Silver has enjoyed a lauded reputation for centuries thanks to its beauty, scarcity, and utility. Chemically, it’s considered a very pure metal, making it an excellent conductor and even imbuing it with mild antiseptic properties. Hence the phrase junk silver sounds like it should be a contradiction.
But not only is junk silver real, but it can make for a valuable addition to many investors’ silver hoards. But as with any investment, you need to know what you’re doing. So before you buy, let’s take a look at the basics of junk silver and how you can use it to turn a profit.
When you think of trading silver, you probably think of coins like the American Silver Eagle, issued by the U.S. Mint. Either that or you imagine silver bars, rounds, and other bullion.
These are high-quality products made with the investment market in mind. But they’re far from the only way to invest in silver.
So-called “junk silver” refers to coins, typically older ones, that were issued when genuine silver was still used in U.S. coinage.
For example, quarters, dimes, and half dollars issued before 1965 were minted from 90% silver and 10% copper. While these coins aren’t rare or collectible in their own right, they still have the intrinsic value of their silver content.
U.S. silver dollars are an even better source of junk silver. Depending on the issue date, some of these coins can be quite collectible, and therefore not true junk silver coins. Nevertheless, it’s common for individuals who would not consider themselves to be coin collectors to still buy silver dollars by the bag for their raw value.
As with any investment, your ability to turn a profit depends on you knowing what you’re doing.
The first thing you should consider is the length of the investment. Because of the premiums on buying and selling precious metals, it’s very rare for anyone to make a profit flipping them in a short time frame.
It’s also a good idea to get a feel for when the prices of junk silver tend to spike.
Because of their low buy-in relative to other forms of bullion, more people tend to buy junk silver. Especially at times when inflation or other economic anxieties are on the rise.
Events like these tend to trigger a wave of “panic buyers” — individuals looking for an affordable bulwark against a potential drop in the dollar’s value. Increased demand for a finite resource will naturally drive up the value, making this a great time to sell off excess junk silver at a profit.
Silver coins and bullion are great bulwarks against inflation and economic instability. But they’re not your only options.
For investors on a budget, junk silver can be an excellent way to dip your toes into the market. But the values of individual coins and silver at large are subject to shift like any other commodity.
To keep ahead of the curve, you need the latest insider information. So for all the details you need to know, be sure to contact us to get started with the official Certified Mint newsletter.