Up through (and including) 1964, circulating US dimes, quarters, half dollars and silver dollars were made of 90% silver and 10% copper, meaning they were just “pocket change” (production of 90% silver dollars had actually ended in 1935). When silver started to rise in value, the cost of buying the metal to make coins from caused the US government to change the composition of dimes and quarters to a copper-nickel alloy beginning in 1965, but they continued producing Kennedy Half Dollars with a reduced silver content of 40% from 1965 to 1970. This reduction or elimination of silver from our circulating coinage made the pre-1965 90% junk silver coins immediately collectible, and they were plucked out of circulation and saved by smart Americans who recognized their great investment potential.
We highly recommend that people own junk silver coins for several reasons:
- Since they were minted by the US Mint for the purpose of being money, it seems unlikely that the government would have any legal standing to confiscate them (gold bullion was confiscated by the US government via an Executive Order in 1933).
- Unlike generic silver bars or rounds which are sometimes counterfeited, the chances of someone counterfeiting a 1964 silver quarter is highly unlikely. This gives junk silver coins a level of liquidity not usually found in such a low premium precious metal item.
- If the US economy collapses and people resort to using silver and gold for bartering purposes, not only will the demand for physical metals soar because everyone will need it (which will also send prices rocketing skyward), the supply could potentially dry up overnight as people will likely hoard it. If metals prices skyrocket, having very small denomination coins like 90% silver dimes or quarters will be much easier to barter with for daily needs such as groceries, gas in the car, lunches, etc.