Worst Junk Silver Coins???

Discussion in 'Bullion Investing' started by TheSilverpicker, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. Hi All,

    Many of you on this forum know me from my YouTube channel that deals with coin collecting and buying/selling precious metals for profit (if you don't know it you can check it out here).

    A few weeks ago I released a video on my top 5 picks for U.S. silver coins to invest in (you can see it here if you're curious). I am thinking about doing another similar video, but instead of best coins, I want to do "Top 5 WORST silver coins to invest in."

    So far these are the two coins on my list:
    1. War Nickels
    2. 10% silver Mexican Pesos

    I'd love your guys' expert input on what you think are the world's worst junk silver coins to invest in. Whether because they are small, have low silver content, are hard to re-sell or whatever, I'd love to hear your opinions.
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  3. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    40% Kennedy Halfs........
  4. FryDaddyJr

    FryDaddyJr Junior Member

    I don't like roosevelt dimes much, but war nickels and kennedys would be worse
  5. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    That's a good topic, especially if it includes discussion of why each is bad.

    A few points I've noticed, from my own experience and from discussions here, strictly limited to buying and selling in the US:

    Anything other than 90% US coinage or .999 silver tends to trade at a discount from spot silver price. Even sterling, which does contain more than 90% silver, trades at a discount. There are at least two reasons for this: first, 90% US coinage is easy to refine, because the other 10% is known to be copper. Sterling can have many other components, and getting them out is harder and more expensive. Second, 90% coinage is easy to buy and sell without refining it, and refining anything is always more expensive than not refining it.

    Foreign coinage trades at a discount to US coinage. Even Canadian silver, which is either .800 or .925, trades for less than an equivalent silver amount of US coinage. (This can be an advantage if you're knowledgeable enough to buy lots of foreign silver and cherry-pick key dates.)

    Smaller-denomination coins lose silver due to wear more quickly than large ones. A heavily-worn dollar or half might lose 5% or more of its weight, but a slick quarter can lose 10% or more, and a slick dime can lose up to 20%. You can come out ahead if you can buy worn coinage by weight and sell it by face value; you come out behind if you do it the other way around.

    Finally, people often argue here about "invest" versus "speculate". If you're buying silver on the assumption that its price will go up, you're speculating. If you're buying it and then selling it immediately for more than you paid -- for example, buying silver at a morning estate auction at 20% below spot, then selling it to a coin shop in the afternoon at 5% below spot -- that's something different. I'm not sure what I'd call it (beyond "flipping"), but it is definitely a way to make a profit.
    *coins, Paul M. and Eaglefawn like this.
  6. Nathan401

    Nathan401 Working like crazy to pay for the lazy Supporter

    :( I love 40%Kennedys. We give them to the kids to fill up their piggybanks.
  7. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    I don't understand why War Nickels would be on your list. The silver content is high.
  8. Nathan401

    Nathan401 Working like crazy to pay for the lazy Supporter

    FryDaddyJr likes this.
  9. rte

    rte Well-Known Member

    Don't forget to add that IF you can get them at face value it's always a good deal.
  10. Blissskr

    Blissskr Well-Known Member

    As @Nathan401 stated don't really consider 35% to be a high silver content. And I don't think any refiner is going to waste their time and money trying to extract that 35%. They also almost always sell at a discount to the silver value and very rarely can you even get melt for them. Makes much more sense to buy dimes if you're only buying a small amount at a time and then trade up later into other 90%.

    OP 40% Kennedy's though some people don't like them actually have a pretty large following and are easily liquid imo. I would add the Canadian coinage dimes/quarters of 67-68 though to your list.
  11. Gilbert

    Gilbert Part time collector Supporter

    War era nickels appeal to me - regardless of the silver content - so they would not be on my "worst junk silver" list. What would be on my list is anything that is not readily identifiable by me, such as Canadian or other country's coinage. This is my opinion as an American. If I was Canadian or some other nationality, that would probably not be the case.
    Nathan401 likes this.
  12. rrdavis

    rrdavis New Member

    I take exception to your dissing the Roosies, ..but the question itself of 'worst junk coin' itself is, well, ..just the worst coin question. What's a junk coin, anyway?

