How do you find silver coins in your pocket change? First, you should know that the US Mint produced silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars as circulating United States currency until 1964. These coins were all made of 90% silver, although from 1965-1969, half dollars were 40% silver. These coins are no longer publicly circulated, however. This is because the silver contained in one of these coins is worth more than its face value. With a silver spot price of $20, each dime would be worth $1.43, each quarter about $3.57, and each 90% half dollar $7.15. If you find a dime, quarter, or half dollar in your pocket change with a date of 1964 or before, congratulations—it’s silver!

How to Find Silver Coins

If you are a beginner who wants to find silver coins, you might start by searching through your own change. More advanced collectors do what is called “roll-searching”. Roll searching is when a collector goes to the bank and trades paper bills for a box of coins to search through. These collectors keep an eye out for a couple of things: any coins made of silver and any rare date/mintmark combinations or varieties. 

Dimes: 1964 or before is 90% silver

Mercury Dime silver 1900s Bullion Exchanges junk silver  

Quarters: 1964 or before is 90% silver

Junk Silver Quarters 1943 Washington circulated Bullion Exchanges  

Half Dollars: 1964 or before is 90% silver. 1965-1969 is 40% silver.

Junk Silver Half Dollars Ben Franklin circulated Bullion Exchanges Whatever your experience level, there are a few ways to quickly tell if your coin is silver. As mentioned earlier, you can check the date on your coin. Another way to quickly tell is by the color of your coin. Silver has a unique luster that is comparably different from the luster and appearance of a clad coin. A “clad” coin refers to a non-silver coin made mostly of copper, with an outer layer of nickel-copper alloy. Clad coins include non-silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars. Experienced numismatists can tell if a coin is silver or clad just by examining the luster.

What is Junk Silver?

Numismatists and bullion traders often refer to these silver coins as “junk silver.” However, this term is a bit of a misnomer. Although these coins may not come in the highest grade, they are one of the most popular, easy, and interesting ways to invest in silver.  Junk silver is also one of the most liquid forms of silver to trade between coin collectors and bullion traders. These coins typically trade in rolls of $10 face value or bags of $100 face value. Wholesale or bulk purchases usually trade in bags of $1000 or even $5000 face value. For more tips on coin investing, take a look at our learning center. You should also learn how to tell if your US coins are real, and how to test if gold is real

Bullion Exchanges Your Trusted Precious Metals Retailer

Bullion Exchanges is a top-rated, trusted, and accredited retailer in Manhattan. Check out our extensive selection of junk silver products. When you purchase from Bullion Exchanges, we will securely package and deliver your order to your address. We are still working hard for our valued customers and are handling products with the highest care. If you have any questions, please contact us. We will be happy to assist you.

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