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Tips on How to Sell 90% Silver Coins For The Most Value

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Tips on How to Sell 90% Silver Coins For The Most Value

90% U.S. silver coins are some of the most frequently traded silver coins in the industry. As with anything else, demand for these coins ebbs and flows over time.

At the time of this writing, demand is strong, and supplies are limited, which has translated into higher prices, making it an ideal time to sell your 90% silver coins.

If you have recently inherited a coin collection, are the executor of a collection, or are selling 90% silver coins to fund an investment or a project, then this article is for you.

Let’s walk you through some things to consider when selling your coins to improve your chances of an overall positive and profitable experience. However, first things first, it’s important that we properly define what are 90% silver coins since many of our readers have varying degrees of experience when it comes to these coins.

What Are 90% Silver CoinsUS 90% Silver Coins

When we mention 90% silver coins, we’re referring to U.S. minted silver coins that were issued in 1964 and earlier. Specifically, U.S. dimes, quarters and half dollars issued prior to 1965 that have 90% silver content. The same does not apply to pennies or nickels; although wartime nickels issued from 1942 – 1945 have some silver content, but to a lesser extent.

The 90% silver coins that typically trade for their underlying silver content include Mercury dimes, Roosevelt dimes, Washington quarters, Walking Liberty half dollars, Franklin half dollars and 1964 Kennedy half dollars. These coins are also referred to as “Constitutional Silver” or “Junk Silver.” The term “Junk Silver” doesn’t imply that these coins are somehow damaged or inferior in any way; simply that their value is derived from their silver content versus collectible or numismatic value.

Collectible or numismatic coins, sometimes referred to as rare coins, take the silver content into consideration, but primarily derive their value from the condition and rarity of the coin. These coins are occasionally found to be certified by a third-party grading service, such as NGC or PCGS. A coin expert should be able to differentiate these coins for you.

Sell 90% Silver Coins Locally

First and foremost, when it comes to selling 90% silver coins, dealing locally is typically the best approach, as this removes the uncertainty of shipping your coins to an unknown dealer and location in hopes that you’ll receive payment.  Not only do you avoid the uncertainty of payment, the time and expense of shipping the items and possible delays in payment, but you’ll also likely establish a relationship with a local dealer. This is super helpful if you’re ever in need of their services in the future. US 90% Silver Coins

Once you have an established relationship, you may find that your local coin dealer is willing to provide you preferred pricing; especially if you’ve done considerable business in the past. Also, if you ever decide to add 90% silver coins to your collection, or for that matter, any other coins, you may also receive preferred buy rates.

Select a Reputable Coin Dealer

Secondly, you should only do business with a reputable coin dealer, as this will improve your chances of selling your 90% silver coins for the most value.  Notice that we specified coin dealer as opposed to a shop that buys silver coins along with various other items. The primary reason for this recommendation is that qualified and reputable coin dealers know the market better than other individuals who are on the fringe of the silver coin market, such as “we buy gold” stores.

Furthermore, a coin dealer will be able to identify any key date or low mintage coins that you might have and should be willing to pay a premium for these items.  They also understand that certain items, such as certified coins and uncirculated Morgan silver dollars, should sell at a premium even if they’re common date coins. Seeking a coin expert can potentially translate into hundreds of extra dollars in your pocket.


Location Matters

Thirdly, a coin dealer is likely to be in a slightly better area of town than some of their competitors, such as “we buy gold” stores and pawn shops.  While on the surface, this doesn’t appear to be a major factor, the fact of the matter is that you may have hundreds or even thousands of dollars of valuables on you. This is one reason why working with a coin dealer in the suburbs may be a better option than one located downtown, where crime rates are likely to be higher.

If you’re unfamiliar with the area you’ll be traveling to, you might want to conduct an online search to check the crime statistics of the city in which the coin dealer is located. In general, more affluent areas tend to have lower crime rates and a more responsive police department.

Transparency Matters

Next, we recommend you only conduct business with a coin dealer who is willing to provide you with a quote on their website, via e-mail, or over the phone. Why is this important? We all know how important first impressions are but don’t forget about the value of transparency. Transparency is designed to create open dialogue and establish trust between the client and dealer.

Since most 90% silver coins are common dates, dealers should have no issue sharing a preset sell rate with you. Of course, adjustments may need to be made if the coins are in poor condition, but for the most part, a coin dealer should be knowledgeable enough to be able to provide you with a quote contingent upon review of the items.

A quote provided without seeing the items in person is often referred to as a “sight unseen” quote. These quotes are always subject to seeing the items in person, as several factors can affect the value of coins. If a coin dealer offers you a lower price than you discussed over the phone, they should be able to justify the lower rate.

Are Costs Involved?

Don’t be afraid to ask if there is a cost involved with any service. Most silver coin dealers charge a fee to review and evaluate large estate coin collections due to the amount of time and dedication of resources necessary for a proper evaluation.

However, appraising 90% silver coins is a fairly simple process, which can be done verbally over the phone, in person or through email. Assuming the coins are common date and in circulated condition, the coin dealer should be able and willing to provide a free no-obligation price quote.

Collectible or numismatic items may require an in-person evaluation, as the value will be dependent on the condition and aesthetics of the coin. If merely seeking an appraisal, you should expect to pay a fee. However, if you choose to sell your items, the coin dealer should be willing to waive their fee. To avoid potential issues, we recommend that you check in advance if there will be a fee for the coin evaluation, including the amount.

Insist on Privacy

In addition to conducting business with a coin dealer that conducts free coin appraisals in a safe location, you should expect to have privacy during the evaluation process.  In fact, we recommend that you insist on it. This is important, as occasionally coin dealers may have more than one customer at their location.  It may not be safe to conduct business out in the open, as you could become a target if individuals know that you have a substantial amount of money or merchandise in your possession.

Your selected coin dealer should be able to offer a private and secure place in which to meet, such as an office or a conference room. If they don’t have a private place to meet, insist on locking the front door of the store to avoid any unexpected surprises; especially if you’re dealing with a large and valuable collection.

Discuss Form of Payment

Lastly, it’s important to know in advance how you will be paid so that there are no surprises when you visit your local coin dealer’s location.  If you prefer cash, make sure that the coin dealer is willing to accommodate you.  Not all coin dealers carry cash, or if they do, it may be less than the total value of your collection.

If you have a large collection that you’re selling and haven’t done business with the coin dealer in the past, it’s not unreasonable to ask for certified funds or an electronic payment, such as an ACH. If the coin dealer has been in business for 10+ years, has a stellar online reputation and a solid BBB rating, then there’s very little risk associated with accepting a company check.


In summary, when considering selling 90% silver coins, there are several factors to take into consideration to maximize your experience and payout.  Consider selling locally to avoid payment issues. As a bonus, you might form a relationship with someone that you may need assistance from in the future. Also, be sure to only do business with a coin expert, as they can identify for you any better date coins that may sell at a premium.

Transparency, as with any other business, is key. Be sure to only work with reputable coin dealers that are upfront with respect to their buying rates and any related expenses for an evaluation. A reputable coin dealer should be able to justify any difference in price from the original quote.

If possible, stay away from downtown areas, which may have higher crime rates and demand and expect privacy while conducting business.

Lastly, make sure that you’re on the same page with the coin dealer regarding your preferred payout.

Following these helpful hints should increase your chances of success when you sell 90% silver coins.

As a leading silver coin and bullion dealer, we have the knowledge and expertise to discuss your various options and help you determine what may be best suited for your unique situation.

We look forward to hearing from you and earning your business.

Happy Treasure Hunting!

Atlanta Gold and Coin Buyers

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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