When people talk about buying junk silver they are referring to US dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars minted through 1964. These coins were produced with 90% silver and 10% copper. They have an “intrinsic value” which means the metal to produce them actually has value unlike a paper dollar bill. The penny has always been copper or steel (for one or two war years) and the nickel is made of nickel and copper so they are not being referred to when people discuss the $1 face valuation of junk silver. A dollars worth (4 quarters, 10 dimes, etc.) of coins add up to .75 of a Troy ounce of silver, but because of wear it is accepted to use .715 as the multiplier. Generally you get the most silver for your money when buying junk silver as the premiums typically are the cheapest.
Don’t let the name “junk silver” fool you. They are designated “junk” because they don’t have value to a collector. They do however have melt value as a precious metal and that is what makes buying junk silver a great investment for emergency preparedness. Precious metals will always have value, even when the paper dollar does not. Most financial experts agree that everyone should have 10% of their investment portfolios in precious metals. People that feel we are on the very edge of the fiscal cliff believe in keeping a much higher percentage of their money in something as reliable as precious metals.
The Process of Buying Junk Silver
Junk silver is typically sold in $1 face value increments. The easiest way to learn the value of junk silver is to use a silver coin calculator since the price fluctuates. You can go to your local coin shop or buy online at places like APMEX, Gainesville Coins, or Provident Metals. All three have good reputations among preppers. Right now APMEX is selling $1 silver coin bags for $25.84 with a credit card and Provident is selling it for $25.28. Gainesville appears to be sold out at the moment. The more you can buy the better price you will get. They all ship usually USPS in inconspicuous packaging and you will likely have to sign for your shipment.
Do you have junk silver laying around your house?
Keeping junk silver is something that most Depression-era people tended to do so it is not uncommon to find old quarter and nickles tucked away in drawers at Grandma’s house. She wasn’t nutty for keeping random nickles and dimes.
Also, there are still pre-1964 coins in everyday circulation. Always check your change in hopes of finding a little silver. It’s getting harder and harder to do but it happens. Some people even go to the bank and get $100 in quarter rolls, check them and cash back in all the silver they didn’t find and start over. Its a treasure hunt for them.
But for emergency preparedness, you are better off buying junk silver and then adding anything you find to your bags.
*Thank you to Beau for help with some of the research and wording for this article.