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How to value silver coins and where to sell for cash in 2022

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Did you inherit your grandfather's buffalo nickel? What about a silver dollar collection? Rare quarters or Canadian silver dollar or French franc?

Are silver coins worth anything?

Yes. The value of these collectible silver coins varies by age, condition and rarity — as well as the going price for silver at any time. Now is a good time to sell.

As of , the silver resale value in the United States was at $ per ounce, or $ per gram.

This post will help you find the value of your silver coin, and the best way to sell it for the highest price.

Spoiler alert: Our favorite place to sell silver coins is CashforSilverUSA.com. More on why later.

Silver coin value: How much are my silver coins worth?

The value of a silver coin is dependent on its rarity, grade, and desirability as a collectible. If it is not worth much as a collectible, then its value is based on its silver content. This value can be significantly higher than the coin’s face value, depending on the current price of silver.

For example, a 1942 dime has a face value of 10 cents. Its silver content is worth approximately $1.57, however, when silver is at a price of $22.39 per ounce. That said, an uncirculated 1942 dime could be worth $7.75, for those with an “S” mintmark — and more than $2,000 for rare Mercury dimes.

Most silver coins contain 90% silver.

What are 90% silver coins worth?

  1. Weigh your coin (in grams).
  2. Multiply that weight by .9 (since only 90% of the weight is silver). This number is how much silver, in grams, your coin contains.
  3. Find the spot price for a gram of silver.
  4. Multiply the number from Step 2 by the number in Step 3 and you'll have the value of your silver coin.

Dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars minted in the US in 1964 or before will contain 90% silver by weight, with the remaining 10% coming from copper. These coins are also known as “constitutional silver” or “junk silver.” Those same coins minted later do not contain 90% silver.

That being said, if your silver coins are rare, old, or otherwise have value as a collector's item, your coin collection may be worth more than you would get simply by melting it down for its silver content. There are many numismatic (coin collecting) websites where you can search for the value of your coin to determine if it has any collector's value.

This video offers more detail about the value of 90% silver coins:

Silver dollar value: How much is a silver dollar worth?

Silver dollars will often sell to collectors for at least $20 a piece. Rarer silver dollars can sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars, with exceptionally rare specimens going for millions.

As a general rule of thumb, any silver dollar minted before 1965 will contain 90% silver, or about 0.78 troy ounces of silver. The weight varies slightly by coin, but they are close. At the current price of silver ($20.06 per ounce as of August 3, 2022) that means that the silver content of these silver dollar coins is worth about $15.65.

Silver dollars that are at least 90% silver include:

  • Flowing Hair Silver Dollar (1794-1795)
  • Draped Bust Silver Dollar (1795-1804)
  • Gobrecht Silver Dollar (1836-1839)
  • Seated Liberty Silver Dollar (1840-1873)
  • Silver Trade Dollar (1873-1885)
  • Morgan Silver Dollar (1878-1921)
  • Peace Silver Dollar (1921-1935, 1964)

Additionally, the “American Silver Eagle” bullion coin minted from 1986-present contains 1 troy ounce of .999 silver, making it the silver dollar with the highest percentage of silver. Currently, these coins are worth about $20.06 per ounce as of August 3, 2022.

“Eisenhower” Silver Dollars (1971-1978) and “Susan B Anthony” Silver Dollars (1979-1999) do not contain any silver, but can hold value to collectors.

Silver half dollars: How much is a half dollar worth? 

What Kennedy half dollars are worth money?

Rare or otherwise desired Kennedy half dollars can fetch a significant amount of money from collectors. As recently as 2019, for example, a particularly rare 1964 Kennedy half dollar sold for $108,000 at public auction.

For Kennedy half dollars without collector's value, the value of your coin will depend on when it was minted, as the silver content of these coins varies by year.

Kennedy half dollars minted in 1964 contain 90% silver and 10% copper. These coins contain roughly 0.36169 ounces of silver. At the current price of silver ($20.06 per ounce as of August 3, 2022) that means that the silver in a 1964 Kennedy half dollar is worth about $7.26.

