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Junk Silver vs. Bullion

I know this topic has been discussed in depth previously, but I thought I would start this thread.

I have been buying junk silver (pre 1965 U.S. coins). Mostly Peace and Morgan dollars. My reasoning has been if the dollar collapsed this would be readily usable for bartering. My question is:

Is there an easy way to tell what my silver is worth in relation to the spot price. Is there a formula that would let me take the total weight of the metal, calculate the troy ounces based on a .9% silver content and arrive at a estimated price?

Also, in light of watching that Rich Dad video, it seems to me that I should perhaps buy some silver bullion, say, Mapleleafs or Silver Eagles.

Is anyone buying junk as opposed to bullion and vice-a-versa and why?

Thanks again.

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Just passed

the 18 dollar mark. 10:50 CST.


"To the moon Alice, to the moon."

here's a calculator

Try this one out: http://www.coinflation.com/coins/silver_coin_calculator.html

I buy US junk silver coins. Just remember to buy them in person from a local coin shop - no name, address or SSN. Exchange your federal reserve notes for silver.

Junk Silver vs. Bullion

One dollar of of pre-1965 coin has .715 troy ounces of silver. This is true for any combination of dimes and quarters. If you are buying silver dollars, I believe they have .765 troy ounces each. You can just multiple the face value times those numbesr and know total ounces in troy. Then multiply times the spot price to get a rough estimate of value. Remember that if you go to sell those, the dealer will probably charge you a premium of a couple percent.

If you are not familiar with Franklin Sanders or http://the-moneychanger.com, you should give them a look. Definitely click on the "What to Buy" link and the "Click here for latest Daily Commentary" link.

A key to your investment should be knowing which coins can be bought at the lowest premium, and which coins can be sold for the best return. I went to a dealer and asked him what was my best bet for silver or gold. He told me 100 oz bars of silver and 1 oz gold coin (Krugerrands) was the most economical. But, when I asked him to crunch numbers, buying and selling silver, it turned out that $1000 face value bag of pre-65 quarters or dimes lost me less money in premiums than the 100 oz bar.

Also, on the gold, Krugerrands (less expensive) are a South African coin, whereas Gold Eagles (a little more expensive per ounce) are American. They are seen differently under some legal conditions because one is legal U.S. tender, while the other is strictly a commodity, so keep this in mind. Your local dealer should be able to give you more details on this.



ok guys please read ALL of this!




February 19, 2008

Deep Into The Danger Zone

(This essay was written by silver analyst Theodore Butler, an independent consultant. Investment Rarities does not necessarily endorse these views, which may or may not prove to be correct.)

The extreme market structure in COMEX silver (and gold) continues to get more extreme. In other words, the concentrated net short position held by the largest four and eight traders in COMEX silver continues to grow.

The most recent Commitment of Traders Report (COT), for positions held as of Feb. 12, indicates the four largest short traders now hold a record position of 59,564 contracts, or almost 298 million ounces, That’s 170 days of world mine production. The eight largest traders are now net short 73,987 futures contracts, or nearly 370 million ounces, That’s 211 days of equivalent world mine production. Let me repeat, these are all records. Never have there been larger concentrated short positions in silver.

Since this data comes directly from the COMEX and the CFTC, the figures must be assumed to be correct. Why would they make it up, since it makes them look so bad? The regulators should be ashamed of themselves to have allowed such a lopsided short concentration to develop. History shows they never would permit four large long traders to hold 300 million ounces of COMEX silver futures. After all, they charged the Hunt Brothers and their associates with manipulation when they held a position only a third the size of what the big shorts hold today.

For whatever the reason, it is obvious that the regulators won’t regulate when it comes to short side manipulations. But silver investors must still deal with the consequences of this manipulation. The good news, of course, is that the concentrated short position has kept silver prices lower than they would have been otherwise, affording accumulation at lower prices. Also good news is the super-bullish impact on price once the manipulation is terminated, as it must be eventually. The bad news is the potential of another sharp engineered sell-off, that enables the concentrated shorts to buy back a portion of their short position. But I don’t see how it is possible for the entire short position to be closed out on a sell-off.

It seems reasonable to conclude that this concentrated silver short position can’t go on indefinitely. Sooner or later, something has to give. But what and when? The short answer is I don’t know.

I do know that commodity shorts, in general, have been under pressure never witnessed before, in every market possible, from energy, to the grains, to the softs, to the precious metals. In large part, the money-center banks guarantee, or even hold, a variety of these short positions. These money-center banks are under extreme financial pressure in many lines of their businesses. This raises the odds of a general short-side capitulation and panic buyback that could cause prices to melt up. Given its concentrated record short position, no commodity is structured to melt up more than silver.

