The Ultimate Guide on How to Sell Silver Coins for the Most Value

A pile of American silver coins

One of the most common questions that we receive is how to sell silver coins for the most value. This, of course, is a question that all sellers of silver coins would like to have answered so that they can maximize the value of their transaction. In this article, we’ll attempt to answer this question by offering some helpful hints, recommendations on how to organize your coins, and coin dealer insight to help improve your chances of receiving the most value for your coin collection.

Common Silver Coins

To begin with, we’ll briefly discuss the most common types of silver coins and how the coins differ in terms of their purity and demand in the market. The three most popular and prevalent types of silver coins in the U.S. are 90-percent-silver dimes, quarters and half-dollars minted in 1964 and earlier, Morgan and Peace silver dollars minted from 1878 to 1935, and American silver eagles. Pre-1965 silver coins are oftentimes referred to as “junk silver,” as they’re primarily bought and sold for their silver content. Morgan and Peace silver dollars are bought and sold for a premium, above the spot price of silver, due to their numismatic or collectible value. American silver eagles are the official silver bullion coin of the United States and are highly sought-after coins by investors and collectors. They are legal tender coins and have a face value of $1. Silver eagles contain exactly one troy ounce of pure silver and are guaranteed by the U.S. government to meet the exact specifications of the coins.

Premiums on Silver Coins

All three of the above-mentioned coins are highly sought after; however, Morgan and Peace silver dollars typically have the highest premiums, followed by American silver eagles, and then pre-1965 90-percent-silver dimes, quarters, and half-dollars. At the time of this writing, premiums on all of the coins are their highest since 2008, although prices and premiums fluctuate daily and that may not be the case when the time comes to sell your silver coins.

Organize Your Collection by Coin Type

Before you proceed with selling your coins, it’s best that you organize your coins by type and take an inventory of your coin collection. It’s much easier for a coin dealer to provide an estimate or appraisal over the phone, via email, or in person if your collection is well organized. Documenting the year and mint mark of each type of coin can help to expedite the evaluation and appraisal process.

Condition Matters

In addition to separating the coins by type, we also recommend that you separate your coins by condition. While the condition of your silver coins doesn’t always affect the value of your coins (for example, all American silver eagles should be in brilliant uncirculated condition), it will affect the value of some of your coins, and, in particular, older silver coins, such as Morgan and Peace silver dollars.

Identify the Mint Location

Keep in mind that the value of silver coins can vary, not only depending on the coin’s condition, but also based on where the coin was minted. Some mints, in particular years, minted a lower quantity of coins than others, making them rarer and in higher demand. The location of the coin’s mintage can be found by inspecting the coin for a mint mark. All of the coins mentioned above were minted at one of six mints, including the Carson City (CC), San Francisco (S), Denver (D), Philadelphia (P), New Orleans (O) and West Point (W) Mints. Coins without mint marks were minted at the Philadelphia Mint. The Philadelphia Mint only began placing a mint mark on their coins in 1942. The New Orleans and Carson City Mints are no longer in existence.

Premium Silver Coins

So now that you’ve gone through the process of organizing your coin collection by type of coin, condition, and mint location, the next step is to determine which of your coins are worth more than their silver content. We know from earlier in the article that Morgan and Peace dollars sell at a premium, and some substantially so. For instance, all Carson City-issued Morgan silver dollars are considered low-mintage coins that sell at an additional premium, oftentimes many times the silver value of the coins. Other older-minted silver coins also sell at a premium: namely Trade silver dollars, Seated Liberty coins, and earlier coin types. Coin types minted prior to Seated Liberty coins include Capped Bust, Draped Bust, and Flowing Hair silver coins.

Selecting the Right Coin Dealer

While organizing your collection by denomination, condition, mint location, and coin type will go a long ways toward improving your chances of a successful transaction, nothing is more important than selecting the right coin dealer. Do your due diligence to find a coin collector that is honest, reputable, transparent, and that has earned a reputation for paying industry leading rates. When meeting with a coin dealer in person, don’t be shy about asking to view the guides and resources that they use to value your coins to ensure that you’re receiving a fair price. At Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, we’re always upfront about our pricing, posting our current buying rates on our website. We see our customers by appointment, which allows us to give them our undivided attention; we also allow our clients to sell coins online, if they prefer. Contact us online or by calling 404-236-9744 if you have any questions about selling your silver coins or to schedule an appointment.

We hope that you found our guide on “how to sell silver coins” helpful and that when the time comes to sell your silver coins, you’ll not only save time, but you’ll also receive more value for your silver coins.

Tony Davis is the owner of Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, a full service Atlanta based coin and bullion dealer specializing in buying, selling and appraising coins and coin collections of all types and sizes. Tony frequently writes on various economic and numismatic related topics affecting the coin and bullion markets and has been published on some of the industry’s leading websites, including Coin Week, the American Numismatic Association, Coin Collector, Coinflation and Coin Auctions Help, just to name a few. Visit Atlanta Gold & Coin’s website at http://atlantagoldandcoin.com to obtain additional information on the products, services and educational resources offered by his company. Tony can be reached at sales@atlantagoldandcoin.com or at 404-236-9744. Be sure to "like" Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers on Facebook , follow them on Twitter, or subscribe to their RSS feed to receive the latest news, tips and expert advice on old, rare, collectible and bullion coins.