Gads are we gonna start melting coins again???

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Lev99, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. Lev99

    Lev99 Member

    Hate to see melting coins to get market value again like a few years ago. Worried about "junk" bullion US and foreign. I think a lot of unknown or "worthless" varieties US and foreign will melt. :(

    Is there any good way to check coins before they go to the pot? Who gives coins their last rites, and how do they get there?
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Islander80-83

    Islander80-83 Well-Known Member

    I'm the one that checks and give my junk silver it's last rites before I sell them. I personally don't know if, when, how or why junk silver ever actually gets to the melting process.
    Stevearino and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  4. myownprivy

    myownprivy Well-Known Member

    My impression is that American junk is rarely ever melted in the United States. It's already, in effect, a hallmarked piece of silver. .715 per $1 face. We all know that. Melting it down creates only problems and loss. So it rarely happens.

    However, I would be worried in the United States about foreign junk silver being melted down for the opposite reasons of US junk not being melted.
    Omegaraptor, +VGO.DVCKS and Gilbert like this.
  5. bradgator2

    bradgator2 Well-Known Member

    What would be point of melting it?
  6. cladking

    cladking Coin Collector

    In '79 most melted coins went from coin shops to wholesalers. The dealer would give the coins a very cursory inspection and then tossed in the appropriate bucket. Obviously some stuff would be set aside to take a closer look at but most everything just got shipped. They'd pop the '32-D and S out of folders and the rest went.

    I'd be able to go through some of this stuff by offering a premium to melt but it all just went by fast and most of it was never checked. But I certainly sampled everything and can assure you that a very low proportion was much of note. There simply weren't BU rolls from the '30's and '40's nor non cull bust coinage. This was a small percentage of what was produced by the mint and good coins were a small percentage of it. In other words it was almost a non-event. A lot of great fabricated silver from the 19th and 20th century was melted but not coins.

    The melt going on in modern times is much more selective because it's in slow motion compared to '79. Of course even today there are some great coins but it's stuff that's hard to sell. Nobody wants to pay a premium on circ XF and better '43-P war nickels or XF mercs. Some things are just easier to melt than sell. If premiums remain high flows will ramp up again. No doubt business is ramping up quickly now but it will be muted by the virus and by the low price and lack of sellers.
    Stevearino likes this.
  7. Gilbert

    Gilbert Part time collector Supporter

    Back in the late 1970s I bought some 90% and sometimes found older coins included, including Seated Liberty dimes and quarters on occasion. I too believe that very little of the 90% have ever seen the melting pot. Like others have written, there is no point to that because it’s identity is known, by even those with little numismatic knowledge.
    Stevearino likes this.
  8. John Johnson

    John Johnson Well-Known Member

    Nooooo! I hope not. I hate to see pieces of history destroyed, regardless of numismatic value.
  9. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Because the smelters/refiners had customers needing 999 fine silver and the smelters need scrap material to refine, so they tend to pay more than buyers of 90% fine junk silver coin, and they are willing to buy more of it at one time.
    Stevearino, Lev99 and bradgator2 like this.
  10. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Supporter! Supporter

    In the past, I've purchase "junk" silver (cheaply) and have kept it as I enjoy the art of it, whether it is worth anything as a collectible. I hope others have done the same and past them down.
    +VGO.DVCKS, John Johnson and Gilbert like this.
  11. juris klavins

    juris klavins Well-Known Member

    Coin dealers pay about 66% of melt for sterling silver items and scrap 90% coins (worse than cull, i.e. bent, slick and damaged) - they turn around and sell to refiners for a bit more.
    I find that 1-2% of every bulk bag of circulated 90% silver coins I purchase are worse than cull - I put those aside for later sale to my local coin shop.
    Those uncollectable coins might sell for a bit more on eBay, but I will not sell mine there - unscrupulous sellers snatch up those otherwise useless coins and scatter them into bulk lots of 'junk silver' to boost their profits - (speaking of going to the pot, marijuana dealers have used the same trick forever - buy bulk sticks and seeds for a low price, then add them to their product to add weight, dilute purity and boost profits):cigar:
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
    Stevearino, Lev99 and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  12. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Many thanks for this post, and the whole thread. It was all news to me. Almost could make you nostalgic for the Vikings, with their remarkably sophisticated and wide-ranging trade network, despite having had a pre-monetary economy up to the end of the 10th century. (Thank you, with exceptions, notably in the English Danelaw.) Which is how you get the phenomenon of 'hacksilver,' in which silver coins and jewelry were cut into whatever weight that was called for in a given transaction. You can see this, mostly with jewelry, for instance, in the Cuerdale Hoard (UK). But the same thing happened with coins, especially in the east, from Kievan Rus' to Scandinavia. This wasn't the same thing as medieval English cut pennies; weight was effectively the only operant criterion.
    COINS, VIKING, SAMANID HALF DIRHAM, 'REV.'.jpg COINS, VIKING, SAMANID HALF DIRHAM, 'OBV.'.jpg Samanid dirham, from Muslim central Asia (centered in modern Afghanistan), c. early 10th century ACE.
    (That's all I know; help from someone who was literate would be cordially welcome. Except that the dealer, lubicher on US ebay, is in Estonia. Can't guarantee that was the find spot, but it's smack in the middle between Sweden and the northern part of Kievan Rus'. I found another one on UK ebay that had been found in Gloucester, and others --not many-- are recorded from York.)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
    Lev99 likes this.
  13. Lev99

    Lev99 Member

    @+VGO.DVCKS some crazy looking coins. Thanks for sharing.

    Seems a lot of discoveries are made in “average” coins. It wasn’t until the past 10-20 years that people even checked.

    I’ll have to start asking dealers where their melt pile is at.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  14. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    The brilliant thing about metal detecting, starting from the UK, is the level of responsibility that people who do this have demonstrated over the last small handful of decades.
    This is not your stereotypical American detectorist, trawling for college (or, God forbid, wedding) rings on the beach. In a best case --and they are legion-- detectorists are almost a 'fifth column' for archaeologists. Witness the number of major hoards that have been found there over the last few years. Here's only the latest example I've heard of:
    Right, specifically in the UK, there are little, mitigating details, like Treasure Trove Law. But that can't be the only factor. These people know what they're about.
  15. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    The treat of significant fines and extended prison sentences is hardly a mitigating detail. There's no higher morality about finds in the UK because of fear of a law and many still do hide it when the find is of significant value
    markr likes this.
  16. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    All true, of course; I've run into some of these people. But the sheer number of them who are legitimate, and really conscientiously so, is pretty remarkable. Just looking at the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the UK Detector Finds Database is an education.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page