Prepper’s Guide to Junk Silver

In the event of a crisis, disaster or collapse of the financial system as we know it, there will be a need for some form of currency as a means of economic exchange and barter.

Buying junk silver coins is a way to put aside some fiat outside of banking system. You can think of it either as hedge against inflation or for being ready for some other economic instability. For preppers it is being ready in case a calamity occurs.

Once you’ve satisfied all of your other prepping needs, such as food, water, ammo and shelter, having a supply of precious metals, especially fractional silver, is something to consider.

Fractional silver bullion comes with some of the highest premiums you’ll find in precious metals. However, dealers will price junk silver with the some of lowest premiums over silver spot price. This makes junk silver the best way of adding fractional silver to your preps.

Why Junk Silver?

Precious metals have been used as a form of currency and exchange for thousands of years. There is intrinsic value in precious metals. Having precious metals as part of your preps is a way for you to store wealth outside of the traditional banking system.

Gold can be useful for large transactions. It is also a great way of storing wealth for long periods of time. Silver is more practical for everyday transactions. Having silver bullion in bars, rounds or even Silver Eagle coins is practical.

One problem with silver bullion is the burden of proving that it is authentic. There are so many variations of silver bullion. Having ways to assay it aren’t always simple or easy in everyday dealings.

Silver coins, like 90% Junk Silver, are very recognizable. The coinage is familiar to many people. It is easy to authenticate visually or by listening to the sound it makes compared to clad coins.

What kinds of Junk Silver coins are best?

Junk silver dimes, quarters and half-dollars that were minted before 1965 are going to be the best coins for prepping. They were minted from an alloy containing 90% silver and 10% copper. They are widely recognizable and easy to identify.

Jefferson “War” Nickels were minted with an alloy made from 35% silver. Some may find this appealing. However, these can be more difficult to distinguish between common older Jefferson Nickels for those that are less familiar.

Kennedy half dollar coins that were minted from 1965 to 1970 have 40% silver content. These can be useful, but are less practical than stacking just 90% silver.

How to store junk silver coins?

Junk silver coins don’t need any special conditions for storage. These coins were minted for circulation. Some may tarnish over time. Some may have dirt and grime. These are normal for junk silver coins. There’s no need to clean them or have much to worry about storing them alongside your other preps.

Silver dimes, quarters and half-dollars can be put in standard bank rolls for better organization. There are also plastic storage tubes that are easy to find.

Often when you buy junk silver from local coin shops or online dealers, the coins will come in plastic or canvas bags. These are also a convenient means of storage.

Where to Buy Junk Silver Coins?

You can buy junk silver coins from any reputable online silver dealer. Another great place is from a local coin shop or pawn shop if you have one in your area.

When you buy junk silver it is important to understand a few things. The first is to know the spot price of silver ahead of time. The price of silver, even 90% junk silver coins, follows the spot price of silver.

Each $1 in face value contains .715 troy ounces of silver when dealing with quarters, dimes and half-dollars that are 90% silver. It’s fairly easy to understand the value of each $1 face value by multiplying the silver spot price by .715.

For example, if the spot price of silver is $20 per troy ounce, each $1 face value will have a melt value of $14.30. It is normal to expect to pay a small premium over the melt value for junk silver.

Getting Junk Silver for Free

Some people have decent luck finding junk silver mixed into bank rolls. The practice of searching through bank rolls for junk silver is call “Coin Roll Hunting”. You can go to banks in your area and buy boxes of rolled coins for face value.

As you unwrap each roll, pay special attention to the rims of the coins. When you find silver coins they will not show any signs of the copper core that is found in clad coins.

After searching through all the rolls you can return the coins to the bank and exchange for more. Some banks may require you to order boxes of rolled coins ahead of time, others may have them on hand.

You can find videos on YouTube about coin roll hunting to learn more about this.