Location / Phone / Hours:
30 W 2nd St, Xenia, OH, 45385
Phone: (937) 376-2807
Tuesday-Friday 11:00 AM-5:00 PM,
Saturday 10:00 AM-3:00 PM,
Closed Sunday & Monday.

90% Silver Dimes, Quarters, & Half Dollars

90% Silver U.S. Coins

Prior to 1965, all U.S. dimes, quarters and half dollars were minted with a composition of 90% silver and 10% copper. However, the rapidly rising commodity cost of silver in 1964 lead to the production cost to produce these silver coins to far exceed their face value. This forced the U.S. government to change the composition of these coins to a less expensive metals, and beginning in 1965, dimes and quarters have been minted with a 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel composition ever since (half dollars beginning in 1971). While these pre-1965 coins still remain legal tender today at their face value of 10, 25 and 50 cents, they are now rarely found in circulation. In the years since 1965, people have picked these silver coins from circulation recognizing that they were worth more than their face value as compared to their non-silver counterparts.

These pre-1965 U.S. silver coins are today a popular way to invest in and own silver. There are several reasons for this. For instance, the coins themselves consist of a unit of silver small enough to be affordable to most people interested in buying silver. Also, many people like to own these coins as “emergency money” in the event of an economic crisis. Many believe that if paper currency or electronic transactions were to fail, these silver coins would still be accepted as money to trade for day-to-day purchases of goods and services.

These 90% silver coins that are in common, circulated condition are often referred to by the unfortunate term “junk silver.” In this case, “junk” is a term assigned to coins that are simply in circulated condition, the same condition as most of the coins in pocket change today. It does not mean they are necessarily damaged or somehow “garbage.” The term is used in the same way it is used to describe junk bonds; it simply means the quality is below what is considered the highest grade. Junk silver is considered below collector-grade condition and is valued almost solely for its silver content.

What is the process of selling 90% Junk Silver ?

Calculating Buy/Sell Price

Junk silver US coins are priced using the approximate weight of silver per one dollar’s face value of coins in any combination (ex: 10 dimes, 4 quarters, 5 dimes + 1 half dollar, 2 quarters + 1 half dollar) and multiplying that by the price of silver per troy ounce. The industry uses .715 troy ounces (ozt) per dollar as a standard approximate amount of silver. The actual weight per dollar varies slightly due to how much wear the coins may have, but the weight of average circulated junk silver coins generally calculates to .715ozt per dollar.

The formula to determine price is therefore (Face Value x .715 x Silver Price). For example, a roll of 50 dimes ($5 face) multiplied by silver weight (.715ozt) multiplied by current silver price per troy ounce (say $20.98) equals $75.

For simplicity, the price of junk silver is often quoted as some number times one face value dollar. In the example above, $75 divided by $5 equals $15. In this example, the price of junk silver would be stated as 15X or $15 time’s face.

[If there is a standard formula for buying 90% silver, we need to place it here.]

We will pay more for any better coins you may have! There are some general guidelines in determining what is common.

The types of coins commonly found in junk silver include the following:

Roosevelt Dimes
(Years of issue: 1946-Present)

90% silver Roosevelt dimes were produced from 1946-1964. They have the exact same design as today’s non-silver dimes. They are the most common dime found in junk silver. Uncirculated coins of this series command a premium.

Mercury Dimes (Winged Liberty dimes)
(Years of issue: 1916-1945)

Mercury dimes, sometimes called Winged Liberty dimes, were produced from 1916-1945. Dates from the 1940’s are more common and are often in less worn condition than earlier dates.

Here are the key dates and coins to look for:

Date/Mint MarkUsual Range of Values
1916-D$200-$1000+
1921$20-$200+
1921-D$20-$200+

Washington Quarters
(Years of issue: 1932-Present)

90% silver Washington quarters were produced from 1932-1964. They have the exact same design as non-silver quarters produced from 1965-1998 (with the exception of Bicentennial quarters produced from 1975-1976). They are the most common quarter found in junk silver.

Here are the key dates and coins to look for:

Date/Mint MarkUsual Range of Values
1932-D$40-$200+
1932-S$40-$100+

Standing Liberty Quarters
(Years of issue: 1916-1930)

Standing Liberty quarters were produced from 1916-1930. The examples typically found in junk silver are usually highly circulated with pre-1925 coins having the date completely worn off.

Date/Mint MarkUsual Range of Values
1916$2,000-$10,000+
1920-D$50+-$400+
1921$150+-$2,000+
1923-S$150+-$2,000+

Kennedy Half Dollars
(Years of issue: 1964-Present)

90% silver Kennedy half dollars were only produced for one year in 1964. However, they were produced in extremely high numbers, so it is a very common coin to find in junk silver.

Franklin Half Dollars
(Years of issue: 1948-1963)

Franklin half dollars were produced from 1948-1963. They are commonly found in junk silver in circulated condition, but higher grades from the 1960s are fairly common as well.

Walking Liberty Half Dollars
(Years of issue: 1916-1947)

Walking Liberty half dollars were produced between 1916-1947. Examples from the 1940s are often in better condition than earlier years. Early dates are often very worn.

Date/Mint MarkUsual Range of Values
1916$15-$50+
1916-D$15-$50+
1916-S$40-$200+
1917-D (mint mark on obv.)$15-$50+
1917-S (mint mark on obv.)$15-$150+
1919$15-$100+
1919-D$15-$100+
1919-S$15-$100+
1921$50-$500+
1921-D$90-$500+
1921-S$15-$300+
1938-D$15-$30+

Barber Dimes, Quarters and Half Dollars

These coins proceeded the Mercury dime, Standing Liberty quarter and Walking Liberty half dollar. A small amount of these coins can still be found in junk silver. They are almost always heavily worn or cleaned.

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Products that We Purchase

Used, Unwanted or Broken Gold Jewelry / Scrap
Gold, Silver, Palladium and Platinum Bullion
U.S. Gold Coins
U.S. Silver Dollars
90% Silver Dimes, Quarters, & Half Dollars
Sterling Jewelry / Flatware
U.S. Cents & Nickels
U.S. Mint and Proof Sets