In the US when people talk about Junk Silver they are referring to old US coins that contain silver. In the past dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars have all contained varying amounts of silver. Up until 1965 these coins contained 90% silver. After 1965 only Kennedy Half Dollars continued to be minted with silver in them and the content was reduced to 40%. Different Junk Silver Coins include Morgan Silver Dollars, Peace Dollars, Mercury Dimes, Barber Quarters and so on.
People who invest in silver will most commonly buy one ounce coins or ten ounce bars issued by different mints. However Junk Silver coins are an extremely effective way of investing in silver as I will explain. The value of junk silver coins will always reflect the price of silver so if the silver price rises by 10% so will the value of your Kennedy half dollar or mercury dime.
One perception people have about investing in precious metals is that it requires a substantial investment well this is not true with junk silver coins – in fact you can pick up a mercury dime for well under $2 and many coin shops will be happy to sell you them in single amounts. So for people on low budgets this is a great option
Many people are getting interested in precious metals due to the worsening financial situation in the country and they can see potential financial collapse. Precious metals would be a viable means of exchange in a world where the money has become worthless. Bartering however with your ounces of gold or even silver could prove problematic. I am sure you will find someone willing to exchange your ounce of gold for a loaf of bread but that has been a very expensive loaf of bread- even with an ounce of silver you may find yourself losing out massively in any exchange. However because junk silver coins have smaller amounts of silver in them and you can pick up coins for as little as $2 they make an excellent means of bartering.
So How Can You Buy Junk Silver Coins
If you look online you may find different dealers offering to sell $1000 bags of junk silver. This means that the total face value of the coins in the bag is $1000 which at today’s silver price could end up costing you well over $13 -14 000. Luckily many coin dealers will be willing to sell you these coins in small amounts. eBay is also an excellent place to pick up junk silver coins at reasonable prices. If you are buying small quantities it is not unreasonable to pay a premium of up to 15-20% over the spot price of silver for each coin. You could even try advertising on Craigslist for people looking to sell their coins.
When dealers give you a price for junk silver they may quote the price in terms of “face” (i.e. face value) so if they are chargin’ 13 times face that means a Kennedy half dollar would be $6.50 for example.
If all you are interested in is investing in silver be careful that you are not paying extra for proof sets or first strike – these will command higher premiums because they are rarer coins- leave these to the coin experts.
The one drawback with Junk Silver Coins is they all have odd amounts of silver in them for example a Mercury Dime contains 0.07234 ounces of silver in them making it slightly tricky to work out the exact value of the silver coin at any one time. To help you there are many online calculators such as the one in my signature that will give up to the minute values of different coins. Before bidding for these coins on eBay or buying in a coin shop make sure you know the current spot price of the coins you are going to buy so you know how much premium you are paying!!!!