Kennedy half dollars minted between 1965 and 1970 contain 40% silver — significantly less, but still worth salvaging. These coins contain roughly 0.1479 ounces of silver. At the current price of silver ($20.06 per ounce as of August 3, 2022) that means that a Kennedy half dollar minted between 1965 and 1970 is worth about $2.97 just due to its silver content.

Any Kennedy half dollar minted from 1971 onward does not contain any silver.

Learn more about the difference between pure and sterling silver — and how to sell each

What 50 cent pieces are worth money?

Any US 50 cent piece minted before 1965 will contain 90% silver. This increases their value to be higher than their face value of 50 cents.

Each of the coins below contain about 0.36169 ounces of silver. At the current price of silver ($20.06 per ounce as of August 3, 2022) that means that the silver content of these 50 cent pieces is worth about $7.26. The list of 50 cent pieces that are 90% silver include:

  • Barber/Liberty Head half dollars, minted between 1892-1916. Barber Head half dollars coins often sell for around $10 but can reach prices of $500 or more.
  • Walking Liberty half dollars, minted between 1916–1947. Walking Liberty half dollars often sell for about $10 but have been known to reach $1,000+.
  • Franklin half dollars, minted between 1948–1963. Franklin half dollars typically do not sell for less than $10 a piece, and valuable coins can go for thousands.
  • Kennedy half dollars minted in 1964. 1964 Kennedy half dollars are worth at least $10 a piece and can sometimes sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars if they are in good enough condition.

Kennedy half dollars minted from 1965 through 1970 are 40% silver.

Silver dimes: How much is a silver dime worth?

Silver dimes from 1964 contain about 90% pure silver, or about 0.0723 troy ounces of silver. To calculate the silver value of one of these dimes, you can multiply 0.0723 by the current price of silver. 

As of , the silver resale value in the United States was at $ per ounce, or $ per gram.

Modern silver dimes (from 1965 onward) are not made of silver but a low-value metal alloy coated in silver.

Silver quarter value

Silver quarters issued in 1964 and earlier contain about 0.1808 ounces of silver, which means the silver quarter value is 0.1808 times the current silver price.

Silver dime values

Likewise, the silver dime value of silver dimes issued before 1965 is 0.0723 ounces times the current price of silver. These are some common silver dimes and their values:

  • Mercury dime value – .07234 times current silver price
  • Roosevelt dime value – .07234 times current silver price

Silver penny values

Silver pennies, which were minted in 1943, are actually made of steel coated in zinc, so they do not have silver penny value based on their silver content. These coins are fairly common, so their value as a collector's item is minimal.

Collectible silver coins: Which silver coins are worth money?

In the United States, silver coins have been used as currency since Colonial days. The most popular silver coin in this era was the Spanish milled dollar, or “piece of eight,” and it was common to literally cut up a Spanish milled dollar into eight equally sized bits, each worth one-eighth the value of the full dollar. This is why quarters came to be referred to as worth “two bits”—a phrase that is widely recognized even today. 

The Coinage Act of 1792 marked a turning point in the history of U.S. coins, as it mandated the manufacture of U.S. copper, silver, and gold coins in various denominations. Silver coins were to be issued in denominations of half dime, dime, half dollar, and dollar. The Act also set the proportional value of silver to gold at 15 to 1—that is, 15 units of silver would be worth 1 unit of gold.

The Coinage Act of 1792 also introduced design standards for the new coins, requiring that U.S. coins bear an image symbolic of liberty and the year the coin was manufactured. In addition, the reverse of each coin would show the image of an eagle and the words “United States of America.”

The famous Gold Rush of 1848 led to a surplus of gold in the marketplace, which drove up the value of silver coins, and led bullion collectors bought up and hoarded the metal, causing a shortage. An 1853 law reversed this trend by allowing the public to turn their silver bullion into silver dollars. That lasted until the Coinage Act of 1873, a.k.a. the Fourth Coinage Act, put an end to the practice. 

Over time, U.S. coins gradually phased out the use of silver in their composition, starting with the five-cent piece.

Starting in 1866, the piece was manufactured with copper and nickel rather than silver. This new composition inspired the name by which the coin has been known ever since: the nickel. The dime and the quarter eventually switched to a copper-and-nickel composition as well, in 1965. By 1971, no newly minted U.S. circulating coins included any silver at all.

