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How To Find Junk Silver On The Cheap

junk silver coins How To Find Junk Silver On The CheapI’ve heard a number of interesting methods lately for finding junk silver for face cost as opposed to the spot price of silver.

At $30/oz, $1 face of junk silver is worth about $21.  So if you managed to find that $1 face value for $1, you’re ahead $20.  Not bad.

One of the easiest ways to find silver is to go to the bank and ask to buy half-dollars.  Most of them will be regular half dollars, but occasionally you’ll find a coin from before 1971.  Pre-’65 coins are 90% silver, and ’65 – ’70 are 40% silver.  Not quite as nice, but still good.

Another good option is to take $20 bills to laundromats in your area and get a bunch of quarters from the change machine.  Obviously this doesn’t work if the machines vend tokens, but many of them don’t.  Once you have a bunch of quarters, go through them and pull out anything that’s pre-’65.  It’s 90% silver!

Of course the absolute easiest thing to do is to simply dump your change into a container on a regular basis, then sort through it to find any silver that might be there.  We do this, and usually find a couple silver coins during our sorting.

Some of you have asked me about nickels and pennies.  I’ve got mixed feelings here.  Yes, the intrinsic value of both current nickels and pre-’83 pennies is higher than the face value.  But from a ‘density’ perspective, it doesn’t seem to make sense to me.

So for pre-’83 pennies, I’ll keep them if I find them but I don’t go out of my way to find them.  For nickels, I simply keep all of the nickels that end up in our change jar.  I don’t go out of my way to get nickels from the bank.  But if you wanted to, I wouldn’t think less of you!

What are some creative ways you’ve found to get junk silver for cheap?

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5 Responses to How To Find Junk Silver On The Cheap

  1. Bob says:

    I work for a Commerical Bank and have taken home 10′s of thousands of 1/2 dollars. I can attest it is a waste of time. Out of all that I had gone through I maybe found $5.00 worth. And tellers have to count all you return and that doesn’t make them happy.

  2. Karen Cook says:

    The thing about older pennies and nickels is that people don’t associate copper or nickel with hard currency as much as they do silver and gold. The copper’s valuable (and would be even more so if we lost access to overseas sources; same with nickel), but ‘money’ is still semii- and precious metal.

    One thing people overlook is sterling silver charms. If they are stamped 925 or something else recognizable, I think they’d be a good source of silver. A merchant would have to go by weight rather than face value, but we’ve done that before.

  3. JD says:

    My wife and I go to garage sales and sometimes I will find silver spoons that people don’t want and I can get them for next to nothing. A lot of people do not realize what they have!

  4. Joe says:

    99.9% of all silver coins are out of circulation so I agree, this is a waste of time. If you happen to find one, good for you but it will take hours and hours of time plus drive time, gas to find one or two of them.

    Best to simply pony up some worthless paper dollars as you are able to and buy junk silver when prices dip (like right now!!)

  5. Duck says:

    I have found some silver in the cash register when I use to work at a hotel. I would see it dig in my purse for whatever it cost and would keep it and take it home. Now, I have my mother keep an eye for silver coins and anything else special to put in a collection for my children. Those don’t have to be silver, but I would like to keep alittle back for them. At the rate the government is spending money, I don’t see that they will have any collection when they get older.