Dateline Oct 16, 2106: How much are your coins really worth? We’re talking about their real value. Yes, the nominal value of a penny is one cent, a nickel is five cents, a dime is ten cents and a quarter is 25 cents. But what are modern US coins made of and if melted down what could they be sold for?
How Much are Modern US Coins Really Worth?
Modern dimes and quarters, the common coins many Americans have in their pocket change, contain no precious metal content. Modern dimes and quarters are made of a cheap alloy of 91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel.
Even the lowly penny, which used to be made of 95% copper alloy, is now composed of 97.5% zinc with only 2.5% copper.
Check out the real melt value of the dimes and quarters in your pocket change (values from Coinflation):
- Modern US Dime: Face Value = 10 cents; Composition: Copper-Nickel Alloy; Real Melt Value = $0.01
- Modern US Quarter: Face Value = 25 cents; Composition: Copper-Nickel Alloy; Real Melt Value = $0.03
Comparison to Pre-1964 US Coins
Dimes, quarters, halfs and dollar coins minted prior to 1964 were composed of 90% silver. Here’s the value of these coins as of mid-October 2105 (values from Coinflation):
- Silver Dime: Face Value = 10 cents; Real Value = $1.16
- Silver Quarter: Face Value = 25 cents; Real Value = $2.91
- Silver Half Dollar: Face Value = 50 cents; Real Value = $5.82
- Silver Dollar: Face Value = 1 dollar; Real Value = $12.44
The Lesson Here:
The lesson here is that modern American coinage is worth a lot less than its face value. (It’s not worthless, but it is worth less than you may have thought).
- Modern coins derive their face value by virtue of government law and proclamation, not because they are made of something particularly valuable.
- For more information, see our white paper on Fiat Currency.
Prior to the advent of fiat currency, when dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars were made of 90 % silver, US coinage had real tangible value. Moreover, coins made of precious metals have risen in price since they were minted.
What This Means for You
If you’ve read this far, you know that coins made of silver and gold not only hold their face value, but rise in price with time. Consider making an investment in real coins made of precious metals. Buy through our preferred broker, Golden Eagle Coins, and begin accumulating coinage of real value. As the dollar decreases in value, these real coins will increase.
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