Since humanity first developed coinage there have been silver coins in circulation around the world that featured some percentage of silver content. In the United States, circulation coins were issued with 90% silver content for nearly 130 years until silver prices got too high.
In 1836 the US Mint transitioned to a steady 90% silver, 10% copper mix. The US would continue to use this metallic mixture in its silver denominations until 1964. Countless examples of 90% silver coins from these denominations are still available today for purchase in bulk. In the modern era, these 90% silver coins have become an outlet for investors looking to grab silver in bulk.
When you shop for 90% silver you are bound to find the term “junk silver” associated with listings for these coins. After all, each coin has 90% silver by weight in its makeup. These types of coins are often called junk silver because they have no numismatic value as a collectible coin. Even though some of the coins have beautiful designs that collectors love, the fact that the coins were previously issued into circulation means that they have been worn in quality over time.
As you shop for 90% silver US coins, it’s important to understand the denominations and date range for coins that feature 90% silver content. Remember, the first 90% silver coins were issued with the debut of the Seated Liberty design in 1836 and were last issued in various denominations in 1964.
The following is a simple breakdown of the 90% US silver coin denominations and available designs in those denominations:
US Dime – Seated Liberty, Barber, Mercury, and Roosevelt Dime (through 1964 only).
US Quarter – Seated Liberty, Barber, Standing Liberty, and Washington Quarter (through 1964 only).
US Half Dollar – Seated Liberty, Barber, Walking Liberty, Benjamin Franklin, & Kennedy Half Dollar (through 1964 only).
US Dollar – Seated Liberty, Morgan, & Peace Dollar (last date mark 1935)
90% Junk Silver (Constitutional Silver)
Manufacturer: US Mint
Condition: Average Circulated
Actual Silver Weight: .715 dzt. per Dollar