OT Silver - advice on buying "Junk Silver" coins

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Good morning, folks.

The wife and I are thinking of rounding off our preps with some "junk silver".

What I would really appreciate are info/opinions, whatever, both for AND against this.

If gold goes to, say, $500.00 an ounce, what would be a likely range for silver to rise to?

I appreciate any advice.

-- Jon Williamson (jwilliamson003@sprintmail.com), October 05, 1999



I wouldn't really like to hazard a guess as to the 'investment potential' of silver, but in the context of 'preps', I think some silver is a good idea. If gold goes to $500, AND TSHTF, your one ounce gold coin is not going to be appropriate if you're just out to barter for small potatoes. Whereas, your one ounce junk silver might be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $10, and your junk silver quarter might be about $2.50. It may have lots of small-time utility.


-- Pinkrock (aphotonboy@aol.com), October 05, 1999.

Forgive me for sounding ignorant....but WTF?

I've been on this net for a while now, and I have kind of been hesatant to ask, but realistically...Junk Silver?!? The average 'Joe' isn't about to give you the credit of $2.50 towards a quarter! He's going to see it as .25 cents!!! I can just hear that conversation now...

"Well that'll be $25.00 for that."

"O.K...here's a Kennedy 50 cent piece, and an Eisenhower dollar, and hey... Keep the change!!"

"Ok...very funny... I said $25!"

"But,but...thats REAL silver! Not that 'other' zinc filled crap!"

"Mister, if I don't see another $23.50 in the next sixty seconds I'm gonna open a can o' whoopass on yew!"

See? Joe-Shit-The-Ragbag is not going to give a great-god-given-gooddamn if its silver, real or not. To him coin is coin... so why even invest that much in the real coin factor? The world would have to TOTALLY collapse to see that coin be valued by the general public to that amount. Junk silver as silver, in the current economy, to rare coin dealers, or precious metal dealers...well THAT I can understand...Or am I (per usual) just pissing in the wind on this one?

-- Billy-Boy (Rakkasn@Yahoo.com), October 05, 1999.

Billy Boy,

I suggest you make a study of history and Germany in 1923 when it took a bushel basket full of Marks to buy a loaf of bread that could also be bought with their equivilent of our silver dime.

-- Joe Stout (joewstout@iswt.com), October 05, 1999.

I'm well aware of the Weimar Republic's woes, I have some coins that my grandfather got, made of the cheapest metal (pure zinc) stamped 1923 that are worth 1000 marks (roughly $800+/- by todays rate). The quality of the money (silver doesn't matter. The exchange rate was that an American dime, be it silver (which it was in 1923) or otherwise WAS worth a bucket worth o' Deuchey-Dollars. My only point is unless we ourselve experience that kind of economic meltdown worldwide will we have to worry about the coin/silver to silver/zinc issue.

-- Billy-Boy (Rakkasn@Yahoo.com), October 05, 1999.

Billy Boy:

Your youth is showing. You, perhaps, have never even seen a silver coin. An Eisenhower dollar never had any silver in it. Ditto for all Kennedys after 1964. These bogus metal slugs they pass as money today have never had any intrinsic value. Not so for actual silver coinage. You take a silver dollar to any one who knows anything about money or metal, and you can sell it for the value of the silver. Today, that is about $5.50. This will probably hold true in any future scenario.

There is much more to be said on this topic, but I must go now. Somebody else try to explain to Billy Boy just what real money is. I'll check back later.


-- Pinkrock (Aphotonboy@aol.com), October 05, 1999.

Junk silver has historically out-paced silver bullion prices when there is a threat of a crises/situation in the US and foreign countries abroad. The reason is that there is only so much junk silver available(it is finite). People purchase this commodity because of the barter potential. It is a recognized US denomination, and people know that pre '65 coins are silver(90%). This gives you silver in small denominations.Links:http://coin-universe.com/financial/bullion.html http://www.monex.com/ http://www.tulving.com/silvbull.html

-- pete (peter@frontiernet.net), October 05, 1999.

It isn't going to be any less that it is now, so why wait?


-- dave (wootendave@hotmail.com), October 05, 1999.

It's impossible to be sure what the average person will think about money in 2000 and 2001. I would think the early response will be "a quarter is a quarter" no matter whether it's silver or not. After awhile if digital money has imploded, the word should start to get around that there are quarters and then there are silver quarters.

People learn really fast when their personal wellbeing and survival is at stake.

-- cody (cody@y2ksurvive.com), October 05, 1999.

Dear Billyboy,

The learning curve on using precious metals as money lasts about 2-3 hours. If you were an adult back in the early 80's and were paying attention you'ld know that flea marketers and other people that wouldn't know avoidupois from troy a few months before silver's big run up, had memorized troy to avoidupois rates and could tell you how many grains in a pennyweight real quick like, once silver became very very profitable.

Plain and simple, people, all people, become REAL fast learners when it is a matter of making money.

