What Coins Are Silver? The Complete List

Have you been wondering what coins are silver? In this article, I am going to give you a complete list of silver coins.

You may find yourself holding a dime or a quarter, wondering which is silver and which is not. It is interesting to know that not all of them are silver. And those that are silver are not 100% pure.

Complete List of Silver Coins

Below is a list detailing the coins that are silver. If you have one or more of these, you know the worth of what you have.

  • Walking Liberty half dollar
  • Morgan dollar
  • Franklin half dollar
  • Peace dollar
  • Barber half dollar
  • Standing Liberty quarter
  • Kennedy half dollar
  • Barber quarter
  • Barber dime
  • Washington quarter
  • Mercury dime
  • Seated liberty dime
  • War nickel
  • Roosevelt dime

There are other types of coins that are silver and the list is below:

  • Silver eagle
  • Sunshine minting silver round

All US dollar, half dollar, quarter and dime that is dated 1964 and earlier are silver. At least, it is 90% silver.

At the beginning of the 1960s, the supply of silver in the US coinage was running out. A debate arose over the use of silver in making coins in the future.

As the debate was ongoing, the market for silver jumped by 10%; there was a rumor of scarcity. By the year 1962, it had jumped by another 30%. this effectively ended the use of silver in making coins in the US at the end of 1964.

Now, let me give you a few details about each coin.

1. Walking Liberty Half Dollar

Walking Liberty Half Dollar
Image:coinstudy

This silver coin was minted between the year 1916 and the year 1947. so for over 3 decades, this coin was minted and circulated.

It has a silver content of up to 90%, making it high quality. It also weighs about 0.36 troy ounces.

 

2. Morgan Dollar

Morgan Dollar
Image:coinstudy

The Morgan dollar was minted between 1878 and 1904, then again in 1921. As with the first, it contains 90% silver. But it weighs 0.7735 troy ounces.

 

3. Franklin Half Dollar

Franklin Half Dollar
Image:coinstudy

Minted between the year 1948 and the year 1963, the Franklin half dollar contains 90% silver and weighs 0.3617 troy ounces.

 

4. Peace Dollar

Peace Dollar
Image:coinstudy

This silver dollar was made between 1921 and 1928 before it was stopped. Production of the coin picked up again and it was made between 1934 and 1935. it weighs 0.7735 troy ounces and contains 90% silver.

 

5. Barber Half Dollar

Barber Half Dollar
Image:coinstudy

Weighing 0.3617 troy ounces, the Barber half dollar contains 90% silver. It was made between the years 1892 and 1915.

 

6. Standing Liberty Quarter

Standing Liberty Quarter
Image:coinstudy

As with the others, this quarter is made of 90% silver. It weighs 0.1808 and was minted from the year 1916 and the year 1930.

You should note, though, that during production, the date appeared too high. So you may not see it because it has probably worn off.

The first Standing Liberty quarter that was made in 1916 had a bare-chested Lady Liberty. But after that year, her chest was covered on the coin.

 

7. Kennedy Half Dollar

Kennedy Half Dollar
Image:coinstudy

This is an interesting one. The silver dollar was minted in 1964 and there was a break. Production resumed after 1964, running between 1965 and 1970.

The coin that was produced in 1964 has a silver content of 90% and weighs 0.3617 ounces. But the version made between 1965 and 1970 has only 40% silver content and weighs 0.1479 troy ounces.

 

8. Barber Quarter

Barber Quarter
Image:coinstudy

With a 90% silver content, this silver coin was minted between 1892 and 1916. And it weighs 0.1808 troy ounces.

 

9. Barber Dime

Barber Dime
Image:coinstudy

The Barber dime was minted between the year 1892 and the year 1916. It weighs 0.0723 troy ounces and contains 90% silver.

It is important I point out here that the Barber half dollar, quarter and dime all have the same image.

 

10. Washington Quarter

Washington Quarter
Image:coinstudy

This silver quarter was first minted in 1932. It was paused and resumed in 1934. Production ran until 1964. That was quite a long production time, wasn’t it?

Much like the others, it has a silver content of 90% and weighs 0.1808 troy ounces.

