By Robert Taylor
This is a pretty important item to learn and understand.
Many collections I see always seem to have coins put aside because the owner felt the coins were either valuable as a collector piece or had silver as part of the metal content. Hopefully the below information will help clarify some issues.
Modern day coins that do have silver in them are the 50 cent, 25 cent and 10 cent coins with a date of 1964 and older. The only modern day nickels that contain a small portion of silver are nickels minted in 1942-1945 and must have the mint mark designation (P, D or S) at the top of the coin on the reverse side. They did make some non-silver 5 cent coins in 1942 and these will not have the mint mark. The nickels from 1942-1945 with the reverse mint marks are called “war nickels” and are usually very dark in appearance as compared to other nickels.
There are some exceptions to the standard “1964 or older” rule.
The Kennedy 50 cent coin with dates 1965-1970 also has partial silver. These should be saved along with any other silver coins.
The U.S. Mint also created special commemorative silver coins within many types of proof and mint sets. These coin sets normally have a COA (Certificate of Authenticity) card within the package indicating the metal content.
Now let’s talk a little about one dollar coins.
All dollar coins from the 1800’s have silver.
So do the Peace Dollar coins from 1921-1935.
The silver Morgan Dollar coin, popular in the 1800’s, was actually curtailed at the end of 1904 and then instituted for only one more year in 1921.
No dollar coins were minted between 1936 and 1971. The Eisenhower Dollar coin appeared in 1971 but had a short life until the end of 1978 – a large heavy coin that very few people wanted to carry around. Of the 32 types of Eisenhower dollars minted during those 8 years, 10 of them do contain some silver. Best to just hang onto any Eisenhower Dollars you have until you need to sell them. Any coin dealer can quickly tell you if you have any of the dollar coins that contain some silver.
NONE of the Susan B Anthony (SBA) dollar coins minted in 1979-1981 have any silver and should just be put into your bank account. Ditto for any Sacagawea Dollar coins (2000-2012) plus any of the bronze colored modern Presidential Dollars that began their ill fated life in 2007.
Should you have a question about any coins you have, just email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.