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pre-1965 coins

are they considered junk silver and are they good to buy? or as good as silver?

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As a rule of thumb, a dollar

As a rule of thumb, a dollar sixty in actual minted value is equal to one ounce. 16 dimes equals 1 oz, 6 Quarters and one dime equals an ounce.

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Not all "Junk" is Junk

APMEX has some nice Brilliant Uncirculated rolls for only a few bucks more than the old worn out ones.


Just means that these have escaped being melted. They are an excellent investment and will be great for the barter value when the SHTF. Dimes may be the best choice but a variety of denominations would be good. These, for the most part, are 90% silver so worth slightly less than the .999 varieties, by weight, but only ~ 10% less.

Spot, now, is $37.60 x .9 = $33.84 so each pre-65 dime would be worth about $3.38. A quarter would be worth $8.46 and a half worth $16.92, today. Great investment!

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Pre-1965 coins are 90% silver but are .723 troy ounces. So, multiply Spot price by .723

37.60 x .723 = 27.18. Therefore one dime would be worth 2.71
go to
They have an online calculator

Junk Just Means Not Collectible Condition

Go ahead and get a few bags. You will be able to use them by weight since the face value is meaningless and the weights are variable with worn coins. Sometimes many of the dimes and other coins are not noticeably worn and could still be circulated at their minted weight.

The Oracle

Please explain how one would "use them by weight"

if the "weights are variable?"

On the contrary, the face value is not meaningless.

What is incorrect is that current prices are not in dollars, though people think they are.

Weigh The Coin on a Scale

If you want to use heavily worn "junk silver" coins in trade you would simply put them on a scale to see what weight of silver you are exchanging. No different than trading in ounces of nails for example. Before standardized coins were created this is how you exchanged silver for other commodities, just like you would weigh out grain, pork, gunpowder etc.
The dealers plop the bag on a scale give you a weight.
Yes you might wind up weighing a worn Dollar individually. Or the parties could agree what it's weight might be and go from there. I trade in inexact commodities this way all the time.

I agree that commercial prices at the corporations are in the fictional U.S. DOLLARS not in the Dollar defined as a weight of silver. The face values are meaningless if the coins are severely worn. That is why I say junk silver is sold or traded by it's actual weight not minted weight.

I once had a judge I aggravated so badly he slipped up and asked me to pay in "money".
Then he bit his lip and recused himself from the case! They just threw three more judges at me.
So U.S. Currency is not "money" and if they make a mistake and say it is they have traversed into Common Law and left the safety of their fictional world and entered the real world of Men.

The Oracle

I feel this is the best

I feel this is the best silver to buy. Get past the word "junk". Buy as many 90% US coins as you possibly can.

I just purchased

an Oz. worth of pre 65' silver. They are 90% silver and since they were already used as currency I think most people would be happy to accept them.

I also have a few dozen oz of pure silver but I plan to use as little of that for purchases as I can.

Plus it was cool to get 1930(something) dime which I had never seen before.

Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto. - T. Jefferson rЭVO˩ution

"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.” - BASTIAT

Even cooler is a half-dime.

Found one of those in my grandpa's desk drawer while cleaning it out one time.

haha cool

never saw that one

Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto. - T. Jefferson rЭVO˩ution

"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.” - BASTIAT

Can you look at these, please?



“Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy...." Adams. http://ronpaulgirl.com http://blogtalkradio.c

Here goes:

The first coin is a proof version of the 1975-1976 bicentennial collection. It is an IKE dollar.

It is possible that it is silver, but more likely it is cupro-nickel. (clad coin like our current quarter, dime, and half) Silver proofs usually had a frosted raised area, and this one does not. But that may have been different in the 70s. (I've only been collecting proofs since the late 90s)

It is definitely a proof coin for two reasons, it has a highly polished 'mirror like' surface. And it has the 's' mint mark for San Francisco. (below the neck and above the date) The San Fran mint produces proof coins. If this were a regular circulation coin, it would have a 'D' or 'P' mint mark for Denver or Philadelphia. (some denominations have no mint mark rather than a 'P')

If it is NOT silver, it is worth maybe a few bucks depending on its condition, but more likely just $1.

To tell the difference, balance it on your finger tip (preferably with a paper towel or tissue in between not to get finger oil on it) and lightly tap it with another coin on the edge. If you hear a high pitched ring, it is silver, if a lower pitched ring, it is not. To compare the rings if you are not sure, do the same for any old quarter or dime in your pocket. If the rings match in tone, it is not silver.

