90% Junk Silver Coins

Circulated silver coins that were once common currency are referred to as "junk silver" by bullion collectors. These are largely US coins minted up until 1964. Pre-1964 US coins were made up of 90% silver and 10% copper, although some contained only 40% silver. The terms "junk silver" and "90 percent silver" are synonymous.

Junk silver is probably your easiest form of bullion to own. Collectors like it for the following reasons:

  • Common - Several places in your town will sell junk silver. Your parents or grandparents probably have some. You can occasionally even find some of these in your change from the grocery store if you're paying attention.
  • Plentiful - These were mass produced in the tens of millions every year, in each denomination. And that was in a time when everybody carried cash. Some buy junk silver by the roll or by the 50 pound bag.
  • Inexpensive - Compared to other forms of silver, junk is the probably the closest you'll get to buying silver near the spot price. Premiums are pretty low on these, if you don't care about the coins' mintage year and condition.
  • Divisible - Nickels, dimes, quarters, 50 cent pieces, dollars. Besides pennies, every coin in the change pile was made of silver at one point. If you ever need to cash in some junk silver or use it to barter with, then silver in small denominations makes this very easy and makes a lot of sense.
  • Recognizable - Some coins have to be verified, studied through a jeweler's loupe, checked for counterfeits, measured, weighed and finally looked up in some dusty coin encyclopedia before any transaction takes place. Not junk silver. You look at it and you know what it is. Take it somewhere or sell it online and most will know what you have and what it's worth, even in foreign countries.
  • Durable - Pure silver coins and bars can tarnish and scratch, often requiring extra special preservation and storage. Junk silver is far more durable because it was made to be. They mixed silver (90%) with other metals to toughen up the soft metal. These coins are tough and a hassle-free way to store silver coins.

Follow the links below to learn more about each variety of junk silver coin.