On the other hand, the danger to the concentrated silver shorts is so extreme that it is almost imperative that they rig one more, and maybe final, sell-off to relieve some of their obscenely large short position. The only question is, can they do it?

The course for the silver investor seems clear. Fully paid for, real silver held with a very long term perspective holds as much future promise as it has over the past few years. Such silver will allow you to ride out any near term turbulence and participate in the long term gains.


By Israel Friedman

(Israel Friedman is a friend and mentor to Theodore Butler. He has followed silver for many decades. He has written articles for us in the past. Investment Rarities does not necessarily endorse these views.)

The U.S. mint sold 2,170,000 silver eagles and only 26,000 gold eagles in the month of January. By my calculation 83 times more silver eagles were sold then gold eagles. This is an enormous difference that shows you how much more interest there is in silver. Investors are starting to understand that silver is a better investment then gold. I congratulate Mr. Butler that by his writing about silver, more and more people are buying physical silver.

In my opinion, the beauty of silver is that any amount of silver you buy will reward you tremendously. Maybe only 0.5% of the world population has heard about silver and they are mostly American investors who bought in the last 15 years around 400 million ounces of silver.

Today, many silver investors are asking why silver doesn't achieve all time highs like gold. Mr. Butler answers this question every week by emphasizing the control of prices on the COMEX by 4 or less traders that hold more than 50% of the net short position. When you hold a position of more than 50%, you control the market. This may be changing now. The short position is the main reason why the price of silver is behind the gold price, but this creates the opportunity to buy silver.

Different people have different opinions or expectations for future prices. I personally believe that only silver can be characterized as real precious metal and gold is a second violin. I made this decision by understanding the rarity of the metal and its world stocks. Let's look at gold first: its world stocks increase almost 100 million ounces annually. Contrast this to silver, which is in a yearly deficit and is decreasing yearly. World gold stocks are around 5 billion ounces and silver around 1 to 2 billion ounces. I say with conviction that silver is more rare than gold and, in my eyes, is the only precious metal. I think investors are beginning to understand that a shortage can develop easily in silver, but not so in gold, because it is not used that much industrially. It is a lot easier for people to pay $15 or $20 for an ounce than $900 or $1,000, especially when the cheap one has the most value.

If 90% of the world population knew this, the prices of silver and gold would be different. In the short term, with gold prices over $900, silver would be in the hundreds. Mr. Butler doesn’t like my numbers. He says that they are too extreme and people are going to lose confidence in my writing, but I hope he will not censor me, because this is my opinion. Silver in the hundreds of dollars will come only with a shortage of silver. The 4 or less shorts will give up. With a shortage, world investors will recognize the rarity of silver.

Gold and silver seem to trade together, tick by tick. It is easy for many people to think they are the same commodity. Not true. Gold and silver are very different, even if they behave now as one. I am certain that will change, and perhaps very soon. You don’t have to look very far to see just how different silver is from gold.

Some of you want to hear how I see the future in silver prices and what I think about the world in my crystal ball.

(1) Life expectancy will rise tremendously and most of you will live over 100 in years to come.

(2) It will be very important to save and prepare for a long life.

(3) Investment in education----silver----farmland, in my opinion, will do the best.

(4) At some point, in 15 to 20 years, silver prices will be 5 times higher then gold prices. If my calculation is correct, a dollar invested in silver will do many times better than gold. In real estate value, I think 1,000 ounces of silver will buy a 3-bedroom apartment in Manhattan in Trump Towers.

I am a different thinker, and some gold investors don't like my opinion, but that is their problem.

Those who believe in silver value should buy eagles and force the mint to work overtime.

All Rights Reserved © 2002 Investment Rarities, Inc.
For Web Site Questions Contact the Web Master

Ted Butler has singlehandedly-proved massive media bias

By financial "journalists." They all know what he's been saying for years. They all know the only "arguments" against him are name-calling. They all know nobody can coherently debate him. They all know he's been warning our sleeping "regulators," who are looking quite corrupt these days. And they all find something else to cover instead of covering this massive (even compared to the Hunt Bros.) short. The good news is, they're not the only ones who won't-be-covering...Heh heh heh...

Silver coins

and bullion costs about 1.50 to $2 more per ounce when purchased physically. I have been buying about two ounces a week for several months now. Palladium is the bomb right now. I have been saying that for months as well.

lets pick up our numbers here... www.RingsideRevolution.com

Does my burka make my butt look fatwa?


