Junk Silver

Junk silver coins are silver coins named as such because they are circulated currency and don’t appeal to collectors who want pristine, mint condition coins. However, they carry intrinsic value based on the melt value of the silver content. These junk silver coins are 90 percent .999 silver. They are a popular investment due to their low premiums over spot price and the fact that their value is intrinsic to the content rather than numismatic like so many other historic, fine metal currencies.
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90% Junk Silver 357.3 oz Bag ($500 Face Value)
† As low as prices reflect a 4% cash discount for purchases paid by bank wire or check. Credit/debit cards and PayPal orders are full price.

GoldSilver is an excellent place to buy junk silver online as we offer 90 percent pure silver coins in several denominations — from $100 to $1,000 face value bags — to suit your specific investment goals. Not only do these coin bags offer excellent investment opportunity due to their low premiums, but they’re also popular for collectors who want to get their hands on some of the last 90 percent silver coins in circulation! Each bag contains either silver quarters, half-dollars, or dimes only (not a mix of all).

GoldSilver happily offers free shipping on junk silver orders of $499 or more, and we are happy to offer discounts for those who pay with check, wire, or Bitcoin.

History of American Silver

Using silver as money is a practice as old as the United States itself. The Constitution states, in Article I, Section 10: “No State shall…make anything but gold and silver coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” Three years after the ratification of the Constitution, the Coinage Act of 1792 established the value ratio of gold to silver at 1:15. It decreed that anyone caught debasing (replacing the silver with other, cheaper metals) or counterfeiting silver coins could be summarily executed!

The first silver coins — the “flowing hair” half-dimes, half-dollars and dollars—were minted in Philadelphia in 1794. They are now very rare even in well-worn condition, and are highly coveted by collectors.

A number of different designs followed, usually incorporating portraits of Lady Liberty on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. The “modern” era of silver coinage usually dates from the issuance of the Morgan dollar in 1878; the Barber dimes, quarters and half-dollars in 1892; and the Peace dollar (the last silver dollar) in 1921. Many of these still rank as collectibles.

The junk silver people are most familiar with includes the Mercury dime (1916-1945), with over 2.6 billion minted; the standing Liberty quarter (1916-1930), 227 million; the walking Liberty half dollar (1916-1947), 485 million; the ubiquitous Washington quarter (1932-1964), 3.8 billion; and the (Franklin) Roosevelt dime (1946-1964), 6.6 billion.

The Coinage Act of 1965 came about because of coin shortages from people hoarding silver as the price rose relative to the dollar. The law eliminated silver from dimes and quarters and reduced silver content in Kennedy half dollars to 40 percent. President Johnson, in signing the Act, had to rescind the 1792 law else he face the death penalty for “debasing” the currency. At the time, he wrote that: “There will be no profit in holding [these coins] out of circulation for the value of their silver content.” How wrong he was.

The last coin containing silver was the Kennedy half dollar, which was removed from circulation in 1971. By that time, it was rarely used in commerce. However, it remains common, with an overall mintage of almost 849 million.

Composition and Character

Junk silver coins are 90 percent .999 pure silver.

Among the most common designs, the Washington quarter has a portrait of the President on the obverse and an eagle at rest, with outstretched wings, on the reverse.

The Mercury dime is more complicated. It is more properly termed the Winged Liberty dime, featuring on the obverse a depiction of a young Liberty with her winged Phrygian cap—said by the designer to symbolize “liberty of thought—that caused her to be confused with the Roman god. The reverse features a bundle of rods, with battle-ax, known as "Fasces,” symbolic of strength and unity, but surrounded by a full-foliaged olive branch, symbolic of peace.

The Roosevelt dime was introduced shortly after the death of Franklin Roosevelt. It was intended to commemorate a man who, stricken with polio, founded the March of Dimes to encourage people to donate their ten-cent pieces to the fight against the disease. The obverse is straightforward, with a portrait of the President. The reverse shows the torch of liberty in the center, flanked by an olive sprig representing peace, and one of oak symbolizing strength and independence.

People buy junk silver for their metal content but, even though the coins rarely have collectible value, they are nevertheless an important part of American history.

Investing in Junk Silver

Junk U.S. silver coins are an excellent investment for many reasons:

  • A Low Up-Front Investment — Junk silver coins offer super low premiums over spot price, making them a smart investment for any size portfolio.
  • A Sensible Investment — Junk silver offers an inflation hedge with potential for appreciation in value. Because it is legal tender, it will never lose its intrinsic value. Silver is uncorrelated with other asset classes, thus providing investment diversification
  • A Good Collector’s Item — Junk silver bags are a fun and inexpensive way to introduce coin collecting to children. They also allow individuals to own a special piece of coin history and allow you to add some of the last pure silver coins to your collection.
  • Heirloom-Worthy — Like all investment coins, silver junk coins are easily passed on to your heirs and can stay in the family for generations.

Buying Junk Silver Online from GoldSilver.com

The GoldSilver promise is that we make buying investment coins safe and easy for a range of investors. We are pleased to offer many convenient ways to acquire junk silver. You may select individual dimes, quarters and half-dollars in whatever quantity you like, in increments of $1 face value. But the most popular—and the most economical—way to buy these coins is in bags. We have $100 face value bags that contain 71.5 ounces of pure silver; $500 face bags (357.3 ounces); and $1,000 face bags (715 ounces).

Each bag will be filled based on inventory available at the time of order, but typically you will receive all silver dimes or all silver quarters, not a mix. For example, a $500 face bag will normally contain either 5,000 silver dimes or 2,000 silver quarters. Coins will be of varying dates.

Secure purchase is just a few clicks away and orders are shipped within 2-4 business days. The cost of bags is fixed and set by the market price of silver. But with individual coins, price discounts are applied for bulk purchases. You can pay with credit/debit cards or PayPal orders at full price, or receive a 4 percent discount for purchases paid by bank wire or check. We are also proud to offer payment options through cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.