Collectible silver coins, especially those with historic value, may be worth more in their current state. If you believe that you may have a valuable silver coin, a coin shop or appraiser can help you understand the value of your coin before you sell it. 

These are some common silver coins in the United States and their value based on current silver prices as of September 15, 2022:

Morgan Dollars$14.97
Peace Dollars$14.97
Liberty Head (Barber) Half-Dollars$6.99
Walking Liberty Half-Dollars$6.99
Franklin Half-Dollars$6.99
Kennedy Half-Dollars$2.86
Liberty Head (Barber) Quarters$3.50
Standing Liberty Quarters$3.50
Washington Quarters$3.50
Liberty Head (Barber) Dimes$1.40
Winged Liberty Head (Mercury) Dimes$1.40

What half dollars are worth money?

Any half dollar minted before 1965 will contain 90% silver. This includes the 1964 Kennedy half dollar, the Franklin half dollar (1948-1963), the Walking Liberty half dollar (1916-1947), Barber/Liberty Head half dollars (1892-1916), and older coins. These coins each contain 0.36169 ounces of silver, making them worth a little over $6.57 (per September 2022 prices)

Kennedy half dollars minted between 1965 and 1970 contain 40% silver, or 0.1479 ounces, worth about $2.97.

Newer half dollars in circulation do not contain silver.

Of course, any half dollar that is in particularly good condition, or which is rare, can fetch many times the value of its silver content. It's important to check with numismatist guides to understand if you have a rare coin or not.

What silver coins are worth money?

Any silver coin minted before 1965 contains a significant amount of silver and holds an intrinsic value due to that silver content.

The following coins contain a large amount of silver by content:

  • Morgan Dollars (90% silver)
  • Peace Dollars (90% silver)
  • Flowing Hair Silver Dollars (90% silver)
  • Draped Bust Silver Dollars (90% silver)
  • Gobrecht Silver Dollars (90% silver)
  • Seated Liberty Silver Dollars (90% silver)
  • Silver Trade Dollars (90% silver)
  • Barber/Liberty Head Half Dollars (90% silver)
  • Walking Liberty Half Dollars (90% silver)
  • Franklin Half Dollars (90% silver)
  • 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars (90% silver)
  • 1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollars (40% silver)
  • Liberty Head/Barber Quarters (90% silver)
  • Standing Liberty Quarters (90% silver)
  • 1932, 1934-1964 Washington Quarters (90% silver)
  • Liberty Head/Barber Dimes (90% silver)
  • Winged Liberty Head/Mercury Dimes (90% silver)
  • 1946-1964 Roosevelt Dimes (90% silver)

How much is a buffalo head nickel worth?

Buffalo Nickels were first minted in 1913, and were replaced by the current design in 1938. Buffalo coins have some unusual and interesting anomalies, including some with three-legged buffalos, a notable lack of mint date and varying designs that are often forged and also add much value:

  • 1913-S Type 2
  • 1916/16 (doubled die variety)
  • 1918-D 8 over 7 (doubled die variety)
  • 1921-S
  • 1924-S
  • 1926-S
  • 1937-D Three legged Buffalo

Buffalo nickels can fetch dozens to tens of thousands of dollars. Expert coin collector James Bucki elaborates on how buffalo nickels are graded and priced.

Where to sell old silver coins

Before you try to sell your silver coins, first determine whether or not the coin has any value as a collectible. This post on what to do with an inherited coin collection is a good place to start.

Who buys silver coins?

If you have found that your coin is indeed worth more than a few cents, you may want to seek out a dealer, collector, or auction house to maximize your profits:

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If not, your profit will be limited to the value of the silver content of the coin. You will need to determine the purity of the metal and the weight of the piece.

Once you have this information, you can determine the fair value of your coin and find a buyer, like CashforSilverUSA.com, our top recommendation for selling silver online.

Silver coins can also be sold to pawn shops, silver exchanges, and silver buyers, each of which will give you cash in exchange for your coins (based on the weight of the coin) and then proceed to melt them down.

How pawnbrokers work and where to find a local pawn shop

Who buys junk silver coins?

Junk silver coins can be sold for their scrap silver value — in other words, the value of the raw silver they contain — to a metal buyer like CashforSilverUSA.

