll hunting, you can't lose any money on this pursuit as you are paying face value for the halves. Also, you can always use the leftover coins for small purchases. Good luck!


Junk Silver: What are those coins worth?

A quick note about junk silver values...

My son was examining the 1944 Washington quarter I found in a box of old junk and asked me what it was worth.

Well, the face value is .25, but the silver value is, based upon silver pricing over $40.00 an ounce is about $7.00!

Those pre-1965 Roosevelt and Mercury head dimes? Try just under $3.00 a piece!

How about that 1964 Kennedy half? Try $15.00 a pop!

OK, so junk silver was a great investment or collector's hobby as the price has risen dramatically over the past few years. But what about the future?

Experts say as long as the money supply, i.e. dollars, remain printed based upon borrowing and debt, their value will only go down and the price of commodities, like gold and silver, including junk silver, will only go up. If inflation, the diminished buying power of the dollar, grows, silver and gold will continue to rise.

It's anybody's guess what will happen at this point as there are many variables in the world economy to conider. But the fact is silver, especailly junk silver, has offered a good return on the money over the past few years. Keep digging through that change. There's a fortune in pre-1964 silver out there!


Junk Silver: Odd Places To Find Junk Silver

With silver prices over $40.00 per ounce, the demand for junk silver is at an all time high. Sure, you can walk into a coin or jewelry store and buy some pre-1964 dimes or quarters, but isn't it a lot more fun to actually find some for face value or free?

Here are some suggestions for finding, not buying at silver prices, junk silver.

The bank - silver hounds have used this strategy for years. Go to the bank and purchase a large amount of rolled coins. Dimes are good, quarters are better, but halves are the best. Buy as many rolls as you can afford, but don't worry, you are going to return most of them in short order.

Take home the rolled coins, open and sort them. Take out any pre-1964 silver coins. The best choice, as noted, are halves because fewer of them are in circulation and a box of $500.00 of halves should net at least a one or two 1964 Kennedy halves and a fair number of 40% silver 1965-1970 halves. After sorting, return the unwanted coins to the bank and deposit into your account.

Another suggestion which be so dumb it works - go to the bank and tell them your kid is collecting old coins and do they have any older dimes, quarters or halves in the drawer? Who knows? Some friendly teller may reach inside and hand over that strange old half dollar with Franklin on it she received earlier in the day.

Vending machines - Everytime you pass a phone, soda or coin machine, check the coin return slot. Odds are you probably won't find a 1962 silver quarter, but you might. As I have mentioned several times here, Coinstar machines have a habit of rejecting junk silver coins - I have found one pre-1965 quarter and three dimes from the machine near my house.

Grocery store, convinience stores - After paying for your purchases, look down at the floor. There is a good chance there might be someone's loose coins down there as they dropped it after receiving their change. My son regularly finds loose change this way each time we go to the grocery store. And because junk silver coins make a different sound when they fall, other patrons may not have noticed they dropped a 1957 quarter.

Drive thru windows - Be careful doing this! Have you ever been through the drive thru line at McDonalds? When paying at the window, take a glance down on the ground. Most likely there are a few to several coins dropped down there. If it is safe, open the car door and pick up what others have left behind.

Toll booth - This is highly dangerous and probably illegal. But many times I have been dropping coins in the toll basket and noticed the huge number of dropped coins on the ground around the basket. Most of them are quarters and I am sure a pre-1965 version, pillfered from a change jar or piggy bank, ends up down there. Again, it's probably against the law and very dangerous to actually do,  but it can't hurt to fantasize about walking from booth to booth late at night picking up fallen coins. Don't do it though.

Pocket change - Obvious huh? But most of us who use cash frequently probably don't do this enough. Use cash for all small purchases and Check your change!

Old boxes and storage - I have been steadily cleaning out the garage and while doing so, came across a junk box of bits and pieces from my childhood. There in a box along with spare keys, marbles and other kid junk was a pristine 1944 Washington quarter. Who knows what lurks in the dark corners of your home?

Garage sales, flea markets, rummage sales - The same thing can be said about checking out these sales for unwanted coin collections, old piggy banks, boxes of drawer junk and so on.

Gold stores - I heard about this one on line but have not checked it out myself. With gold shooting through the roof, strip malls are sprouting up "Cash for Gold Jewelry" stores right and left. Someone mentioned that these stores frequently purchase coin collections and end up with small stashes of pre-1964 silver coins. As they are in the market for gold, they will often sell the coins below the current silver price just to get rid of them. I am sure most gold store proprietors know what silver is worth, but it can't hurt to check out this rumor and see if it is true.

Go coin shooting! Do you have a metal detector? Now is a good time to get one and start searching older parts of town. Every detector tells great stories about finding Mercury, Barber, Walking Liberty and other old coins when coin shooting.

There are lots of great ways to find junk silver and avoid paying the high cost of silver right now. Keep at it and don't forget - there are still coins in circulation from before 1965 so keep an eye out!


Junk Silver: Best Junk Silver Coins to Buy

Junk silver is incredibly popular for investors right now because of the rising price of gold, the lower value of the dollar and the possibility of inflation. However, there are many junk silver coin purchase options and it is critical buyers make the right choices.

Junk silver coins are any US silver dime, quarter or halve minted before 1965 and which have 90% of their weight in real silver. Coins minted after this date are called clads and have either very little or no silver content and are primarily comprised of copper, zinc and other metals.

For many, junk silver investment can include older US coins like Morgan silver dollars, Franklin halves, Barber and Mercury head dimes. However, new investors might do well to limit their purchases to newer US junk silver coins. Here's why.

Newer junk silver coins, those minted between 1960-1964, have 90% silver content, but many were circulated less than the older coins listed above. Thus, they may have most of their silver content and less loss due to circulation.

Further, Barber and Morgan coins are highly sought by coin collectors making the bid price sometimes higher than than the silver value.

1960-1964 silver coins include the Roosevelt dime and the Washington quarter (both still in use today) and the Kennedy halve (1964 only). Franklin halves, minted from 1948 to 1963, are 90% silver, but often desired by collectors unlike the "plain" Kennedy halve.

Interestly, when the government announced that coins would have less or no silver content, thousands of American quickly scooped up all the common coins, Roosevelt, Washington and Kennedy, and put them away. So they have less wear and retain most of the silver content.

New investors might want to limit their junk silver purchases to these coins as they are still common, have less numistatic interest and possibly have most of their silver content due to less circulation.
We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.
Junk Silver Blog discusses junk silver, common date coins, junk silver dimes, junk silver quarters, pre-1964 silver coins, pre-1965 U.S. silver coins, silver investing, precious metals, silver, junk silver halves, mercury dimes, Roosevelt dimes, Franklin halves, junk silver investing, silver investments, Washington quarters, war nickels, silver nickels, Morgan dollars, Walking Liberty, spot silver price, spot silver, rising silver prices, junk silver spot, junk silver bags, face value bags, face value silver, junk silver face value