Saturday, July 12, 2008

SHTF: Junk silver best picks

If junk silver, aka pre-1964 U.S. silver coins (90% silver content) is in your plans for currency or barter after the SHTF, then there are some coins which are preferable over others.

The reasoning is some junk silver coins are more readily available than others. Also, some junk silver coins are considered antiques and are widely sought after by coin collectors and thus will compete for your junk silver needs.

Rather, the best pre-1964 U.S. silver coins to see are those which are common, available from several sources and priced according to silver content rather than numismatic value.

The Mercury Head Silver Dime

Minted between 1916 and 1945, the Mercury Head Silver Dime was minted in large numbers and with the exception of certain coins minted in 1921, have normal numismatic value.

1946 - 1964 Roosevelt Silver Dime

As guessed, this silver version of the current Roosevelt was widely minted as well and each year has normal coin collecting value. Millions of these pre-1964 junk silver coins may be available simply because they are the same design of the current non-silver dimes in circulation. I find a couple of these a year from random coin searches so keep an eye open.

Washington Silver Quarter

Another junk silver coin with a modern, non-silver look a like in circulation. The Washington silver quarter, (again 90% silver), was minted between 1932 and 1964 in the U.S. These turn up frequently although many were reported melted by the Federal Government in the 1960's and 1970's.

The Franklin Half Dollar - Junk Silver

One of my personal favorites as a kid, the pre-1964 Franklin Half Dollar was minted between 1948 and 1963. Since it is different than the current Kennedy half, and was minted for only 15 years, do not expect to find many of these turning up in pocket change or at your local bank. My favorite story about the pre-1964 Franklin halve was watching a man recently at a coin and jewelry store selling multiple ziplock bags of these coins one afternoon. What a hoard!

Kennedy Half Dollar - Pre-1964 silver coin

Not a long mint time, only 1964, later coins minted between 1965 and 1970 have a 40% silver content which makes them worth something as well. Be on the lookout for these, but don't hold your breath, half dollar coins are not exactly common either.

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