Silver Coins Close To Melt, History & Data

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...)

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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

1885-O Morgan Silver Dollar

1885-O Morgan Silver Dollar


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

Examples of Junk Silver Coins

Examples of 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

Proof version of a Silver American Eagle BULLION silver coin.

Proof version of a Silver American Eagle BULLION silver coin.


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.

-Stephen Halkovic

The Complete Guide to U.S. Junk Silver Coins, 2nd Edition
The Complete Guide to U.S. Junk Silver Coins, 2nd Edition
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American Silver Eagles: A Guide to the U.S. Bullion Coin Program
American Silver Eagles: A Guide to the U.S. Bullion Coin Program
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American Silver Eagles: A Guide to the U.S. Bullion Coin Program, 3rd Edition
American Silver Eagles: A Guide to the U.S. Bullion Coin Program, 3rd Edition
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15 Responses to Silver Coins Close To Melt, History & Data

  1. mark

    Great site. Very useful.

  2. Stewart

    This is a nicely done and well laid out website. Good info.

    Are you planning to do one on Gold Coins? I hope you do. Nice work.

  3. Henry Chalfant

    Your site has provided me with entirely new and useful information. Should I ever decide to invest in silver, I now know where to turn.

  4. Molly

    I’m inspired now to dig up some of those old silver coins we have!

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    Very informative. Totally recommend.

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  7. Faye

    Thank you for this information. I have some silver dollars (US) from the mid 1970’s. Any chance those are worth a bit of money now? Do you ever appraise silver coins?

  8. Stephen Halkovic

    Good day Faye,

    We don’t appraise silvers. Although we do try to provide information for those who are interested in buying or selling silver coins.

    The Ike silver dollars that are silver clad usually have a “S” mint mark (see the new Ike Silver dollar article for more information), so they don’t have as much silver as older silver coins. They are 40% silver by weight and weigh 24.59 grams which is 0.7907 troy ounces. That means it has 0.3163 troy ounces of silver, just multiply the going rate for silver by that and that number will be a good starting place. Dealers do take a percentage off to cover there expenses,

    I hope that’s helpful, best of luck,


  9. Faye

    That is helpful – thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I was hoping to retire with these coins, but I guess I’ll need to wait a while longer. Oh well.

  10. John Browder


    The only silver dollars produced in the 1970s were Proof Coins minted by the US MINT or Silver Rounds made by private firms. US Morgan and Peace Dollars were minted from 1878 – 1935.

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