Junk Silver Coins
When we think of junk, we think of something useless and worthless to get rid off. However, junk silver in fact is no junk at all. It might surprise new investors though to see some precious metal dealers list entire bags full of junk silver coins. Inside these bags you will find silver coins of less than bullion purity that were circulation coins in the past. Most junk silver coins are 90% pure but there also exist coins of lower purity.
So why are these coins named junk silver? The misleading term that is used in many English-speaking countries simply stems from the fact that these coins have no numismatic value at all. Most junk silver that is sold online consists of American silver coins that were in circulation before 1965. However, junk silver that is made up of coins from other countries exists as well. Canada for example had circulation coins that consisted of 92.5%, 80% or 50% silver. Australia also had silver circulation coins of these different purities in the past and many other countries used silver currency before as well.
The fact that junk silver coins have no numismatic value at all might discourage collectors from adding such coins to their portfolio. However, this fact is also a benefit for those buyers that only care about amassing the maximum amount of precious metal for the lowest possible price. Since the only value these junk silver coins have is based on their precious metal content, you will be able to buy them for prices very close to the silver spot price.
In fact, junk silver coins are usually sold in coin bags or coin rolls/tubes though they are sometimes also sold individually. When buying them in bulk in bags or rolls/tubes, it is important to note that they are not listed by weight. Whereas silver bullion coins are sold in bulk in for example 20 oz tubes or 500 oz monster boxes, junk silver coins are listed by their cumulative face value. By the way, the face value of junk silver coins is still their legal tender value, even though the coins have been out of circulation for a very long time. Of course, unless the price of silver dropped precipitously, there would be no reason to use a junk silver coin as currency for making your purchases.
Low Premiums when buying junk silver coins
So you could for example buy a bag full of 90% pure Silver Roosevelt Dimes that together have a face value of 100 USD. The 1,000 dimes in such a bag contain 71.5 oz of silver. With a current silver spot price of 14.32 USD per ounce, the silver value of such a junk silver bag amounts to 1023.88 USD. At the time of this writing, it could be yours for a mere 1,083.95 USD so you would have to pay a premium of less than 6%. That’s a pretty good deal compared to buying the same amount of silver in the form of contemporary silver bullion coins.
For a 1 oz American Silver Eagle you would commonly have to pay a premium of between 3 and 4 USD per coin. Let’s say you found a dealer that sells 1 oz Silver Eagles for only a 3 USD premium and you decided to buy 70 such coins. In that case you would have to pay a total premium of 210 USD for 70 oz of silver whereas you could have bought 71.5 oz of silver in the form of junk silver coins for a premium of only 60.07 USD.
Junk silver coins for bartering
So buying junk silver coins is a really good option to acquire the maximum amount of silver for the lowest possible price. Another benefit of buying junk silver coins is especially important for preppers/survivalists. When our current debt-based financial system implodes, barter will become much more popular than it is today. In such a Venezuela or Zimbabwe-style crisis, you could use your junk silver coins to pay for your daily purchases.
The 0.07234 oz of silver in a Silver Roosevelt Dime would at current prices perhaps buy you a candy bar. After a possible collapse that would certainly drive up precious metal prices, you might for example be able to barter your silver dime for an adult hair cut. You could of course also barter with an American Silver Eagle then. However, the change your hairdresser would give you back then would probably be paper cash which might be under serious inflationary pressure then.
For maximum bartering flexibility, Buy-Gold.Link advises its readers to buy junk silver coins of different sizes. You could start right now with a mixed bag of junk silver quarters and dimes and you could even choose between five different bag sizes! A bag with a combined face value of 10 USD could possibly be worth enough post-collapse to pay for your groceries for a week. For more bartering power for a longer time, you could also choose bags with face values of 100 USD, 500 USD, 1,000 USD and even 3,000 USD! Every dollar in face value would get you 0.7150 oz of silver. With the 715 oz of silver in a 1,000 USD face value bag you could keep your family afloat for perhaps a year or more when the collapse hits!