How and Why to Buy Junk Silver

Junk Silver Quarters

Junk Silver Quarters

When people refer to junk silver, they normally mean silver coins in too poor a shape to be considered collectable. That is the coins are valued purely for their silver content. In the late to mid-1960’s most countries started to phase out silver in their coinage as the price of the metal used to mint the coins started to exceed the actual face value of the coin. Nickel, copper and, even steel has replaced silver in our coinage.

When collecting junk silver it is important to be able to value the silver content. Probably the best website I have found for this is I found this website several years ago and it has awesome information on the silver content of Canadian and American silver coins. Specifics about what years have what percentage of silver in them. Dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars all had a % of silver in them. It is also important to note that during world war II silver nickels were produced as nickel was needed for the war effort.


Once you have a good working knowledge of what year coins have silver in them you need to find a source of junk silver. Coin shops are ok but, you won’t find any discounts on the silver content as they know their trade very well. EBay has always been one of my favourite places to buy junk silver from. The last few auctions I won there even after shipping my cost was still below the current spot price (spot price is the price of silver for immediate settlement).

It is also nice to collect .999 silver coins and bars but, junk silver offers a very economical way to add to your collection. In conclusion when you are looking to buy be patient, know the sellers shipping terms and bid under spot price if possible.


Photo credit: F.Roht

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  1. A very good post on how and why to buy junk silver. Thank you for sharing. Have a blessed day!

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