Silver Coin Values Explode to 31-Year Highs

by CoinNews.net on March 6, 2011 · 0 comments

silver coinsU.S. silver prices on Friday soared to $35.33 an ounce, bringing silver coin values to 31-year highs in the process.

Silver rose nearly 84% last year, but it was down for most of 2011 until Middle East tensions sparked investor buying and lifted silver prices to new heights. The metal is already 14.2% higher this year and has doubled in price over the past 12 months.

In coin terms, a Washington quarter struck for circulation in 1964 now has a melt value of $6.39 since it is composed partly of silver. In contrast, go one and two years back and that same 25-cent piece had melt values of $3.11 and $2.33, respectively.

The 1964 quarter is one of several very common 90 percent silver coins produced by the United States Mint for everyday circulation. All of them have seen their intrinsic coin values explode in recent years, as highlighted in the following table:

Silver Coin Melt Values

Silver Coin Coin Values
(Silver at $12.90 on March 4,
2009)
Coin Values
(Silver at $17.18 on March 4,
2010)
Coin Values
(Silver at $35.33 on March 4,
2011)
1942-1945 Jefferson Nickel $0.73 $0.97 $1.99
1916-1945 Mercury Dime $0.93 $1.24 $2.56
1946-1964 Roosevelt Dime $0.93 $1.24 $2.56
1932-1964 Washington Quarter $2.33 $3.11 $6.39
1916-1947 Walking Liberty Half Dollar $4.67 $6.21 $12.78
1948-1963 Franklin Half Dollar $4.67 $6.21 $12.78
1964 Kennedy Half Dollar $4.67 $6.21 $12.78
1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollar $1.91 $2.54 $5.23
1878-1921 Morgan Dollar $9.98 $13.29 $27.33
1921-1935 Peace Dollar $9.98 $13.29 $27.33
1971-1976 Silver Eisenhower Dollars $4.08 $5.43 $11.17

The silver prices used are the closing prices in New York on the dates provided.

U.S. coins minted before 1965 contain 90 percent silver. Taking wear and tear into the equation, that means $10 worth of pre-1965 coins include more than 7 ounces of silver. Or, $1.40 of the coins contain about one ounce of silver. (See the silver coin calculator.)

Melt values for modern United States Mint silver coins and sets have jumped to levels that make their prices more palatable. As an example, the 2010 Silver Proof Set which contains 90 percent silver coins (Kennedy half dollar, the four quarters, and the dime) had a melt value of nearly $25.50 when it was released. Based on Friday’s silver price, each set is now up to $47.28, or $9.67 less than its current listing price of $56.95. The $67.95 price of the 2011 Silver Proof Set now has a smaller $20.67 premium over its melt value. The best deal is the 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set. It is listed for $32.95 and contains $31.95 worth of silver.

The following table shows how melt values have changed for modern US Mint silver coins and sets between their issue date and Friday.

Melt Values for Modern Silver Coins and Sets

Silver Coin or Set Issue Date US Mint Price Coin Values
on Issue Date
Coin Values
on March 4,
2011
2011 Medal of Honor Silver Dollar Uncirculated Feb. 25, 2011 $49.95 $25.45 $27.33
2011 Medal of Honor Silver Dollar Proof Feb. 25, 2011 $54.95
2011 Army Silver Dollar Uncirculated Jan. 31, 2011 $49.95 $21.79
2011 Army Silver Dollar Proof Jan. 31, 2011 $54.95
2011 Silver Proof Set Jan. 25, 2011 $67.95 $35.88 $47.28
2011 American Silver Eagle Jan. 3, 2011 n/a $31.13 $35.33
2010 ATB Silver Quarters May 27, 2010 $32.95 $16.70 $31.95
2010 Silver Proof Set Aug. 26, 2010 $56.95 $25.40 $47.28
(1) 2010 ATB Silver Coin Dec. 10, 2010     $176.65
2010 Boy Scouts Silver Dollar Uncirculated Mar. 23, 2010 $35.95 $12.95 $27.33
2010 Boy Scouts Silver Dollar Proof Mar. 23, 2010 $43.95
2010 American Veterans Disabled for Life Uncirculated Feb. 25, 2010 $35.95 $12.48
2010 American Veterans Disabled for Life Silver Dollar Proof Feb. 25, 2010 $43.95

 

These coins and sets are obviously not purchased to melt down. Their true values are mostly dictated by their numismatic worth. However, secondary market prices for them fluctuate when there are large precious metal price swings.

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