If it is silver, it is worth more not only as a collectors item since the silver issue was more rare, but also for its silver content. (40% - 0.3164 troy ounces) This puts it having a bullion value today of 11.83. It may be worth slightly more as a collector's item depending on condition.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhower_Dollar

The second is an old worn 'Peace Dollar'

It was a regular dollar, but called that because of the design (on the obverse - the 'heads' side) and because the design was issued to commemorate the end of World War I.

In silver content it is worth about 28.91. (maybe a little less since it is well worn and likely has less than the original amount of silver in it)

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_Dollar

The third and 5th (last) picture are of a Morgan dollar 'knock off'

They may or may not be silver. They look highly polished like a proof. They are not issued by the U.S. Mint. They were privately made. Without a picture of the other side. I can't tell you more.

The Morgan design preceded the Peace design on the dollar.

The 4th image is of a bicentennial Kennedy Half Dollar.

It was minted in Denver since it has a 'D' mint mark above the date and below the neck. It is cupro-nickel.

It's worth 50¢.

Current melt value of coins


Silver coins bottom chart. Also checkout pre-1982 pennies and nickel prices.

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what about 40% halves

I always hear about getting the 90% pre-65... but no one here ever mentions the 40% '65-'70 Kennedy halves... is there something i don't know which makes them unwanted besides the lower content?

That's about it.

People who want silver U.S. coins generally want the 'real' ones, not debased coins. Hence, the 40% are more sought than the copper-nickel variety, and the 90% more than the 40%.

The 90% versions are 'real' in that they are the actual amount of silver to match face value, not a debased amount of silver, or even no silver.

Remember, a dollar is not an abstract unit. It is a standard of weight and measure, specifically, 371.25 grains of .999 silver.


Its been a while, thanks for the reply.

All the silver I own is junk.

All the silver I own is junk. 90% silver. Even if silver went to zero you still would have the face value of the coins.

Pre-1965 coins are considered "junk" because they are not


It isn't because they are to be melted down.

Generally there is a large supply of them, and most if not all of the pristine specimens have already been taken out of circulation and put into personal collections over the years. There are some exceptions to this as occasionally you can come across an unsealed bag that was never checked for rarities, errors, or near mint state coins.

That likelihood though is dwindling as there are people who buy bags just to filter through them, and so as time goes on, the probability of getting anything more than a fairly worn coin in a bag will decrease.

The are perfectly acceptable for purchase, and since they are common denominations, they are very liquid. They usually provide the biggest bang for your buck when buying, as they generally sell under spot, but that has changed at times, and they occasionally sell for higher than spot, but rarely higher than 1 ounce rounds, or Silver Eagles. (Eagles carry a premium no matter what because the US Mint priced the premium in)

If you are simply looking to invest and are considering buying them in bulk (at least a tenth-bag with $100 face value) I would advise to stick instead to 100 ounce bars as they are a bit more stable in how they vary versus spot price.

I use the coins as "insurance" should the day come when they will circulate again. (I don't want to try buying groceries with a bar of silver vs. using dimes, quarters and half-dollars)


"Pre-1965 coins are considered "junk" because they are not rare."


Not rare? So they are common? And they are called junk because they are common?

No. They are junk because they are not pure. Has nothing to do with them being circulated.

Sorry, that is 100% incorrect.

They are considered junk because of lack of rarity. (and their circulated and worn condition) They are "junk" to collectors.

The term is one used by collectors. Why don't you ask a coin dealer? He'll tell you the same.

They are very common. And the vast majority out there are well circulated. (before they were pulled out of everyday circulation) There is a large supply.

They are besides their worn condition, just as pure as any other silver coin issued by the U.S. government for circulation. (only the more recent bullion program contains more silver)

All silver coins, issued from 1792 till 1986 were 90% silver. (with an exception for 40% silver coins in the late 60's and early 70's in the half and dollar varieties for collectors)

In 1986, we began minting silver bullion coins. These are 99.9% pure. (the balance copper)

The mint still produces 90% dimes, quarters, and halves every year as proof sets, and usually at least one 90% silver dollar every year as a commemorative issue.

The reason for the 90% purity was for durability in circulation. Our gold coins were also 90%.

That doesn't mean they didn't contain the stated amount of silver or gold, they did. But they also contained other metal (usually copper) as a hardener for circulation.

