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: 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!
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