I would favor Silver Eagles since they are exactly one full ounce of silver and are easier to negotiate based on spot. Remember, spot is quoted for a 1,000 ounce bar. Smaller denominations get you a premium. 1oz. Eagles are good for $1.50-$2.50 premium per ounce depending on how new and in what condition. (new = higher premium)

As for the 90% 'junk' silver. Quarters, dimes, and halves are WAY cheaper per ounce than Morgan's and Peace Dollars. Halves carry a slight premium because they have usually suffered less wear and use but not too bad, about $100/Full bag ($1000 face)

Here are the ratios of silver coins minted since 1873:

Dollar = .7734 troy ounces (since 1835, except Trade Dollars = .7876)
Half = .3617
Quarter = .1808
Dime = .07234

I would set your exchange ratio based on the half and then just use face value from there. On the off chance you use or get dollars, you could add 7% so you won't be loosing or gaining that much silver.

ex: Today's spot is $17.80 (bid on kitco.com/market)

That would give you the following values

Dollar = $13.77
Half = $6.44 (12.88 for a whole dollar)
Quarter = $3.22
Dime = $1.29 (1.288 really)

The Dollar does not match the other three for exact face value ratios (like being twice the amount of a half, or four times the quarter, etc.) because Congress lowered the weights of the smaller coins in 1853 and again in 1873 when the Silver Dollar was not minted, but a Gold Dollar was. The Morgan's & Peace Dollars use the 1835 weight of .7734 ounces.

If you are looking to buy in bulk and for good prices I highly recommend Northwest Territorial Mint. (http://nwtminbullion.com)

They have the best prices, AND don't charge S&H or insurance within the lower 48. They also guarantee buy back. Some orders arrived within 2 weeks, some because of availability took 2 months. Junk Bags usually go for 1-2% UNDER spot. They do have Morgan and Peace bags, but they are much more expensive per ounce than the smaller denominations.


typo in the link above - http://www.nwtmintbullion.com

Troy scale vs avoirdupois scale, sterling flatware, 40%, WWII 5c

When weighing silver/gold be sure to use the TROY scale. NOT the Avoirdupois (AVDP) scale.
12 oz Troy = 1 pound troy
16 oz AVDP = 1 pound avoirdupois
The price of silver/gold is ALWAYS measured in troy ozs.
This brings to mind the old joke: Which weighs more a pound of gold or a pound of feathers?
answer: The feathers weigh more, 16 oz AVDP vs. 12 oz troy are BOTH one pound.

Many are mislead (sometimes intentionally) by sellers weighing silver in ozs. on a postal scale (AVDP); which overstates the actual silver weight.
1.000 ounce avoirdupois = 0.9114 troy ounce
To remedy this problem, One should ALWAYS quote/measure silver/gold in GRAMS, and get weights of silver/gold on a gram scale, rather than a postal or other types of AVDP scales.
(31.1 grams = 1 oz troy)

Additionally, many erroneously believe the spot silver oz. price is the same as the Sterling silver they have. NOT SO!
PURITY: Spot silver prices quoted are for .999 fine silver.
Sterling is by definition .925 fine silver, often alloyed with copper, or nickel for strength & durability. Prices MUST be adjusted to .999 fine to measure weights accurately.

When weighing clearly marked STERLING SILVER flatware in troy oz or grams DO NO count the knife blades as silver, they are stainless steel! Only the handles marked 'sterling' are .925 fine silver.

Items marked, Plated, coated, H.G.E. (heavy gold electroplate), etc. are NOT silver or gold. They are similiar to costume jewelry vs. the REAL thing.

Also Kennedy halves dated 1965-1970 are 40% pure silver, weighing .14792 oz troy. (about the same as two 90% silver dimes)

WWII nickels dated 1942-1945 are .056 oz pure silver, But must have a large mint mark (P, D, S) over the top of the Monticello dome. (In 1942 they were made Both in nickel & silver. Only the silver 5c has the mint mark over the dome).
I hope this helps out.

Coin Melting

The coins are not the property of the federal reserve. The old coins especially since the fed didn't exist. The only thing that I'm aware of being illegal to melt are copper penny's and Nickels. This is because the geniuses running our government have debased the dollar to the point the the copper and nickel is worth more melted down and sol than the face value of the coin. Go to www.coinflation.com for details.

Of course our fearless leaders can make up new laws as they see fit.

I purchased U.S. silver coins (so called junk silver coins)

in the mid-70s. They were sold in $1000.00 face value lots at that time. Since they are recognizable U.S. coins, the silver they contain is acquired at something of a premium price, simply for that fact alone. It really depends on why you are acquiring silver when making the decision as to the form in which you acquire it. For instance, a Morgan silver dollar is composed of 90% silver and 10% copper. The amount of pure silver in the coin is: 0.77344 oz. The total weight of the coin is: 26.73 grams. Hope that helps.

