How to Calculate the Value of Your Old U.S. Silver Coins

The Ben Franklin Half Dollar was minted from 1948-1963

1964 and older U.S. Silver Coins include Silver Dollars, Half Dollars, Quarters and Dimes. Their silver value is determined by multiplying the spot price of silver times the actual silver content of each type of coin.


Step 1

Walking Liberty Half Dollars were minted from 1916 thru 1947

U.S. 90% silver coins minted before 1964 include the Silver Dollar, Half Dollar, Quarter and Dime. The silver content of Dollars is .7736 ounce, Half Dollars have .3618 ounce silver, Quarters .1809 and Dimes .0724 ounces of silver.


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Step 2

Mercury Dime (1916-1945) with an Alaskan Gold Nugget

Find the spot price of silver. A good place is Click on metals and scroll down to the bottom and find the spot price for silver. Today it's about $17.50 per ounce. For purposes of illustration, a silver dollar would be worth $17.50 x .7736 = $13.58 dollars for silver content alone. Silver dollars also have numismatic value, so be sure and check the dates of all your coins before selling them for the spot price of silver. If you had six half dollars they would contain 6 x .3618 = 2.7108 ounces of silver at $17.50 = $47.425.


Step 3

You can calculate the value of any number of coins using the above values for each denomination times the number of coins times the spot price of silver. Pretty simple, huh?


When purchasing coins, try to get them in as good as condition as possible. Overly worn coins will have a slightly reduced silver content.


There were some 40% silver half dollars minted from 1965-1969, but all other U.S. coins after 1964 are nickle-coated copper.

Things You'll Need

  • An Up-to-Date Coin Guide is helpful.

  • Calculator