90% Silver, hardly junk!
Prior to 1965, U.S. coins such as half dollars, quarters and dimes were produced from planchets (coin blanks) comprised of 90% silver and 10% copper. Because silver is a softer metal the addition of copper was introduced into the blanks for durability's sake. This increased longevity of the coin while in circulation. Coins and money are regulated in the U.S. Constitution, which mandates bills be backed by gold and silver and any coins made must be of gold and silver.
While the government strays from the founding documents (and inflation runs rampant), U.S. money is now backed by "faith in the monetary system," instead of a physical and rare asset such as silver. Since 1965, all circulatory money is without gold and silver but this lead to collectors stockpiling the remaining pre-1964 coins which has lead to over a 1900% increase in value from the coins original face value.
90% Silver Vs. .999 Silver
While we are unbiased and believe silver of any type is awesome, 90% silver can usually be picked up with a relatively low premium. In addition to that, you certainly wouldn't be too concerned with safe storage practices or scratching any 90% silver products you pick up. As an added bonus the history behind old beat-up Constitutional silver is something some folks can really admire. At any rate, having a few rolls of old mercury dimes or barber quarters laying around couldn't hurt and while past performance is no indication of future performance, historically speaking, these have only ever gone up in price.
Here's a list of the most common types of pre-1965 U.S. silver found:
- Roosevelt Dimes (1946-1964) - The various United State Mint locations produced a total of 6,595,617,673 Roosevelt Dimes with 90% silver planchets.
- Washington Quarters (1932-1964) - The various United State Mint locations produced a total of 3,776,126,600 Washington Quarters with 90% silver planchets.
- John F Kennedy (JFK) Half Dollar (1964) - Two United States Mint locations produced a total (including proof editions) of 437,410,974 JFK Half Dollars with 90% silver planchets.
- Benjamin Franklin Half Dollar (1948-1963) - The various United States Mint locations produced a total of 466,351,455 Franklin Half dollars using 90% silver coin blanks.
Older 90% Silver Coins
In addition to the more modern coins, the United States Mint has been producing coins with silver since 1794. However, coins that date back pre-1878 are exceedingly rare and sell for much higher than just its precious metal content. Here is a list of coins that are obtainable still with low premiums associated with 90% silver coinage.
- Mercury "Winged Liberty" Dime (1916-1945)
- Walking Liberty Half Dollar (1916-1947)
- Standing Liberty Quarter (1916-1930)
- Silver Peace Dollar (1921-1928 & 1934-1935)
- Liberty Head "Barber" Dime (1892-1916)
- Liberty Head "Barber" Quarter (1892-1916)
- Liberty Head "Barber" Half Dollar (1892-1916)
- Morgan Silver Dollar (1878-1904 & 1921)
Old Coins for Sale
In addition to junk silver, we also have a large selection of pre-1933 sovereign U.S. gold coins and other national currencies with .900+ precious metal contents so make sure to check that out as well.
Adding 90% Silver to your subscription crate
If you'd like to pick up some 90% silver, you can always check out our monthly Constitutional Crate which is chalk full and allows you to build your stack over time each month. You can also purchase from this add-on page if you are an active subscriber and add singles, rolls, face bags and other quantities of 90% silver to your monthly subscription crate. If you have any questions in regard to old gold or silver coins, give us a shout, we'd love to hear from you!