Why ‘Junk Silver’ Should Be Your Next Precious Metals Purchase

Silver-Bags-715-oz-largeOf all the forms of precious metals you can own, we believe your very next purchase should be at least a bag or two of the 90% silver coins (dimes, quarters and half dollars) minted by the U.S. Treasury prior to 1965.

These coins are commonly referred to as junk silver, but there’s nothing junky about them. They got that designation because they’ve been in circulation so long; they have no value to collectors. But to us, they spell protection against inflation, eroding buying power and expensive premiums. These silver coins can also be used for bartering situations when banks close and ATMs run out of cash.

Junk silver coins contain 90% silver and are valued based on their silver content. Each $1,000 face value bag of coins contains 715 troy ounces of PURE silver, and any buyer will pay you accordingly. You will never need to have these coins assayed for their silver content or appraised for their grade.

Since the idea of face value versus inherent value can be confusing, let’s break it down on a per coin basis and examine what the true value of a coin is. For simplicity’s sake, we will assume a silver spot price of $14.

First, let’s determine the approximate silver content in each of the available denominations. By using the industry standard that $100 face value of pre-1965 quarters, dimes and half dollars – regardless of the mix – contains 71.5 ounces of silver, the following approximate silver contents can be extrapolated:


  • Half Dollars – 71.5 oz. of silver/200 half dollars = 0.3575 ounces of silver per half dollar
  • Quarters – 71.5 oz. of silver/400 quarters = 0.17875 ounces of silver per quarter
  • Dimes – 71.5 oz. of silver/1000 dimes = 0.0715 ounces of silver per dime

Now, let’s determine the approximate value of the individual coins based on a sample silver spot price of $14:

  • Pre-1965 half dollar – 0.3575 oz. of silver X $14 = $5.00 per coin
  • Pre-1965 quarter – 0.17875 oz. of silver X $14 = $2.50 per coin
  • Pre-1965 dime – 0.0715 oz. of silver X $14 = $1.00 per coin



Here’s a chart to summarize the above:

Junk Silver Chart

Junk silver coins are truly a testament to the dollar’s devaluation. When these coins were minted, they were produced to ensure that $100.00, or $100 face value, of any combination of these coins would contain the exact same amount of silver, and as such, represent the exact same value.

After all, silver once represented real money in the United States, so $1.00 worth of silver dimes had to be worth the same as $1.00 worth of silver quarters – so on and so forth. 

So in closing let me ask you: Do you own all the silver you should?

Click here to learn more about junk silver or how to add these coins to your portfolio.


And how about these neat facts?