Junk silver coins and silver bullion both contain silver, but they are valued differently. Silver bullion typically comes in 1 ounce coins or in 10 or 100 ounce bars. Junk silver coins are low value coins. Their value is primarily based on the silver content in the coins.
Silver bullion often comes in bar form. Typically they are in 1, 10 and 100 ounce bars and are produced by major refineries such as Academy, Engelhard, Johnson Matthey, Sunshine and Wall Street Mint. The bar form allows it to be easily stacked and traded.
Silver Coins--Junk Silver Coins
Many coins used to be made of silver! In the United States, dimes, quarters, half dollars and silver dollars, along with half dimes and silver three cent pieces all provided some metal value to circulating coins. Some of these coins are coveted by collectors because they are rare or in great condition. Others are valued as a fun way to own silver.
United States Coins and Junk Silver
Junk silver coins include 90 percent silver Roosevelt dimes (1946 to 1964), Washington quarters (1932 to 1964), Kennedy half dollars (1964 has 90 percent silver, 1965 to 1969 has just 40 percent silver), and even low-condition Morgan and Peace dollars.
Valuing Junk Silver
Junk silver is valued by multiplying the face value of the coins by a certain factor. As a rule of thumb, if silver is at $15 an ounce, one can multiply the face value by a factor of 12 to get the silver value. For example, a common silver Roosevelt dime would be worth $1.20.
Valuing Silver Bullion
Typically, silver bullion is valued at a small premium over spot. Spot is the current price of silver. For example, a 100 ounce silver bar may be purchased for 25 cents over spot. This means that if the price of silver is $12 an ounce, a 100 ounce silver bar would cost $1,225.