Silver You Didn't Know You Had.

Discussion in 'Money, Investing & Precious Metals' started by Canadian, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    Smithy posted a link to his website in one of the threads. It shows a stack of coins being put into a forge and welded together. This reminded me of a good way to get your hands on silver for investment purposes.

    American and Canadian coins - with the exceptions of pennies and nickels - contain large amounts of silver if they were minted before the late 1960's.

    The actual "melt value" of the coins is many times greater than the face value. For example a 1964 United States Quarter ($.25) is worth $1.95 if you melt it down into silver.

    One "roll" of quaters ($10.00) face value is actually worth $78.00. A lot of these old coins are just sitting around people's houses in old jars and cans.

    An easy way to test if a coin has silver in it is to pass a magnet over it. If the coin jumps up and sticks to the magnet it has no silver. If it stays put it has lots of silver. If it hangs off the magnet limply it has a small amount of silver. Some Canadian coins at the end of the 1960's were still minted with a small amount of silver in them.

    We all have older relatives that have cans full of old coins hanging around the house. Offer to roll up grandma and grandpas coins. Offer to pay them face value for the coins. Bring a magnet and roll up the silver separate from the normal stuff. Take the normal stuff to the bank. Pay grandma and grandpa the face value in bills. Keep the silver. They we're never going to spend the coins anyway and they are not collectors. They just didn't bother to roll the coins for forty years.

    Also visit your local coin shop and ask what years of coin are worth more. I've found several "special" old coins that were worth a lot of money. Super old pennies from the 1900's and even oddball collector coins like aluminum nazi coins from 1940's germany. Passing the magnet will not sift out special collector coins. You need to inspect each one by hand for that.

    Once you have your silver you have to find a person willing to melt the coins down into 1 oz slips or a large brick. This is the hard part. This is very illegal. The federal government will throw you in jail for destroying currency. I have a connection who buys the silver coins off me and then re sells it to a melter. I don't get the full value of the silver but I have no other choice. Nobody else is willing to risk going to jail.

    He pays me about half the melt value of the coins. I was at my folks the other day and found a can of 1960's currency. I asked if I could roll it up for them. They looked at the can and said. "Take it and buy yourself some pop or something." I have not gone through the can yet but there's probably about $40.00 worth of silver in there.
     
  2. Jerseyzuks

    Jerseyzuks Well-Known Member

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    The only American coin that I know of that is will stick to a magnet is a 1943 Steel penny. The feds needed the copper for bullets for WWII, so the penny was made from steel.

    It is not illegal in the USA to destroy coins. It is only illegal to alter them for fraudulent purposes
     

  3. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    I guess things might be different in the U.S.A. but since I live in Canada I'm just going by what I'm used to. The fact remains that old coins are a great source of silver and an be easily obtained.

    Peace!
     
  4. dunappy

    dunappy Well-Known Member

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  5. endurance

    endurance Well-Known Member

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    Nevertheless, I'm always keeping my eyes pealed for pre-1964 dimes and quarters. So far I've been looking for about eight years and found two dimes. What's an easier find is pre-1984 pennies, which are pure copper, rather than zinc coated with copper. While not legal to melt now, there may come a time when these pennies far exceed their face value, so I'm saving mine.
     
  6. O6nop

    O6nop Active Member

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    Actually, it's pre-1982 pennies that are mostly copper, and midway thru '82 they started making them from zinc.
    You can tell by the weight if you want to go to the trouble.
    3.1 grams for the 1909-1982 copper cent,
    2.5 grams for the 1982-2008 zinc cent.
     
  7. Magus

    Magus Scavenger deluxe

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  8. endurance

    endurance Well-Known Member

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    ooops, double post, sorry, Please delete.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  9. endurance

    endurance Well-Known Member

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    Oops, good catch. Yep, I can tell just by looking usually, as the zinc pennies tend to tarnish slightly differently and the impression appears slightly deeper on the copper than the zinc. My eyes are too old to actually read the dates anymore.
     
  10. AgentFlounder

    AgentFlounder fan of analysis

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    So not only is it illegal, but by swindling grandma and grandpa it's immoral too. Neat.
     