Gold Eagles are 22k or 91.67%. (balance silver and copper)

Only the 24k Buffalo (a recent issue) in gold is pure. (99.99%)

Uh, yeah, the term "junk"

refers to the "junk" market for silver, the "melt" market which is meant to describe silver that used to be something else (necklaces, candle sticks) being melted down and recovered for refining and recasting.

It doesn't mean it's worthless. Far from it. All these "sell your gold" places are vaccuming up old metal from every closet and underwear drawer in the land to great profit!

JUNK SILVER is the cheapest and easiest way for a beginner to start buying metal.

JUNK SILVER can be bought private-party on Ebay and pawn shops or by putting an ad in the paper or Craigslist.

JUNK SILVER is known as "survival currency" (as opposed to "investment metal" like bars). It's universally recognized, it comes in little bits (dimes, quarters, halfs, ounces) to make it easy to make trade (trade goceries for a 10 oz bar and what do you make change in?).

Pretty much anybody I know that has metal has some junk silver included. I'd highly recommend it (certain market conditions accepted)

They aren't called "junk" because they are to be melted,

or that they used to be someone's jewelry. They are considered "junk" because they are not "rare."

Yes, they are called "Junk

Yes, they are called "Junk Silver", but they are probably the best way to purchase silver. This is because everybody knows what they are. Show the average person a silver bar, and they will look at you as if you had three heads.

The term "Junk Silver" refers to the fact that it was originally looked at as silver scrap, metal that had to go to a refiner an purified. But today, "Junk Silver" is used primarily as an investment vehicle. It contains real silver - 90%, in a form that is readily identifiable.

So, the answer is YES. Junk Silver is a good way to purchase the metal.

"junk" refers to lack of rarity or value as a collectors item.

It has no numismatic value.

The term with respect to pre-1965 coins has nothing to do with purity or that the metal had to be refined further or that it was ever "scrap metal."

Quite the contrary, most silver in U.S. Coins was fresh out of new mines and was not recycled from other uses. Presently all silver coins are made from U.S. freshly mined silver by law. (we used to have "free coinage" where you could bring in your jewelry etc. and have them mint it into coins for you. But that ended long, long ago)

The minting process ALWAYS started with pure silver never a less pure form. The mint ADDED copper and/or nickel as an alloy to harden the coins against wear and tear. THAT is why they contain 90% silver. (not because they were made from melted down from less pure 'scrap')

Junk silver is great.

It is 90% silver so it is bought and sold as such. It is beneficial because it can be divided into small denominations.

Silver is Silver. They aren't

Silver is Silver.

They aren't worth as much at .999 but they aren't as pure either.

I recommend junk silver.

are coins considered junk

are coins considered junk silver. or is junk silver something else? Also do you like gold or silver more?

They are "junk" because they are not "rare"

The fact that they are 90% silver has nothing to do with it.

Coins that are graded say MS-65 which are also 90% are not considered "junk" by anyone.

Junk status has to do with the fact that the odds are that the bags they come in have been picked clean by collectors for those coins that are either error strikes, or are in a near pristine mint state. (the less wear on a coin and the more discernable the details of the design, the more valuable the coin is to collectors)

Worn, circulated coins are common, and thus less rare. Hence the term "junk." They are not worth putting in a coin collection.

An added example of why the purity of silver in the coin is irrelevant is the case of the Silver Eagle. It is a one ounce coin currently minted by the US Mint. It contains a smidgen of copper. It is not 100% silver. Yet I challenge anyone to provide a claim that Silver Eagles are referred to as "junk" silver.

junk silver is silver that is

junk silver is silver that is also mixed with other metals there-by making it not as pure. It would take more refinement to make it pure silver, but that's not out of the realm of possibility for those with the appropriate setup. Sterling silver would also be considered 'junk'.

I personally like silver. I like it because it's cheaper and I feel as though it has more room to grow. Silver requires more area for storage though. So I guess it just depends on your personal situation. You could store $100,000 in gold in a much smaller area that would be needed for $100,000 worth of silver.

Again, I recommend junk silver coins, i.e. pre-65 US coins. No one will question the silver content of a coin produced by the US government. Plus, you'll often find junk silver coins that are pre-1900. The history lesson alone makes the investment of junk worthwhile. I wish someone had got me collecting coins when I was 8 years old as opposed to baseball cards. Junk would have been a great place to start out.