What Is 90% Silver? Is It the Same as Junk Silver?

Did you know that the U.S. Constitution once mandated that states could only issue Silver or Gold as legal tender? For nearly 175 years, America’s coin currency adhered to this standard, with coins minted before 1965 being composed of 90% Silver and 10% copper, as Gold held a higher value than Silver at a 15:1 ratio.

Referred to as 90% silver coins due to their content, these coins were eventually phased out of circulation and replaced.


In 1965, responding to the rising prices of Silver, Congress directed the U.S. Mint to introduce copper/nickel-clad dimes and quarters, while reducing the Silver content in half dollars to 40%. Consequently, the majority of coins minted before 1965, known as 90% Silver coins, gained the colloquial term “junk Silver coins” because of their perceived lack of collectible value.


What Is 90% Silver?

The high Silver content of these coins, however, led to a shift in perception. Savvy individuals began saving junk Silver coins as a practical investment, considering them a valuable resource for a rainy day fund or a reliable bartering tool. Today, junk Silver coins for sale have found a place in the Precious Metals market, catering to both new and experienced investors.


When it comes to purchasing junk Silver coins, prices are typically listed by face value, ranging from increments as small as $1 to $1,000. The actual purchase price, however, varies based on the current spot price of Silver. Despite the lack of numismatic value, these coins maintain affordability with reasonable premiums over the spot price.


For those looking to acquire larger quantities of Silver at once, junk Silver bags offer a cost-effective solution. Available in rolls or bags and categorized by coin type, these bags provide investors with the opportunity to buy substantial amounts of Silver at an affordable price. However, it’s essential to consider the weight and potential shipping costs associated with junk Silver bags and ensure proper storage arrangements before making a purchase.

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