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Tips on How to Earn More Money When Selling Silver Coins

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Selling Silver Coins
Various U.S. Silver Coins

Since 1965, dimes and quarters have been composed of nickel and copper.  The same holds true for half dollars minted after 1970.  Prior to this time, dimes, quarters and half dollars were composed of silver and copper.  The silver percentage of dimes, quarters and halves minted in 1964 and earlier is 90%, while half dollars minted from 1965 – 1970 are composed of 40% silver content.  As you would expect, coins composed of silver are more valuable than those composed of nickel/copper due to the intrinsic value of silver.  For this reason, it’s important to separate your silver coins from those composed of nickel and copper. 

There are many potential avenues for selling silver coins at rates substantially more than the face value of the coins.  Furthermore, it may be possible to receive a higher rate for larger quantities of 90% silver coins.  The following tips will help you to identify silver coins, estimate the value of your coins, and find a reputable coin dealer if you wish to sell your silver coins.

Check the dates on the coins. As mentioned above, if your dimes, quarters and half dollars were minted in 1964 or earlier, they are comprised of 90 percent silver. An easy way to identify 90% silver coins is to place them in a tray or stack them up and view the edge of your coins.  If you see a copper stripe, you can be certain that your coins are less than 90% pure.  90% silver coins have a solid silver stripe.  Half dollars, in particular, should be scrutinized a bit further; as 40% silver have dollars can exhibit a trace of copper on the edge of the coin.

Compile your silver change. The silver content of a dollar face value of circulated 90% silver coins is approximately 0.715 ounces of pure silver. This compares to an estimated silver content of .7238 for uncirculated silver coins. Keep these numbers in mind as you accumulate your silver change.

Keep track of the spot silver price. The price of silver fluctuates in the market on a daily basis. The price quoted is for one troy ounce of silver. Since many coin dealers include the dealer’s commission in their rates, the price they offer you will differ from the spot price that you see. For more information on spot silver prices, check your daily newspaper or visit trusted coin websites.

Find a coin dealer. There are a wide variety of local and online coin dealers with whom you can do business. To narrow down your search and find the ideal dealer, conduct a Better Business Bureau search in your area. Look for silver coin dealers that are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.  It’s recommended that you also check online reviews of coin dealers that you’re considering. Longevity in the business is also a prominent factor, as it demonstrates the business’ trustworthiness and experience. Once you’ve found a dealer, contact him or her to get a quote or check out his or her buying rates online. Also, ask any other questions that you may have regarding your transaction. After establishing contact, arrange to meet with the coin dealer in person to complete the transaction.

In summary, selling silver coins for their metal content is something that can earn you a significant amount of money. Before initiating the selling process, check the dates or the edges of your coins. After this step, compile your silver change, keep track of the spot silver price, estimate the value of your silver coins and find a reputable coin dealer to whom you can sell your coins.

Picture of Tony Davis
Tony Davis
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 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

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