Coin collecting, also known as numismatics, is a popular hobby. If you or a family member have enjoyed it and amassed a collection of coins, you might be wondering what the value of your silver coins is today. Most silver coins minted before 1965 were made from 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. For that reason, they're considered junk silver, and you can determine their value by weight. That being said, you might have rare coins in your collection that would be worth more if sold to another collector.
Consider also: The Best Way to Invest in Silver
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Calculate How Much Silver You Have
Many people assume that just because a coin is old or made from silver, it must be valuable. Most types of silver coins are worth their weight in silver that corresponds directly to their minted value, which you can use to determine sterling silver coin values or silver dime values. However, most of them aren't worth more than their weight. Therefore, the first step to calculating their worth is to add up their value in terms of currency. Count and add your coins as you would any others, excluding pennies and nickels, as the minters did not typically make those from silver.
Once you have the total dollar value of the coins, multiply that by 0.715. The figure you have at the end of that calculation is the amount of silver in troy ounces you have in your possession. That figure accounts for the wear and tear of the coins over time and their copper content.
Calculate Silver Coins Value Per Ounce
For measuring precious metals, including silver, experts typically use a unit of measurement called a troy ounce. It is very close to a regular ounce, weighing in at about 1.097 traditional ounces. Like all precious metals and commodities, the value of silver varies over time. Global supply and demand are the primary factors in its value. The Nasdaq is one of the most reliable places to find today's value of silver. They also provide historical data and trends so you can study trends and find the best time to sell your silver.
Because experts use the troy ounce to measure the price of silver, you always have to calculate the amount of silver you have in troy ounces first. After you calculate the total troy ounces of silver in your collection, you can multiply your total number of troy ounces by the Nasdaq price of silver to figure out the total worth of your collection.
Consider also: What Affects the Price of Silver?
Determine Whether You Have Any Rare Coins
Of course, calculating the price of silver doesn't tell you anything about the collectors' value of vintage coins. To determine whether you have any rare coins in your collection, you have to look them up one at a time. You can use the Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS) to do that.
There are a few helpful rules of thumb to follow when sorting the coins that can help you find the ones that might be worth more than their face value or weight in silver. If the coin was minted at any point before 1940, it probably has some collectors' value. When determining how much value a coin may have to a collector, you also need to pay attention to the coin's condition. If it is in excellent condition, it might be worth trying to sell it separately or even hanging onto it and letting it amass more value over time. Getting a casing or some other method of protecting the coin can help it retain its pristine condition longer.
Finally, some coins are part of rare mints. Mints are stamped on the coins and denoted by a small letter. It takes some expertise to familiarize yourself with mints, and the PCGS guide can help with that process.
Consider also: How to Determine the Real Value of Old Silver Dollars