To calculate the value of silver coins today, you must know the silver price today and the percentage of silver content in those coins. However, some coins have value beyond their silver content, and these coins are known as collectible silver coins.
There are also common-date US silver coins, also referred to as junk silver coins. These have little to no collectible value for collectors but are popular among silver bullion investors. Knowing how to calculate the value of your silver coins will help you determine whether you should sell them or hold onto them as an investment.
Determining the Value of Your Silver Coins
Here are some steps you should follow to help you determine the value of your silver coins.
Sort Your Coins
Coins dated between different periods have different prices since they contain various purities of silver. It would help if you sorted out your coins before calculating the value of your silver coin portfolio.
- Group your nickels from 1942 to 1945 together.
- Group your silver coins (dimes, quarters, and half dollars) from 1964 and earlier together.
- Half dollars or fifty cents minted from 1965 to 1970 go together.
- US dollar coins minted in 1935 and prior, group them.
These four types of groupings put the coins with similar purities together, making it easy to calculate the value of your silver coins.
Examine Your Nickels
Some of the nickels minted from 1942 to 1945 contained about 56% of copper and only 35% of silver. Since nickel was more costly than silver during world war II, the shift from a nickel to silver made more sense. If you look behind a nickel coin from that period, you will see a large letter above Monticello’s picture suggesting that the coin contains 35% silver.
Here is how you calculate the current value of silver war nickels:
- Silver spot price x .057 = Melt Value
Group Together Your Coins Dated 1964 and Earlier
Coins (dimes, quarters, and half dollars) from 1964 or earlier were made from 90% silver. To make it easy to calculate, group them all. It is crucial to note that coins produced after 1964 did not contain silver.
Since the silver is 90% and the values are different depending on the coin you own, here is how you calculate the melt value of your 90% silver coins according to the type of coin:
- Dimes – Silver spot price x .7238
- Quarters – Silver spot price x .18095
- Half dollar – Silver spot price x .3619
Group Together Your Half Dollar Coins Dated 1965-1970
Although the US mint stopped producing dimes and quarter coins from silver, that wasn’t the case with the half-dollar coin. Half dollars minted between 1965 and 1970 had about 40% silver. After 1970, the US mint also stopped using silver in half-dollar coins as well.
Here is how you calculate the melt value of your 40% silver half-dollar coins:
- Silver spot price x .15
Group Together Your Silver Dollars Dated 1935 or Earlier
Silver dollars that contained silver were during the years 1935 and earlier. These coins had about 90% silver and weighed around 26.7 grams. These 90% silver dollar coins are of particular interest to collectors and have a collectible value if they’re in good condition.
Although the silver dollars before 1935 have a collectible value, and this may vary depending on the condition of your coin, it is still essential to know its melting value, so here is how you find it out:
- Silver spot price x .774
Research Silver Spot Price
We’ve gone over the different formulas to help you calculate the value of your silver coin portfolio. However, what is missing in our procedures is the silver spot price. Many online websites have live silver spot prices, which you can use to calculate the value of your silver coins.
Factors Affecting Value of Collectible Silver Coins
Collectible coins have more value than the silver used in them. Here are some of the factors that affect the value of your collectible silver coins:
- Demand: Coins in demand among collectors often fetch higher value than others. Sellers of these coins can ask for premiums due to the high demand among collectors.
- Condition: The coin’s condition plays a vital role in the value of your collectible silver coin. A single scratch can cause a dent in the value of your coins. Collectibles are looking for perfect pieces to add to their collection, and any condition issues can cause a severe drop in the value your collectible coin can fetch.
- Scarcity: If the coin you have in your possession is rare, you’re going to get an excellent value for it. The rarer the coin, the higher the price it’ll fetch.