Buying Junk Silver Tips
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Above: Typical example of Junk Silver Coins:
USA 90% silver "Walking Liberty" Half Dollars.
Worth around $13 each in Feb. 2012
1) First things first; in order to be successful at buying and selling junk silver, you have to be fairly good with the numbers. You need to be able to calculate the actual silver value of your coins, based on the coin weight, the spot price and the purity of silver in the coin. Also, don't forget that silver prices are quoted in troy ounces.
2) Many bullion dealers hold orders for a few days as an additional safeguard against fraudulent transactions. In some cases this varies depending on the payment method; you may have to wait as much as ten business days for your order to process. I recently ordered from one bullion dealer by check, and was subject to a ten-business-day hold; their standard procedure for check purchase. It was over 20 days before I finally received my coins.
3) The denominations of USA silver dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars, also UK and some other countries' old silver coins, were calculated proportionally to the amount of silver they contained. This is really handy for the junk silver coin buyer - because you can buy a mixed denomination bag and so long as the face value adds up to the same amount (and the coins are all 90% silver!), the amount of silver you have is the same. For example a $1000 face value bag of 90% US silver coins contains 715 ozt of silver, regardless of whether the bag contains, dimes, quarters, halves or any combination of them.
4) Many bullion traders have an additional fee for credit card use - usually around 3%. This is typically phrased as a "discount for cash purchase".... whichever way you want to see it is up to you!
5) Bullion dealers will usually ship using a method that requires a signature form the recipient - especially with larger orders.
6) The best price for junk silver will vary depending on several factors, so it is impossible to say right off the bat who is the cheapest. The amount ordered, the payment method, the price breaks on shipping cost and the "price in relation to spot" will vary from seller to seller. If you are keen to get the best price, the best way is to decide first on the size of your order, and then call around for a total quote including shipping. Tell them you are calling around and are looking for the best price with a view to an immediate purchase. You may also be able to cut a better deal this way, as traders are keen for your business and may just have a little extra room to play - especially on large orders. Informing them in this manner that you are shopping around, will encourage them to do what they can to get your business.
It's either that or purchase online - which means that you will need to read the small print and make sure you've accounted for everything in the final tally - and typically online dealers require you to fill in the forms before the final figure is quoted.
7) Half-dollars are usually slightly more expensive than dimes or quarters. When they were first minted, a $1000 bag of 90% junk silver coins would have contained 723 troy ounces of silver, however owing to gradual wear and tear from ordinary use, a bag of 90% silver dimes or quarters will yield about 715 ounces. A $100 bag of half-dollar coins will yield around 718-720 ounces of pure silver - and the amount is greater because half-dollars were not circulated as heavily.
Please note - please be aware that buying and selling bullion items is highly speculative and there are of course substantial financial risks. This web site is not investment advice and we do not make any actual recommendations.