"An economy built on fiat money is a society on its way to ashes."

Well, it's illegal to melt

Well, it's illegal to melt down Federal Reserve coins for the purpose of recovering the silver (or copper) so in reality your coins are only worth (a) the face value, or (b) the going rate of junk silver.

Currently APMEX is selling $1.00 face value of pre 64 coins for $13.38. $10 face value for $128.82

So your coins are worth that.

If you really want to figure out the true value then just weigh all your coins and then deduct the total weight by 10%. That final weight should be your total silver weight. Silver is currently up to $17.75 /oz

not illegal

Sorry, it is NOT illegal to melt down US coined silver. At least not yet. If you truly believe it is illegal please cite the actual law. I looked into this several times in the past and all my research saya it is NOT ilegal.

TITLE 18 PART I CHAPTER 17 § 331. Mutilation, diminution, and fa


United States Code
§ 331. Mutilation, diminution, and falsification of coins


“Whoever fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes,
falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the mints of
the United States, or any foreign coins which are by law made current
or are in actual use or circulation as money within the United States;
or whoever fraudulently possesses, passes, utters, publishes, or
sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or sell, or brings into
the United States, any such coin, knowing the same to be altered,
defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified, scaled, or
lightened— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than
five years, or both.”

Silver at 17.70

It's jumping up today, price is at 17.70, at 12:39CST.

it went up 43 cents

it went up 43 cents yesterday!

just wait till it hits

just wait till it hits 100.00 per ounce!

100 bucks? Most of us here

100 bucks? Most of us here will be lucky to still be alive in that scenario. Think about state of affairs for that to happen :(

As far as I understand

As far as I understand you can calculate amount silver by face values. This is the information I was given:

$1000.00 = 714 ozt.


$100.00 = 71.4 ozt.
$10.00 = 7.14ozt.
$1.00 = .714 ozt.

With junk silver coins all you need to know is your face value and work the ratios. Multiply your total "ozt" by the current "spot" price of silver and that is rough estimate of what your coins are worth at a minimum.

Disclaimer: I just started studying coinage... If I am wrong, someone please correct me and direct the rest of us to some further information.

- kipload


dropped shortly today but regained, currently its at 17.45.
time of posting 9:44 CST

Here's what Ted Butler says


about silver. Note this line: "After all, they charged the Hunt Brothers and their associates with manipulation when they held a position only a third the size of what the big shorts hold today."

Let's see...GATA spends a few hundred thousand on a full page WSJ-ad, and financial "journalists" ignore the obvious story about gold-manipulation. Now Ted says something like what you just saw, and the media is in the process of ignoring the obvious story about silver manipulation. Further, I predict more name-calling rather than even a beginning to reasoned, coherent debate. Is the media biased against honestly-reporting on libertarian issues even at the expense of obviously not-doing their jobs? You tell me...

butler is the guy who

butler is the guy who convinced me to buy at 5.00 per ounce.. he has his stuff together on silver.. he has said it go as high as 1000.00 per ounce... I would read every article he has written over the last 8 years... butlerresearch.com

right now the pre 1964 "junk

right now the pre 1964 "junk silver. (which it is not junk) 90% silver US coins are about 8 times face value.. so if you buy a dime.. they are worth about 80 cents! the best thing to do is to buy the dimes... they are getting very scarce.. BUY ALL YOU CAN AS QUICK AS YOU CAN! they are much easier to barter with.. if you had to use a silver dollar for a loaf of bread.. how would you get change back?

Just a little off

At todays silver price dimes are worth $1.25 each. Junk
coins worth 12.50 per dollar of face value.

damn thats even better!

damn thats even better! thanks!

Been watching the spot price go up and the dollar go down

I want to secure about two $100 bags of old silver coins, would probably cost today about $2500 at the current spot. Just buy & hold, and barter someday if necessary. Just hard to get out before 4 pm on a weekday to put an order down at the coin shop.


Try The-Moneychanger.com

I've purchased from Franklin Sanders several times and have no complaints. He is a christian gentleman and very nice to work with. You will get a pretty low premium when ordering, and while he charges shipping, he does not charge sales tax for out of state orders (and he doesn't do in-state (Tennessee) orders). Check out his website at http://the-moneychanger.com.

What do you guys think about this?

I recently joined this site


I don't really trust e-investments though. If something big does go down, it seems like an easy way to get screwed... Although I won't cry over losing my $2.00 I invested on the site. Just wanted to test the waters, but I'm still skeptical...