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Junk Silver

While the name can be misleading, investing in “junk silver” is an easy and accessible way to claim a stake in the American coinage market. Junk silver coins, with their low cost and high bullion value, are a solid bet for adding to and/or diversifying any metals portfolio, and serve as a great way for buyers to begin or expand their investments.

Referring to government-issued silver coins minted prior to 1965, “junk silver” does not reflect the condition of the coins as term seems to suggest, but rather, points to their value in silver bullion – or amount of silver they contain – rather than their denominational face value. As such, junk silver coins enjoy higher bullion value than their denomination, and serve as great investment pieces for beginner and expert investors alike.

In addition, junk silver is not synonymous with, and should not be confused with, “scrap metal.” Scrap metal refers specifically to leftover material from product manufacturing and consumption, while “junk silver” refers to coins backed by the precious metal silver.

Silver American Coins

Silver American coins struck prior to 1965 were minted in 90% pure silver, allowing them to endure with notable bullion value and remain sought after investment pieces to this day. In 1965, there was a move by the U.S. government to reduce production costs of silver pieces, and as such, silver coins began to be struck with more copper and nickel, and less of the silver precious metal.

While junk silver coins do remain legal tender, these pieces are now often purchased not only as investment pieces, but as safeguards against catastrophic drops in monetary value during economically uncertain times.

Since coins are backed by the precious metal they are struck in, it is speculated that they would serve as more viable options than fiat currency in the event of a U.S. dollar collapse. Without being backed by precious metals or other commodities, paper money has no inherent value and can be subject to extreme inflation in the event of economic turbulence.

Junk Silver Coins

Junk silver coins are available through the United States Gold Bureau in 20 and 50 coin rolls, or in bags made up of coins in uniform denominations and totaling a particular dollar amount (i.e. $100, $250, $1000). Both rolls and bags may contain coins all minted in the same year, or coins struck in varying years.

The United States Gold Bureau offers junk silver coins in various denominations, including dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars. Each denomination further includes a variety of coin design, including (by denomination):

    Dimes:
    • Liberty Head
    • Mercury
    • Roosevelt
    Quarters:
    • Liberty Head
    • Standing Liberty
    • Washington
    Half-Dollars:
    • Liberty Head
    • Walking Liberty
    • Franklin
    • Kennedy
    • Morgan and Peace designs containing 90% silver, minted from 1878 to 1935
    Dollars:
    • Morgan and Peace designs containing 90% silver, minted from 1878 to 1935

Top Reasons to Buy Junk Silver Coins

  • 90% silver coins, like those in the “junk silver” category, tend to sell for the lowest premium over the melt price – or value of the precious metal in that particular coin – of any other form of physical silver.
  • Junk silver, because of its precious metal backing, can hedge against inflation in times of economic uncertainty or turbulence.
  • Regardless of the price of the precious metal, junk silver coins maintain at least their minimum face values.
  • Junk silver can also be used to barter in the event of a catastrophic dollar collapse, and the smaller values of coins in this category may prove to be optimal for obtaining everyday staples such as bread, milk, eggs, gas, etc. This has made them popular within the “prepper” community.
  • Investing in junk silver is a convenient, affordable and accessible way to add silver bullion to any investment portfolio – whether newly formed, or well established.
  • Silver is often more accessible price per ounce – particularly over gold – makes the precious metal an excellent choice for beginner and expert investors alike, regardless of the buyer’s budget.
  • Coins are more familiar to buyers/sellers, refiners and the market in general, and are less likely to have their value disputed than silver rounds or bars.
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