Junk Silver Coins Are Worth
Their Weight In Silver

Junk silver coins are a very cost-effective way to own silver bullion. These silver bullion coins are usually highly-circulated coins. As a result, the bulk of them show obvious wear.

The word “junk” is used to make it clear these silver coins have no numismatic/collectible value. This term was not meant to imply the coins have junk-like appearances.

This page highlights US and Canadian silver coins. Other notable sources of junk silver are Australia and the United Kingdom.

90 US Junk Silver Coins - Mercury Dimes90 US Junk Silver Coins - Mercury Dimes

Junk Silver - U.S. Silver Coins

US coins that are purchased as junk silver include:

  • 90% silver coins - Pre-1965 dimes, quarters and half dollars are the most common; certain circulated Peace and Morgan Silver Dollars.
  • 40% silver coins - Kennedy half dollars minted from 1965 thru 1970.
  • 35% silver coins - Jefferson Wartime Nickels (mid 1942 thru 1945).

Click here for more details regarding the silver content in coins minted prior to 1971.

Junk Silver - Canadian Silver Coins

The Royal Canadian Mint also minted circulated coins that are frequently traded as junk silver. They include:

  • 80% silver coins - Dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars minted between 1920 and mid 1967 are the most common junk silver coins.
  • 92.5% silver coins - Dimes, quarters & half dollars minted pre-1920.
  • 50% silver coins - Dimes and quarters minted between mid 1967 and mid 1968. Silver was not used after mid 1968.

Silver amounts increased midyear for 1942 Jefferson Wartime Nickels and decreased midyear for 1967 and 1968 Canadian dimes & quarters.

Junk Silver Coin Prices

90 US Junk Silver Coins

Expect your silver bullion dealer to quote you a price based on a bag of silver coins. This phrase is synonymous with junk silver.

Junk silver coins have no numismatic value since they were formerly in circulation.

Their silver bullion value is their only worth. Protecting their appearance is not a priority.

So using bags to hold circulated coins when they are transported or stored is acceptable.

A bag of silver coins is typically sold in different face value amounts
(see list below).

Face values are the legal tender amounts stamped on coins (i.e.10¢).
For example, 500 US dimes equals $50.

  • $50 (total face value of coins contained in a bag)
  • $100
  • $250
  • $500
  • $1,000

The marketplace views the silver content in coins as the primary value of silver coins, so dealers use the silver spot price (per troy oz.) as a benchmark to price their products.

One troy ounce of silver bullion is approximately equal to:

  • A combination of 90% silver coins (US) with a face value of $1.40.
  • Seven 40% silver coins (Kennedy Halves 1965-1970).
  • Eighteen 35% silver coins (Jefferson Wartime Nickels).
  • A combo of 80% Canadian silver coins with a C$1.67 face value.

Please click here to learn how silver coin prices are determined.

The silver coin melt value is the price a refining company is willing to pay for scrap silver coins it intends to recycle.

Minimize The Precious Metals Used At One Time

In earlier times the United States issued silver and gold monies. The former - silver money - was key to supplying citizens with smaller denomination silver coins and silver-backed paper money.

90 US Junk Silver Coins - Roosevelt Dimes

That same principle applies today. Most people like to have some smaller bills in their wallets.

The cashier at the local convenience store may not appreciate it if you use a $100 bill to pay for a carton of milk. Why break a $100 bill when a $10 bill is all you need?

Similarly, owning silver bullion coins can minimize the amount of precious metals used at one time since gold has a higher value. Why liquidate a one ounce gold coin when the crucial item you need has a $100 cash price?

Minimizing the amount of precious metals converted to cash during times of hardship is an efficient way to use your gold and silver bullion.

It's wise to consult your accountant about applicable taxes before you sell any precious metals.

Silver Complements Gold

As you can see in the photo below, 1 oz. gold bullion coins and a bag of silver coins are shown together. One complements the other.

It's hard to believe anything called “junk” can be so valuable. But now you know better. Junk silver coins are literally worth their weight in silver.

Best wishes. Please select a link on my navigation bar (upper left) to learn more about gold bullion and silver bullion.

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