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90% Silver Coins: 4 Reasons You Should Buy

90% Silver Coins: 4 Reasons You Should Buy

90% silver coins have increased in popularity over the last few years. While you may know US coins minted prior to 1964 as “junk silver”, many silver stackers and collectors alike are seeing to more than it’s “junk” nickname.US 90% Silver Coins

In a previous article, we discussed why you should take coin dealer coin recommendations with a grain of salt, as many coin dealers are looking out for their best interest, as opposed to yours.  This may involve trying to sell illiquid and/or highly priced numismatic silver coins when there may be better options available to meet your long term needs.  One of the options that we highlighted as a solid investment is 90% silver coins.

We’ll go into further detail below regarding the types of 90% silver coins available and provide four objective reasons why pre-1965 U.S. silver coins should be represented in any silver coin and bullion portfolio.

Types of 90% Silver Coins

As an introduction, U.S. dimes, quarters and half dollars minted in 1964 and earlier contain 90% silver content.  While all of the aforementioned coins contain the same purity of silver, some older, higher end and low mintage coins may sell at an additional premium.  These coins are also known as collectible or numismatic coins.

For the purposes of our discussion, we’re referring to silver coins that are primarily bought and sold for their silver content.  These are common date circulated condition silver coins that are commonly referred to as junk silver coins.

Affordability of 90% Silver Coins

Over the years, we’ve seen wide fluctuations in the price of 90% silver coins, so we’re hesitant to provide specific premiums, but historically, the price of 90% silver coins has been relatively affordable. They tend to trade at lower premiums than American silver eagles, and depending on the market, may be comparable in price to foreign silver coins.

You can expect to receive a bit of a discount when purchasing 90% silver coins in bulk, such as $500 or $1,000 face value bags. Half dollars typically sell at a higher premium than dimes and quarters, so if you’re looking for the lowest cost 90% silver coins, dimes and quarters may be your best bet.

Small Denomination

Most coin and bullion investors are willing to pay a premium for smaller denomination coins.

For example, tenth ounce American gold eagles sell at higher prices than one ounce gold eagles and American silver eagles sell at higher prices than ten ounce and one hundred ounce silver bars.  The reason individuals are willing to pay a premium for small denomination coins is because there’s a larger and more liquid market for what are perceived to be affordable silver coins.90% US Silver Dimes

Among the smallest denomination silver coins are U.S. silver dimes, which contain approximately 1/14th of a troy ounce of silver.


Not only should silver coins and bullion be affordable and in tradable sizes, but it’s also important that the coins, bars, and rounds that you purchase are recognizable.  This helps to create a broad and liquid market, which is important; especially when or if the time comes to sell your silver coins.

Unless the coins in your possession are government minted or produced by a well known and reputable private mint, you may find that you have limited options when the time coSilver coin baby yodames to sell your coins.

While privately minted silver rounds have unique designs and appeal to the right buyer (not everyone loves your 1oz High Relief Baby Yoda Ni as much as you). While you purchased at a high premium, you shouldn’t expect to get close to what you paid when reselling to anyone other than a buyer who has been wanting that specific coin. 90% US silver coins on the other hand, most silver investors and stackers know and purchase regularly.


While the likelihood of a complete currency collapse is a bit remote, in the evermore likely event that it occurs, we may revert to a barter system; at least for a short period of time.  Survivalists and hard money advocates are of the opinion that 90% silver coins may be used for bartering, as they’re considered “real money”.

In other words, gold and silver coins have intrinsic value as opposed to recently minted U.S. coins, which are composed of nickel, copper and zinc.  Some individuals also hoard pennies minted in 1981 and earlier, as they’re composed of 95% copper.  Current pennies are composed of zinc with a copper flashing.

If and when barter becomes mainstream for any reason, you’ll be glad you had any number of 90% silver coins.


In summary, we’ve identified some of the types of 90% U.S. silver coins available and have provided four distinct reasons why 90% silver coins should be included in silver coin and bullion portfolios.  They’re generally affordable coins, as they’re primarily bought and sold for their silver content, they’re available in relatively small denominations, which helps to make them liquid, they’re among the most recognized silver coins investments available, and in the unlikely event we ever experienced a complete currency collapse, they may be used for bartering.

Atlanta Gold and Coin Buyers


Tony Davis
Tony Davis