Find Silver Coins in Circulation

These days, I make a large percentage of my purchases with a credit card.  Yes, I know that some readers might do the opposite, and pay cold

Silver Dime

The silver dime I found

hard cash for everything.  But I like to charge for various reasons (topic for another post), one of which is to avoid getting loose change.

However, there is one thing that this approach reduces: the likelihood of being able to find silver coins.  Yes, Virginia, there are actually some real silver coins in circulation.  We just have to be lucky enough to find them.  We also have to be alert enough to look, and informed enough to recognize them.

Now, admittedly, I very rarely look for silver coins.  As I alluded to above, being free of loose change when out and about is a nice thing.  Thus, I’m not usually thinking about examining everything that comes my way.  Nevertheless, maybe once a month I’ll come across a coin that just looks older and different, as if it’s made of something different than what most coins are.  On rare occasion, they might be silver!

One of those rare occasions happened recently. I was gathering up a small batch of loose change I had collected over the last week, and noticed a dime that looked different.  I checked the date, and lo and behold, it was 1959.  Thus, it was silver.  Not that it’s a big deal, but the thrill of finding something that you don’t see everyday in circulation was kind of cool!

Basically, today’s dimes with Roosevelt’s face are made of a combination of copper and nickel.  This has been the case since 1965, when the Coinage Act of that year moved forward a change in the composition of some coins being produced.  The Roosevelt dimes before 1965 – from 1946 to 1964 - were 90% silver and 10% copper.

If silver is a good investment, as we considered here recently, these coins might actually have some value above and beyond the face denomination.  At a current silver price of close to $35 per ounce, and pre-1965 dimes weighing about 2.5 grams, the silver portion of those coins can be worth around $2.50.  Not bad.  Thus, it’s almost like that dime I found was a “super dime” worth 25 times face value!  Of course, that’s based on the metal value, so we would have to sell the coin first before getting that purchasing power at stores.  But, it’s a nice fun find nonetheless.

It’s not just dimes that have contained silver.  Prior to 1965, quarters were 90% silver, as were half dollars.  Find one of those, and you’re getting something with even more metal value than the aforementioned humble dime.  After all, these other coins are heavier.  Even some nickels had silver: some during the 1942-1945 time frame had silver, though far less than 90%.  Nonetheless, those are clearly worth more in metal value than five cents :)

So, next time you see a coin looking a bit different – check the date on it.  It doesn’t happen very often, but on rare occasions you just may be getting way more than change, in the form of precious metal instead!

My Questions for You:

Do you ever check dates on coins?

Have you ever found a silver coin in circulation?

If so, what did you do with it?

Is Silver a Good Investment Now?

Silver as an investment?

When people talk about investing in precious metals, it seems as if gold is the first thing that comes to mind.  The run up in gold prices a few years ago brought this metal back up into the minds of everyday folks.  It seemed like some folks even started allocating a portion of their portfolio to gold, viewing it as a timeless store of value.

What about silver?  It’s almost like the secondary precious metal, kind of like a sidekick to gold.  Gold is like Batman, Silver is like Robin.  When something is a sure thing, or amazing, some might say it’s “golden”.   Do we ever say, “that’s great – we’re silver”.  No, not really.  Gold is where the glamor is.

However, could this be a time to consider silver?  In other words, is silver a good investment right now?

A previous article discussing whether or not there was a silver bubble was published here well over a year ago, and it was right at the time when silver was at around $47 per ounce.  At the time, compared it to the Dow, and noted that the ratio of Dow averages to Silver was only at 265 – down from over 2,000 ten years earlier.  In other words, silver prices had increased at a rate far outpacing the markets over that decade.

Well, just a few weeks after that article was published, the silver bubble did actually burst. As of this writing, it’s at $32.58 per ounce as of this writing.  Comparing this to the Dow, the ratio is back up to 391.  Now, there has been a bit of instability in the markets of late, but people seem to be wondering where things are headed.  Looking at the current price of silver, it might get one asking if silver a good play at this point? There are different ways people might approach it, from owning physical silver like bullion or coins, to investing in silver-related companies – or maybe even dealing with futures.

I actually saw a television ad for investing in silver, which is not something I recall seeing in the past.  Perhaps other such ads have been there for a while, but I don’t recall.  Anyway, it got me thinking about the idea that people might be looking at silver again.  Now, I’m not an investment professional and am not giving direct advice.  Just getting the topic revisited, and presenting some information to consider and discuss.

I’m curious what you think of silver.

My Questions for You:

Have you ever bought silver as an investment? Or alternatively, do you own any in other forms (jewelery, coins, etc)?

What do you think of silver (or other precious metals) for investing purposes?