I know it is unfashoinable to interject facts where opinions hold sway but for anybody that wants some facts.


-- Ken Seger (kenseger@earthlink.net), October 05, 1999.

Buying silver.....

In small amounts that don't attract attention....

Check out eBAY for going prices and sometimes a decent deal. Just go to collectables/coins/USA/Quarters or dimes then search on keyword 'Silver' or 'junk'. Look at the auctions that are or have ended. That will give you a good idea what people are paying.

Armed with some idea of the 'multiplier', which is the 'times face value' junk silver is going at, you can then hit your local coin shops. Ask them if they have any 'junk silver' to sell. They'll know exactly what you mean and probably have some. They might even have 'bags' to sell, which is a large amount all together. I *think* a bag is $1000 face value, but not sure.

The best junk silver coins you can get are 90% silver, so factor that in if you are watching the silver market. Sometimes you can get collectable 1oz bars on eBay or elsewhere, but they get a premium. The US silver eagle 1 oz coins are recognizable and easy. If you get them without paying a huge premium, go for it.

Unless you are talking about big bucks worth, like bags at a time, I would recomend you buy some from each dealer. Get an idea how they do business. Some you'll be comfortable with, others you won't. When you find one you are happy with then hit his shop every few weeks to see what he has. If he knows you want it he'll find it for you. Dicker a discount on larger amounts.

To keep track of what you have invested, I suggest putting your purchases in envelopes with the date and price you paid on it, or keep a running log.

If you run across coins in the junk that are in good shape (rarely) then set it aside. DON'T polish it. Just maybe it will have a somewhat higher value. This is about as rare as getting silver in your change from Mickey Dee's.

-- Art Welling (artw@lancnews.infi.net), October 05, 1999.

KEN: I am still luaghing at your: "I know it is unfashionable to interject facts," comment!

BILLY BOY: I would recommend that you take your observation concerning the Weimar Republic's value of the American dime, one step further. Yes, they would have exchanged it for ANY American dime - regardless of content. The question you need to keep asking yourself is why? If you ask enough "why's" you will be left with the inescapable conclusion that the soundness of American money has, with but relatively minor exception, been linked to its convertability into precious metal.

The premise that you are assuming is that the value of American money can indefinitely be determined without reference to what historically, throughout the history of mankind - with only occasional and temporary periods to the contrary, has been precious metals.

The sad lesson that modern western societies will once again have to learn, has been "realized" over and over again throughout recorded history.

Had those presiding over the Weimar republic properly learned it, financing WWI would have been almost impossible. But had it nonetheless occurred, the devastating inflation of the early twenties that followed their defeat in WWI, wherein an American dime - at that time inextricably linked to precious metals, commanded such an awesome power, would simply have remained .09 oz of silver, representing its relatively modest, though "sound," appropriate market value.

With respect,

-- Dave Walden (wprop@concentric.net), October 05, 1999.


A small correction to your message. The half-dollar and dollar coins from 1965 to around 1972 were 40% silver...

I know, I know, details, details....

watchin' the balloon....

The Dog

-- Dog (Desert Dog@-sand.com), October 05, 1999.

How about some specifics?

Junk silver is old US coinage that consisted of 90% silver. There is roughly .715 ounces of silver per dollar, no matter what the denomination - quarter is 2.5 times the content of dime, silver dollar is 4 times the content of quarter/10 times content of dime, etc.

Junk silver is usually sold in $1000 face value bags. So, each bag is roughly 715 ounces of silver. Divide the price of the bag by 715, and that will give you the price per ounce of silver you are paying for the junk silver. Silver dollars have a substantial premium since they are somewhat hard to find and getting harder.

Twenty dollars in old US coinage (about 14.3 ounces) used to equal a 1oz twenty dollar gold piece.

-- Jim the Window Washer (Rational@man.com), October 05, 1999.

>>Junk silver is old US coinage that consisted of 90% silver. There is roughly .715 ounces of silver per dollar, no matter what the denomination - quarter is 2.5 times the content of dime, silver dollar is 4 times the content of quarter/10 times content of dime, etc.<<

Jim, I have a small nitpick. Generally, junk silver dimes, quarters and halves contain proportionate weights in silver: dime - .07234 oz. quarter - .18084 oz. half dollar - .36169 oz.

But the silver dollar contains more than twice that of a half dollar: .77344 oz.

-- Elbow Grease (LBO Grise@aol.com), October 05, 1999.

Just two comments:

1) You can learn just about everything that you ever wanted to know about silver and coins, including their silver content, when they were minted, etc., etc., by visiting www.certifiedmint.com.

2) Nobody knows how John Q. Public is going to react to silver and gold should confidence in paper money dwindle. Most people have never held gold, and probably have had very little experience with silver. Having small weight gold and silver coins is nothing more than hedging a bet that may or may not hold true. But I sure think that it is a bet worth placing.

87 days.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.~net), October 05, 1999.

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