Junk Silver Coins


At West Michigan Jewelry Exchange, we buy all kinds of silver coins. Before 1964, the US minted its coins primarily using 90% silver and 10% copper. Collectors can determine if a coin contains silver by focusing on the coin’s rim. If the rim is silvered, then the coin has 90% silver. If the rim has a copper color, then it doesn’t have silver in it.

junk silver


90% silver

90% silver(Junk Silver) is both a fading remnant of American History and a powerful influence in the silver market today! Investors are drawn to the 90 percent silver coins because they contain a large amount of silver and are duly recognised as US coinage. Amongst these 90 percent silver coins are the Morgan Silver Dollar, Peace Silver Dollar, Barber Series (Dime, Quarter, and Half Dollar), Franklin Half Dollar, Washington Quarter, Mercury and Roosevelt Dimes and the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars.


All good things must eventually come to an end. That was the case for the 90% silver coins. In 1965, the U.S. Mint tried to reduce production costs by switching out the beloved 90% silver for 40%. The main series this change impacted most severely was the brand-new Kennedy Half Dollars. The only Kennedy Half Dollars featuring a 90% silver purity were those minted in the first years of issue (1964). From 1965–1969, the Kennedy Half Dollars’ silver content dropped to 40%, and their popularity gradually declined.

40% silver
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