    Junk coins aren't 'collectable' coins in the first place. They're utility coinage currency. A Roosie dime is worth its weight in silver, is likely the most recognized if all dimes, and is also likely heavier than earlier circulated dimes having less wear on average so therefore more valuable than those damn, ugly old, creepy li' skinny near worthless Mercury's.

    Yeah.., buddy. Give me a shinny Roosie any day. Big ol'bags of 'em.
    Nathan401 likes this.
  13. FryDaddyJr

    FryDaddyJr Junior Member

    good for you. I like standing liberty halves quarters and mercs. Can't lose when you stack what you like
    *coins, Santinidollar and Nathan401 like this.
  14. Bman33

    Bman33 Well-Known Member

    I Coin Roll Hunt Halves and get a lot of 40%. They do tend to sell at a discount from melt but I have found that it is not too drastic. I sold 30 X Face of 40% at 97% melt to a dealer. At the time, silver was hot and the dealer wanted it. I have sold some at 90% melt too. To be careful in my silver inventory for projected sales I list that I can get 80% melt for it. There are people at my coin club that like it too. Don't know why, I would never purchase the stuff myself. Since I can't find silver quarters in Coin Roll Hunting I purchase those when I am in buying mode. Silver dimes too. Both those items are hot in my area and very liquid for getting melt value. If they are worn a little but still showing a date, people don't care about loosing a little of the content. I have a scale though and when I do make some junk purchases I will cherry pick and weight the dimes or quarters that meet the tolerances that I want. I would rather have a 64 Roosie not worn than a brown common Murc that was worn any day.
    Nathan401 likes this.
  15. Eaglefawn

    Eaglefawn Active Member

  16. Coolcoinz2014

    Coolcoinz2014 New Member

    I dislike Roosevelt dimes, because you usually get one per box if you find any at all. Besides being scarce, you need either good eyes or magnification to see those tiny dates. Washington quarters are low on my list too, because they never show up in boxes that I CRH.
  17. FryDaddyJr

    FryDaddyJr Junior Member

    morgans are turds. way over premium
  18. Brett_in_Sacto

    Brett_in_Sacto Well-Known Member

    We're not talking ease of hunting, but the coins themselves for bullion value.

    There are numerous German coins that are .500 silver and I believe some are even less.

    Early 1920's drei mark are .500 silver / aluminum.

    They're bulky, they corrode VERY easily, and they're not really that pretty to look at - even in uncirculated condition. They have a dull haze and look like a poorly counterfeited/cast Morgan dollar.

    I like Roosevelt dimes, they're small, they're plentiful and unless they are in really high grade, they're all worth about the same amount. Great for bullion, great for barter and you can get granular - down to the dollar these days with silver at ~$16.

    The Roosie is almost like having a "silver dollar" in circulation now - at least in the circles I run in (And I run in circles a LOT!!!) :hungry:

    For junk silver coins, I think they're the best out there along with 64 Kennedy half dollars.

    A lot of South American coins are pretty bad. Low silver content, not a lot known about them, low numismatic value in US, and people expect them at a discounted rate for silver.

    Costa Rican currency from the early to mid 1900's comes to mind. They had a lot of smaller coinage, and it was minted in .720 silver.

    To me, these are true "junk silver" and I will only buy it for true melt value.

    To that end, I do have some uncirculated and higher end stuff (counterstamps, etc) in my collection - but largely, this stuff to me is only metal.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  19. Chuckjav

    Chuckjav New Member

    Excellent discussion; brings greater understanding as to why the “foreign silver” display (circa 2001-06) at local coin shop was strangely discounted....many seemingly valuable silver-content coins were offered at at a (lukewarm) discount vs. melt value.
  20. myownprivy

    myownprivy Well-Known Member

    Not only are regular nickels too big, but war nickels with only 35% silver are just a waste of time.

    We need to eliminate the nickel, or at least change the size.
  21. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Yikes.....We still have the penny and now we're moving to remove the nickel from circulation. I ran into a guy a few years ago that charged a $.03 stamp because he never uses cash. Period. No coin and no paper. He only uses plastic. Sad.
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