 

11. Mercury Dime

Mercury Dime
Image:coinstudy

The minting of Mercury dime ran from 1916 through to 1945, another long run. It has a weight of 0.0723 troy ounces and has a 90% silver content, just like the others.

 

12. Seated Liberty Dime

Seated Liberty Dime
Image:coinstudy

The dime that has the image of a seated Liberty figure was first produced in the year 1837. the production of the dime ran until the year 1891.

It weighs 0.0723 troy ounces and has a 90% silver content.

The interesting part of this dime is its value. Because of its rarity, coin collectors are willing to pay higher for it. So if you have one or more of the Seated Liberty dime, you have good money waiting for you if you decide to sell.

 

13. War Nickel

War Nickel

Minting of the War nickel started in the middle of 1942. It ended in 1945. The nickel weighs 0.0563 troy ounces and has a silver content of only 35%.

The War nickel is a subset of the series of Jefferson nickels. However, many counterfeits and non-silver versions abound. If you don’t know how to spot an original, you would be easily deceived.

To know an original, find the mint mark P right above the dome of Monticello on the flip side of the coin.

 

14. Roosevelt Dime

Roosevelt Dime
Image:coinstudy

Weighing 0.0723 and having a silver content of 90% much like the rest, the Roosevelt dime’s minting ran between 1946 and 1964.

 

15. Silver Eagle

Silver Eagle
Image:alaskamint

The Silver Eagle coin is not part of the silver coins that were minted prior to 1964. its minting began in 1986 and runs until date. It is the official silver bullion coin of the United States and is minted in the country.

What makes it superior to the other coins is the fact that its silver content is massive – 99.93%. In other words, it is made almost totally of silver.

 

16. Sunshine Minting Silver Round

Sunshine Minting Silver Round

This coin is minted privately.

Silver coins have been in existence for a long time, as early as 600BC. It has been an acceptable means of trading, beginning with the Greeks. But its popularity soon spread to other regions.

How Do You Know a Coin Is Silver?

To determine whether or not a coin is silver, check the edge. Coins usually have stripes. If there are solid silver stripes at the edge, it means the coin likely has about 90% silver.

Now, if the stripes are copper, it means the coin’s content is mixed, making it clad. There is a combination of copper and nickel in it.

However, if the stripes are clearly silver but look somewhat subdued or muted, with small copper traces, it probably has about 40% silver content.

This is the easiest way to know if a coin is silver without checking the dates. Dates on US silver coins will tell you whether or not they are silver.

Why Is Silver Used In Coins?

Believe it or not, the reasons are not far-fetched. I used to think it was the abundance of the precious metal that informed its usage in coin production. Plus, the fact that it is money so it has to have some value, right?

Well, these reasons are part of it but not all. So why are some coins made of silver? The following are some of the reasons for this:

  • Silver trades easily, making it very liquid. You can exchange silver for any good or service. Plus, the spread between the selling and buying prices of the metal is quite low.
  • Though valuable, silver ranks lower than gold. While this looks like a disadvantage, it makes the metal more of a practical means of conducting daily transactions than gold.
  • Silver is highly durable. This means that coins made of silver are not subject to easy decay or wear and tear. You will find such coins staying clean for many years.
  • Silver transports easily. Its weight to value ratio is quite high, much like gold. So, the amount of silver you move is almost equal to the value you will get for it.
  • A coin made of silver is fungible. What this means is that one silver coin must be equal to another silver coin. One does not necessarily surpass the other.
  • You can divide silver and it won’t lose its value. So if you have a silver bar and you turn it into coins, you can always melt the coins to get the bar again, all without the silver losing value.
  • Silver coins are verifiably countable because of the measure or weight of the silver in them.

Conclusion

The old silver coins are not so much in circulation. So, this gives them some value. However, some have more value than others. The Seated Liberty dime is quite valuable, as an example.

Recognize a silver coin by looking at the edges:

  • Solid stripes of silver mean it is a silver coin.
  • Mixed with copper traces means it has about 40% silver.
  • Clear copper stripes mean it is clad.

Do you have any questions? Ask them in the comments section. You can also share your thoughts.

Leave a Comment