So-called “Junk Silver Coins” are far from being junk… they are actually treasure!!
So, what exactly is a junk silver coin?
It is a coin that contains precious metal, but the coin has been circulated and is worn beyond being in collectible condition. A coin collector would say that it is in “fair” condition or worse, and therefore it is not worth any more than the precious metal content within it.
These coins were once circulated and show the wear of a coin that has been used as regular money, carried in pockets and purses, and treated as we treat our modern dimes, quarters, nickels, and pennies. In other words, these coins are not collectible because they are worn with use, and not in a collectible condition; they have no numismatic value. So, they are called junk… but the term is misleading, because a “junk” silver coin is worth at least TEN TIMES it’s face value (at today’s silver prices ).
The silver content of silver coins minted in the United States on or before 1964 is usually 90%. After 1964, only one coin was minted in the U.S. that had silver content, this being the Kennedy half dollar. This half dollar was minted from 1965 until 1970, and contained 40% silver. Junk silver coin prices will vary with the spot price of silver, the current state of the economy, and the condition of the coins. The amount you pay for the “junk” silver coins, above current value of their silver content, is called a premium. Generally speaking, in a stable economy with consumer / investor being high, these coins can be purchased at a very small premium above silver spot price. Again, generally speaking, a less stable economy and the more fearful consumer and investor attitude, the premium of these coins increases.
If the U.S. dollar values were to collapse as a result of hyper-inflation, these silver coins would very likely serve as the preferred alternative to the worthless paper dollars. The fact that these coins contain a precious metal, and the amount of that precious metal is well documented and easily calculated, makes them very attractive as an alternative form of monetary exchange.
When one is considering the purchase of junk silver it is prudent to know how to determine the real value of silver in these coins. A bit of education on the true and fair price of junk silver coins can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Before you invest in junk coins, get to know them first, then you can tell if you’re getting a good deal (or not).