As of , the silver resale value in the United States was at $ per ounce, or $ per gram.

Best place to sell silver coins: CashforSilverUSA

Our No. 1 recommendation is CashforSilverUSA (CashforGoldUSA’s sister site), with high customer service reviews, guaranteed highest price and a 10% bonus if you send in your item within 24 hours of receiving the free FedEx mailer.

Here is why we recommend CashforSilverUSA over other silver buyers:

  • A Fox Business News investigation found their parent company pays its 3X competitors
  • Pay within 24 hours
  • A+ Better Business Bureau rating.
  • Each shipment can be insured up to $100,000 by Jeweler's Mutual insurance
  • CashforSilverUSA's facility is insured by Lloyds of London
  • Guaranteed highest price for your silver and gold jewelry, coins, silverware, diamonds and dental scrap
  • Paid out more than $164 million to sellers since being founded in 2004
  • Get a USPS or FedEx mailer sent to and picked up from your door — 100% free

Here is how to sell your silver coins online:

  1. Visit CashforSilverUSA.com and fill out a form requesting a prepaid mailer be sent to you, free of charge. 
  2. Place your items inside the mailer and send it back to CashforSilverUSA. You can have the mailer picked up at your door.
  3. Your items will be appraised within 24 hours of receipt, and you’ll be sent an offer.
  4. If you accept the offer, you’ll be paid by either check, bank wire, or PayPal — within 24 hours after accepting the offer.
  5. If you don’t accept the offer, your item will be returned to you 100% free of charge.

Frequently asked questions about silver coins

What is considered junk silver?

Junk silver is a term used to describe a silver coin that has no value as a collectible. Junk silver coins are worth more than their face value due to their silver content, but do not have any additional historical, collectors, or antique value. Junk silver coins are often melted down and sold.

How much are scrap silver coins worth?

A scrap silver coin with no collectible value is worth its silver content. To determine that value, you will need to:

  1. Determine the silver content of the coin.
  2. Determine the weight of the coin (in ounces).
  3. Multiple that weight by the current price of silver (in ounces).

Learn more about the value of your scrap silver and how to sell it for the highest price.

Do banks buy silver coins?

If you have silver coins and want to sell them for the value of their silver, a bank is likely not to be a good choice. Most banks will only give you the face value of whatever coins you turn in, regardless of their metal content. So, a silver nickel would be worth 5 cents, for example. An online buyer, such as CashforSilverUSA, is likely to be a better option. 

Get started selling your silver coins for cash within 24 hours with CashforSilver now >>

Learn more about selling silver flatware near you.

What is the value of silver coins?

The value of a silver coin is dependent on its rarity, grade, and desirability as a collectible. If it is not worth much as a collectible, then its value is based on its silver content. This value can be significantly higher than the coin’s face value, depending on the current price of silver.

Do banks buy silver coins?

If you have silver coins and want to sell them for the value of their silver, a bank is likely not to be a good choice. Most banks will only give you the face value of whatever coins you turn in.

What is considered junk silver?

Junk silver is a term used to describe a silver coin that has no value as a collectible.

What silver coins are worth money?

Any silver coin minted before 1965 contains a significant amount of silver and hold an intrinsic value due to that silver content.

How much silver coins worth?

How much silver coins are worth is dependent on its rarity, grade, and desirability as a collectible. If it is not worth much as a collectible, then its value is based on its silver content. This value can be significantly higher than the coin’s face value, depending on the current price of silver.

Who buys silver coins?

If you have found that your coin is indeed worth more than a few cents, you may want to seek out a dealer, collector, auction house, or online silver buyer to maximize your profits. If not, your profit will be limited to the value of the silver content of the coin.

Who buys junk silver coins?

Junk silver coins can be sold for their scrap silver value — in other words, the value of the raw silver they contain — to a metal buyer like CashforSilverUSA.

How much is a silver dollar worth?

Silver dollars will often sell to collectors for at least $20 a piece. Rarer silver dollars can sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars, with exceptionally rare specimens going for millions.

What silver dollars are worth money?

As a general rule of thumb, any silver dollar minted before 1965 will contain 90% silver, or about 0.78 troy ounces of silver.

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

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