  11. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    Flounder - Well you can always wait until grandma and grandpa die and inherit the cans or jars full of space change. Let's face it - someone might as well get some use out of the stuff. If you really feel bad you can just give the full value to them. If you just ask them for it they'll probably hand it over. They're not doing anything with it. Besides your grandparents love you. They'll do it just to make you smile.
     
  12. AgentFlounder

    AgentFlounder fan of analysis

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    I think that's the better approach -- tell them the whole tale before asking.
     
  13. HotLead

    HotLead Guest

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    Canadian coins were made out of pure nickel since the silver was taken out in 1968, but US coins have been a copper core with a copper/nickel outer layers, since 1965. Nothing in them is magnetic.

    Why would I want to take an item of KNOWN purity and weight that is traded daily any place in the US, even on the commodities market, and melt it into a slug that I would have to guess at? 90% coins have been trading at a premium over face value for several months, while a lump would have to re-refined.

    Melting silver coins has NOT been illegal since 1969 in the US. They did pass a law a while back about melting pennies and nickels, but nothing in that changed melting silver coins.

    I will pay you full melt value for 1964 and earlier US coins in undamaged condition. So will anyone else that knows the market today. A melted together lump - quite a bit less.

    HL
     
  14. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    instead of melting them down you might want to actually take them to a coin vendor first, I got $6 each for some 1960s quarters... of course if you take more than a dozen in @ a time to the same vendor s/he just might balk - so my advice would be to goto several different coin shops. This is viable if you live near a large metro area, but not-so-much if you live in a more rural setting. Also, every flea-market I have ever gone to has had a coin collector/seller that would help you appraise the coins even if they won't buy them.

    As an easy conversion rule of thumb, divide the price of silver by 6 for a rough metal value of a common-date quarter.

    so... if silver is $10.50/oz. a quarter is worth $1.75 for the metal
     
  15. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    Hot Lead - I'm going by Canadian laws since that's where I am. It's also not a "lump" it's actual bullion. It's is also melted to 100% purity. The 1960's common currency is just that - common. As such it has no numistic value. It's worth more melted that it is intact. Also anyone paying full met value is not making any money on the transaction. You can't stay in business without a little margin. Go sell some silver or gold to a dealer. They'll do business at 3% less the daily fix - they need margin to stay in business.
     
  16. O6nop

    O6nop Active Member

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    A friend of mine showed me a good website when he was trying to illustrate the copper value in pennies. I found this as a convenient way to check values of silver coins (meltdown values) in my 'stash' and what I might feel safe as purchase prices. Check it out here.
     
  17. SASSGlock2

    SASSGlock2 New Member

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    At this point in time, melting down or selling or "junk" silver coins is a poor bet. Keep them to use in coming times or extreme inflation or for barter after a societal breakdown.
     
  18. O6nop

    O6nop Active Member

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    I agree, now is not the time to get rid of them and melting them down yourself is not recommended, however, purchasing them is not such a bad idea. It appears that any silver (or gold) purchase is a good idea.The website gives you an idea of the values of these 'junk' coins.
     
  19. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    Doing a proper melt is the best bet. Selling or bartering the silver means knowing the exact amount of silver in every coin. If you don't have access to electricity or the internet you'll have no way to value the coins. If you melt it into 1 oz blocks of 100% pure silver you will always be able to barter it becuase the exact value can always be calculated.

    That is why bullion is always taken over coinage. The exact value, content, and purity are always known. A pile off coins is pretty much random. Nobody will be able to determine the exact value.
     
  20. O6nop

    O6nop Active Member

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    Would you be willing to buy or barter for a block of metal with no kind of marking on it that someone claims that they melted from silver? How can you determine that that melted down ounce is silver and not a combination of metals? Would you expect someone to trust you that you have a pure silver bar?
    Coins, especially U.S. and Canadian, are well documented as to the silver content, as illustrated by the website. But if you don't have Internet access, then any coin book will tell you the values. You don't need a computer, paper pencil and a notebook (remember those things?) would be all you need.

    Can't argue with that...
    Bullion is probably better to own, but coinage is available and affordable - as long as you stay away from numismatic values.
    Random??? like I said, silver content of coins is already known and documented, by the dates.

    I would not melt down anything, coin or jewelry, where the silver content is already known, into something that can't easily be verified.