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Essential Investment Tips on Buying Junk Silver Coins

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By Glen Phillips

When it comes to silver investments, purchasing high grade silver coins at 99.9% purity is the go-to business but do you know that people who buy junk silver coins can also benefit from participating in the industry? Junk silver coins are those that have been minted prior to 1965 and contain 90% silver. While they are not as valuable as pure silver coins, the high percentage of silver in these coins still merits enough attention to be considered a worthy investment.

There is a wide selection of junk silver coins available, including Kennedy half dollars, silver dollars, Barber quarters and Mercury dimes, among others. To maximize your investment when you buy junk silver coins, consider these tips and thoughts.

1. Nothing can be done properly without some degree of knowledge. Going in blind will mean the possibility of buying the wrong type of silver coins, or wavering over whether or not you should complete a transaction. Someone could come and snatch up the junk silver coins if you show indecisiveness, and that would mean a lost opportunity for you. To assist you in your search look for U.S. minted coins minted in 1964 or earlier. If you concentrate on these silver coins, you'll have an easier time focusing on a long term investment plan instead of getting caught with too many unnecessary details.

2. To calculate the silver value of the coins that you have, you can multiply the silver content of each coin by the current spot price of silver. This goes back to limiting your junk silver coin collection until you become familiar with the market trends. For example, Kennedy half dollars contain 0.36169 ounces of silver while mercury dimes contain 0.07234 ounces. Suppose you decide to buy silver junk coins in the form of Kennedy half dollars and the market price of silver is $40 an ounce; this means that the silver value per coin is $14.47.

3. You will also notice once you start making the rounds that prices asked by coin dealers for junk silver coins are oftentimes quote as a multiple of the face value of the coin. Confused? It can certainly be a mind-bender for a beginner but let's run through an example: if a silver dime is quoted as selling for a multiple of 30 times its face value, this would mean a dime would be multiplied by 30 or 30 x 0.10 for $3.00. One tip would be to ask the coin dealer to explain his rate. If he has nothing to hide, he will explain it without hesitation.

4. Still on face value, it's common practice for dimes, quarters, and half dollars to have similar rates as a multiple of the face value of the coin. However, with silver dollars, the calculation changes. It increases. Thus, except for silver dollars, you will encounter the term "prevailing face value" for the junk silver coins.

5. Junk silver coins are generally sold in bulk. Junk silver coin bags are commonly sold in face value quantities of $100 up to $1,000. Going back to our previous example, this means that a $100 silver coin bag would sell for $3,000; whereas a $1,000 silver coin bag would require an investment of $30,000. Should the face value increase by even just 50 cents, you automatically earn a profit of $50 on your $100 investment or $500 on your $30,000 investment.

Finding the best coin dealer to work with means doing your research and not necessarily limiting your options to your local coin dealers. Go online, ask around, find auction sites, or coin buyers who are in the business of junk silver coins. Just be sure to be well armed after doing your homework, so that you can feel confident when you approach a coin dealer to buy junk silver coins as an investment.

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