What Is Junk Silver?

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Junk silver is a term that refers to silver coins that are not considered rare coins. Junk silver has no other value than the content of the silver itself.

Junk silver coins in the United States include dimes, quarters, nickels and half dollars. JunkSilver.com notes that junk coins contained 90 percent silver before 1964, but the modern variety contain higher amounts of zinc and copper. These coins do have value, because they can substitute precious metal items, such as silver mining stocks or bullion bars. Investors profit from junk silver coins by purchasing large quantities and selling them when silver prices rise.