When silver coins were minted for general circulation by the U.S. and other nations, in some years a very limited number of coins were produced. These are now rare silver coins. They have high demand and low supply. Other coins that were produced in sufficient quantities are not considered rare. Pre-1965 U.S. silver coins that are not rare are sometimes known as “junk silver”, especially if they are circulated and well-worn. Does this mean they are “junk”? Absolutely not. These coins are made of 90% silver (in some cases of 40% silver) and therefore retain their storehouse of precious metal value. Many collectors buy junk silver online and have amassed a very significant investment over the years.
According to precious-metals expert David Smith writing in the Money Metals Exchange: “Nowadays, in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, coins containing silver, but having no collectible value are known as “junk silver.” Of course, the word junk is misleading. Rare coin dealers started using that label back in the 1970s because the coins do not carry the hefty premiums of numismatic coins. But their silver content makes them anything but junk”.
Examples of “Junk Silver”
Let’s examine the idea of junk silver more closely by using the example of Washington quarters. The Washington quarter was made of 90% silver from 1932 to 1964. The rarest of these, also known as the “key dates”, are the 1932-D and 1932-S quarters.
Most of the other dates, particularly those minted in the 1950’s and 1960’s, were produced in sufficient quantities that they are not rare. They were in general circulation and many of these have been worn down from their original mint state. Well-worn Washington quarters produced from 1950 to 1964 are good examples of junk silver coins. Even well-circulated quarters produced in the 1940’s, such as the coin depicted just to the right, can be considered “junk silver.”
Buy Junk Silver Online
Collectors and investors would do well to buy junk silver online. There is a constant supply available at reputable brokers such as Golden Eagle Coins and as well as on eBay and Amazon. You can start small and buy single coins, but many investors prefer to buy rolls or bags of junk silver coins. You can also buy junk silver at your local coin dealer but the best prices will be found online. When considering the purchase of pre-1965 junk silver coins, pay attention to the price of silver. The best time to buy, of course, will be when the price is relatively low. If the price of silver should rise over time as the result of market forces, the astute collector might sell some of his position in junk silver for a nice profit.
In summary, junk silver is really not “junk”. A smart collector or investor will buy junk silver online when silver prices are low. He may sell a portion of his position as prices rise to realize a very nice profit.
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