The laws that govern the United States Mint allow you to melt the silver in their coins. But just how much silver content would you find in a silver dollar?
How much silver is in a silver dollar? The typical silver dollar coin in circulation contains 90% of silver and weighs 26.73 grams. So the total amount of silver content in the coin is 24.05 g.
What series of silver dollars do you have? How old is it? Is your silver coin in perfect condition? If you can answer these questions, you can tell the numismatic value of your coin. Of course, most old coins are worth more than just their face value.
This post is an in-depth analysis of the silver metal content in a silver dollar. Find out the weight and percentage of silver content in your coin. Also, see which series of coins contain the highest amount of silver too.
Overview: Silver Content in Silver Dollar Coins
The Spanish silver dollar coins were the most popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. Minted in Mexico, the Spanish dollar was the main currency in the United States. These Spanish coins pursued their dominance until 1857, when they ceased being the legal tender.
The 1776 independence brought with it the Pewter Continental Currency made of brass and silver. But, it was the Coinage Act of 1792 that brought the production of silver dollar coins. Since then, America has seen a series of dollar silvers coming from the mint.
Not all silver dollar coins contain 90% silver or weigh 26.73 grams. Every series of coins has its distinct features of weight and silver content.
Our great grandfathers used the Morgan and Peace dollar silver coins for daily transactions during their time. Today, we have another series of coins and bills in place.
Minted in 1986, the American Silver Eagle coin contains one troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver.
Identifying a Silver Dollar Coin
The main features that determine how much silver content is in your coin are the date, the mintmark, the grade, and variety.
- The mintmark simply means the exact location where the coin was minted.
- The date denotes the year of minting.
- The variety of a coin is determined by the year and the series. If your coin looks somehow unusual, it could be either due to an error or a unique variety. Coins with rare varieties and errors have high numismatic value.
- Also, check the coins’ overall condition. Find out if it’s new or damaged.
Calculating the Amount of Silver in a Silver Dollar Coin
Calculating the value of a silver dollar means you should multiply its fine pure silver metal content by the spot price of silver. For instance, if your silver dollar has 0.7735 Troy oz of fine silver, then you need to multiply that by the price of one troy ounce of silver.
Before you do that, you have to calculate the total amount of silver in your coin. For example, if you have a coin with 90% pure silver, you have to multiply its total weight by 0.9.
For instance, if you have the Eisenhower dollar, the scale measurements, you get his 24.59 grams. So, the total silver in an Eisenhower silver dollar is (90/100) x 24.59 grams.
The prices of silver keep fluctuating, and it moves along with the price of your coin.
Silver Dollars are semi-numismatic coins and thus attract lots of interest from collectors and investors. The price of a coin will depend on its demand in the market.
To make you understand this, the world’s most expensive coin is a silver dollar auctioned for 10 million US Dollars in 2013.
Conditions for Grading Silver Dollar Coins
When grading silver, there are certain conditions you must consider. Just because your two coins show the same year and contain the same features and weight does not mean they cost the same.
Instead, the value of silver dollar coins has a lot to do with their grading condition. The grading condition is the stage of wear and tear of the coin.
Abrasion and chemical reactions reduce the amount of silver content on a dollar coin. As a new collector, never clean your coins because instead of making them better, it will only reduce their grade and value.
Here are the four main grading stages of silver dollar coins.
Mint State Grade:
New coins are mint grade and direct from the minting process. The luster is still present, and there is no visible wear or tear. A mint state-grade coin does not have any corrosion or abrasion. No smoothing or washing has been done to obtain the last of the metal, but the coin is still shiny.
Extremely Fine Grade
If the dollar has light signs of tear, then it’s considered to be in extremely fine grade. The dollar could be beginning the removal of a few lines. For instance, the fine hair detail and other sophisticated fields could be merging.
Fine grade silver dollar coins have most of their small details removed. In this case, the details are recognizable. The hair lines of Liberty may already be smooth, but the head is clearly separated from the hair. Then, the lettering is distinct, and the rim is bold.
Good Grade Silver Dollars
A good grade silver dollar coin has heavy wear and tear signs all over. The majority of fine design elements are either merging or fully flattened. In such a coin, the hair blends with Liberty’s face. Also, most of the fine lines are already removed. The visible parts remaining are those that have deep mint patterns.
Types of Silver Dollar Coins
Silver dollar coins come in different years of minting and features. If you want to sell your silver coin, the first step is to determine the series of silver dollars you have. Some of the US mint silver dollars overlap in date and mintmark features.
- Bust dollars were minted between 1794 and 1804. Referred to as The Originals, the Bust Dollar is an exquisite work of art. The sophisticated collectible forms the most valuable and expensive silver dollar coins.
- Seated Liberty silver dollar coins are rare to encounter. The classic currency was minted between 1840 and 1873.
- The Morgan silver dollar coins were struck between 1878 and 1921. Morgans are some of the most popular silver coins today because they are abundant and cheaper than other collections.
- The Peace Dollars may not be the most expensive coins to have, but they are worth every penny. Struck between 1921 and 1936, they have higher silver content.
Amount of Silver in Different Dollar Coins
|Dollar Silver Coin||Year of Minting||Weight of Coin||Amount of silver in Dollar||Price/Value|
|American Silver Eagle||1986 to Present||31.103 grams||99.9% pure silver||$20 to $3,443|
|Commemorative Dollars||1983 to present||26.73 grams||90% silver||$20 to $400|
|Eisenhower Dollar||1971 to 1978||24.59 grams||80% silver||$1–$104|
|Peace Dollar||1921 to 1935||26.73 grams||90% silver||$24 to $130,940|
|Morgan Dollar||1878 to 1921||26.73 grams||90% silver||$22 to $614,348|
|Trade Dollar||1873 to 1885||27.2 grams||90% silver||$106 to $31,507|
|Liberty Seated Dollar||1840 to 1873||26.73 grams||90% Silver||$267 to $73,563|
|Gobrecht Dollar||1836 to 1839||26.73 grams to 26.92 grams||89.2% to 90% silver||$12,895 to $73,561|
|Draped Bust Dollar||1795 to 1804||26.96 grams||89.2% silver||$1,537 to $1,238,926|
|Flowing Hair Dollar||1794 to 1795||26.96 grams||89.24% silver||$1,787 to $1,555,005|
What’s the weight of a silver dollar?
The weight of a coin depends on the exact type and mint year. Some of the common silver dollars, such as the 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar, have about 90 million pieces. The Morgan is about 26.730 g. But the weight of a coin is not exactly the same amount of silver in it. For instance, at 90% silver content, the Morgan only contains 0.77343 oz of pure silver.
What’s the value of a silver dollar?
The value of a silver dollar depends on its age, origin, history, and condition. Also, you have to find out whether it’s an error coin or an unusual variety. Junk silver is cheap because it’s available in a wide variety of coins. Some silver dollars are only worth their weight in silver, the melt price, or face value. But, valuable coins have some historical or rarity value to their price.
Bottom Line: Is Collecting Silver Dollars a Profitable Hobby?
Making your first bullion out of silver dollars would motivate you to collect more. It doesn’t matter whether the silver Dollars are worth lots of money as long as they bring joy to you.
Perhaps the few silver dollars you inherited from your loved one could become the basis of a full jar. Collecting coins has been a fantastic pastime for many years. And yes, collecting silver dollars can become a profitable hobby! You can fulfill your numismatic wishes, and at the same time, have some silver to be proud of.
Do you have any questions or suggestions about the amount of silver in a dollar? Let’s know!