90% U.S. Silver Coins  
$1.40 Face Value = 1 Troy Ounce of .999 fine Silver 

Read this and you may learn something about Silver.

Silver 101 ~ Calculating the Value of 90% U.S. Silver Coins:

Face Value of 90% Silver U.S. coins can be easily converted to actual fine Silver content (and that after all, is what you're buying) if you understand this simple formula.  U.S. Silver coins (pre-1965 dimes, quarters, half dollars and Silver dollars in any combination) contain a specific and exact amount of .999 Fine Silver Bullion as required by law.

$1.40 Face Value in any combination of intact, pre-1965 U.S. 90% Silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars will always equal 1.013 Troy Ounce of .999 Fine Silver Bullion (1.06 Troy Ounces if a pre-1935 Silver dollar is in the mix).  For all intent and purpose, the equivalent of the same Troy Ounce you would find in a One (1.000) Troy Ounce .999 Silver Round or bar ($1.40 face value = equivalent of 1 Troy Ounce Silver Round/bar), but in a far more divisible form. 

One 90% Silver dime = .07234 Troy Ounces of .999 pure Silver (approximately .0715 circulated).  $1.40 face (any mix of dimes, quarters, and half dollars) = 1.013 Troy Ounces  –1.25% wear factor  x 90% (bullion content) = 1.001 Troy Ounce of fine Silver bullion.

A 90% Silver quarter was minted with exactly 2.5 times the Silver content of a Silver dime, a 90% Silver Half Dollar was minted with exactly 5 times the Silver content of a 90% Silver dime, and exactly two times the Silver content of a 90% Silver quarter.  (A little history here... The statutory content of dimes, quarters and half dollars is 0.7234 troy ounce of .999% fine silver per dollar's worth of coins, per the Act to Devalue the Subsidiary Silver Coinage of Febuary 21,1853, Statutes at Large, X, 160 as amended by Act of Febuary 12, 1873 XVII, Stat.424).  

An ounce is not an Ounce when dealing in precious metals. Precious metals are traded in TROY Ounces (31.10 Grams). If "Troy Ounce" is not specified by the Seller, you're buying a standard Avoirdupois ounce (28.47 grams, or .911 Troy Ounces), which was probably weighed on a kitchen scale. You're certainly not buying what you think you're buying (a Troy Ounce), unless you understand the difference, and can discern between the two (ask the seller what unit of weight they're using). If you buy an ounce of 90% coins and get less than $1.40 face, you bought an Avoirdupois ounce. 

Let's look at this another way... One more time, in grams. Most decent scales will give you the weight in grams.  A 90% Silver dime weighs 2.5 grams (this alone will demonstrate the accuracy of your scale). 2.5 grams, less 10% for the copper content leaves us with 2.25 grams of .999 Silver bullion. A well worn coin may have lost up to 1.25% of its weight over time through wear. This is why a $1,000 face bag of 90% Silver coins is sold as 715 Troy Ounces of fine Silver as opposed to the 723 Troy Ounces of fine Silver it contained when all the coins were new. So, if we follow this to its logical conclusion, The GROSS weight of $1.40 face value in uncirculated coins is approximately 35 grams (depending on the condition of the coins). 35 grams minus 10% for the copper content gives us 31.5 grams of .999 Silver bullion. Deduct the "wear" factor of 1.25%, and we have 31.10 grams (one Troy Ounce) of .999 fine Silver. 

Remember that 90% silver coins need to be weighed and then multiplied by .90% (.9) to determine the amount of silver bullion they contain. 

Try to buy (and sell) your Silver coins only in face value lots which can be easily converted to Troy Ounces or grams of fine Silver, NOT in standard Avoirdupois (kitchen) ounces which are only .911 Troy Ounces of fine Silver.  And remember, when dealing in Silver coins by weight, there will always be a small "drift" factor. Rarely if ever, will you see exactly the weight you calculated. 1%, to 1.25% up or down is acceptable, and most people will allow for that tiny variable (bear in mind that most electronic scales in use today are +/- .01 to .1 grams and are rarely calibrated regularly, or properly). Weigh your coins in Troy Ounces or Grams. Multiply the weight by .90 percent and you will have the exact weight of the .999 fine Silver bullion therein.

So, what's the lesson here? 

Don't have a scale, or want to deal with all the numbers and decimal places? Don't understand anything I've said herein above?  No problem... Here it is, short and sweet.  Buy 90% pre-1965 average circulated U.S. Silver coins in multiples of $1.40 face value and each $1.40 lot will contain 1 Troy Ounce of .999 fine Silver bullion. Divide any face value amount by 1.4 and you will have the .999 fine Silver content of the lot in Troy Ounces. Multiply the Troy Ounces by the Silver spot price and you will have the dollar value of the .999 fine Silver.  I can't make it easier to understand than that.  Use my Silver Wallet Card and easily calculate the Silver content of fractional Troy Ounces by face value.

90% U.S. Silver Coins:

One of the most popular ways to invest in Silver bullion is with 90% U.S. Silver coins. Misleadingly called “junk” Silver, this name came into use in the early 1970's, and was used to describe average circulated Silver coins without numismatic value, meaning no rare, or collector coins were included in the lot. They consist of 90% fine Silver and 10% copper, (which is added to the Silver to give it both strength and durability).  Sterling Silver on the other hand is a bit softer than 90% coin Silver since it's not being subjected to the same level of abuse coins must endure. Sterling Silver is 92.5% fine Silver and 7.5% copper... But I digress.

 Investment Advantages:

90% U.S. Silver coins remain one of the least expensive, easiest to acquire, and most popular ways to buy and sell precious Silver bullion.  

Silver coins do offer several investment advantages. First, they provide smaller increments for barter. A Silver dime is worth One U.S. Dollar at it's current valuation (or lack thereof), when Silver is selling for $13.82 per Troy Ounce (our new Silver Dollar. Sad, isn't it?).  Secondly, the coins usually have a lower premium over spot than currently minted Silver bars and rounds. Thirdly, they are legal U.S. tender, although you'd have to be quite the fool to spend them at their face value. Additionally, U.S. Silver Coins are recognized around the world as a viable and valid (Silver) trade medium, and therefore offer maximum liquidity, and guaranteed purchasing power in uncertain times. Finally, Silver represents a genuine hedge against the never-ending and predictable debasement and devaluation of paper fiat currencies (most notably, our unconstitutional Federal Reserve Notes), and as such, it stands as one of the few remaining physical stores of wealth.  If you've read this through, you may have learned something, and as we all know... Knowledge is power.

Beware my friends, and prepare... 
For a dark storm is rising, and chance always favors the prepared.

Remember too, that those who fail to heed the lessons of history
 are certainly destined to repeat them.





2012 | Dynamic Force Institute, LLC | All Rights Reserved
The Story of Junk Silver
The Story of Junk Silver
© 2012 • R.F. DeMott
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