Welcome to SilverCoins.Ag. This website's main function is to find inexpensive silver coins (coins close to their "melt value"). In addition we have many valuable historical articles for the novice collector and investor of silver coins. If you are thinking of collecting, investing, or want to buy silver coins online, there are three different categories to consider: (article continued after auctions...)
Close to Melt Values
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1) Numismatic silver coins are 'rare' silver coins that collectors deem, for various reasons, to be worth more than their silver content. Over time, these can be the best coins to invest in.
2) Junk Silver refer to silver coins minted for currency whose silver content make them more valuable than their 'numismatic' value.
3) Bullion or Rounds are fine (99.9% or.999 to 99.99% or .9999) silver and look like coins. But, since they are not issued as currency, they are not technically "coins". As far as investing in silver as a precious metal these are the best coins to invest in.
Numismatic Silver Coins
Numismatic coins have a long history. Caesar Augustus was known to have given various old and foreign coins as gifts. Petrarch, a 14th Century Italian scholar would be asked by vine diggers to buy old coins or identify the nobles on the old coins they had dug up. Numismatics was considered to be the "Hobby of Kings". In 1355 Petrarch gave Emperor Charles IV a collection of Roman coins. One of the first books on numismatic coins was 'De Asse et Partibus' published in 1514 by Guillaume.
Junk Silver Coins
Silver coins minted for circulating currency are not pure silver. In general silver is considered to be too soft for functional items. Sterling silver is an alloy, usually silver and copper, with a minimum of 92.5% silver by weight. Most US silver coins minted before 1964 are 90% silver by weight and are either 'numismatic' or 'junk' silver coins.
Coins minted for use as currency will never fall below their stated value i.e. a silver dollar is worth $1.00, a dime $0.10, and they spend as such. However when sold as a collectible, The silver content (which is subject to current market price) is compared to its market value which is based on what other collectors are currently willing to pay for it. This separates "Junk" silver coins from "Numismatic" silver coins. A numismatic coin's value depends on many factors. Some of which are: when and where they were minted, and the condition of the coin. Some of the more popular US silver coins are the Morgan Dollar and the Mercury Head Dime.
Silver Bullion Coins
Silver coins which are called 'bullion' or 'rounds' are of the purest of silver: 99.9% to 99.99% by weight or '.999' to '.9999' and often called 'fine' silver. There are a wide variety of commemorative silver coins issued for collectors as numismatic coins. These are priced above current silver prices in order to raise funds and awareness for a specific purpose. For example the United States had released a 2011 Medal of Honor commemorative silver dollar. It has a surcharge of $10 for each coin sold which is given to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.
Then there are those sold and traded as a precious metals investment and are subject to the current market value of the metal. Many countries issue these silver coins for investors: the United States has a 1oz Silver Eagle (this is also a true one dollar coin besides being sold for a silver investment), Canada has a 1oz Canadian Maple Leaf, Austria has a 1oz Philharmonic round, China has 1 oz Chinese Lunar Series, Australia has a 1oz Kookaburra. There is a wide variety of weights and designs from these and other countries.
The Complete Guide to U.S. Junk Silver Coins
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The Last 90 Percent Silver United States Coins - A Buying and Selling Guide (U.S. Silver Coin Series Book 1)
Silver Coin Pricing Guide, 1800-2000: A Reference for Buying and Selling 19th and 20th Century World Coins on eBay, Websites and at Coin Shows
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