Buy Junk? by Bob Rinear – The International Forecaster
I’m not against junk, it has its place. If you’re one that collects change in a jar or coffee can and then cashes them in ever 6 or 8 months, do yourself a favor and take 20 minutes and see if you’ve got any Pre 1970 and especially pre 1965 coins. If you do, you just hit a little jackpot.
Have you ever heard the term “Junk” Silver? That’s the commonly used name for US coins that were produced back when Uncle Sam had some integrity, and put real silver in our dimes, quarters, half dollars, etc. Well, it’s not junk and for a couple reasons.
Any dime, quarter, or half dollar minted before 1965 is 90% silver, and 10% copper. Then after the coinage act, 1965 – 70 minted coins only had 40% silver. After that? Now that’s true junk. Our coins are a mix of base metals, but nothing precious in them. They’re only “worth” what Uncle Sam says they are.
So, it’s a common thing for people to buy or look for Junk silver. The question is, is it a good idea or not? The answer is yes, very much so. Let me explain:
As you all know I’m a big fan of gold and silver. Most people have gotten bored of it because it’s been suppressed for so many years. But one of the “downsides” to say only having silver rounds, or gold Eagles is that you really don’t want to “spend” them until you have to. So a lot of people tend to think of silver Eagles as a bit of a rip off, because the face value of a silver eagle is, drum roll, ONE lousy dollar. But with rounds it’s even worse. They’re not legal tender. They aren’t money at all.
That’s right folks. That one ounce of pure silver is probably worth 18 bucks per coin, but as legal tender, it’s only worth a buck if it’s an eagle, and NOTHING if it’s a “round”. So naturally you don’t want to “spend” your silver Eagles or rounds unless there’s a situation that warrants it.
Well it’s the same with “junk” silver, but with a significant twist. For instance, if you take a lowly dime that was minted in say 1963, the silver content of that dime is actually worth about $1.10 – 1.20 right now. That’s 1,100% more than the face value! So like our Eagles above, you wouldn’t want to spend your dime, because you’re losing out on a buck for every one you spend as ten cents.
But what if the unthinkable happened and for some reason, Silver went back to say it’s price in 2000-01 at around 4 bucks or even less. Or worse, let’s say for some ungodly reason silver went to a buck. Well, the Silver Eagle you bought for 15, 16, 17, `18, 20…is now only worth a buck and you’ve lost the lions share of your investment.
But with junk coins, silver could go to Zero, but you’d still have the “face value” of the coins. That right there is the significant part of junk silver. No matter what happens to silver’s price, you always have the face value of the coin. For some investors, that gives them some form of peace of mind.
NOTE>> This is often true when the mint decides to do a run of say quarters. In 1997 they decided to do a run of quarters with the 50 states on them. Some people would buy ( exchange regular quarters) for the State quarters. Often people would bid them up on Ebay to finish off a collection, etc. But no matter what, even if the quarter didn’t appreciate, it was still worth a quarter. No they don’t have any silver or anything else in them, but again, some people paid premiums for them as collectibles.
However, I don’t really like junk silver because of the fact that it will always have a face value. No, I like junk silver because I get a kick out of trying to find it. Think about it folks. If I have a dollar, and you have 4 Pre 1965 quarters, I could request your quarters for my dollar. If you go along with the deal, I just made a fantastic score! I got 4 quarters with 90% pure silver in them.