determining silver coin value with inspection

Whether you’ve accumulated silver coins over the years or recently inherited a coin collection, you’re probably wondering how much the coinage is worth. Understanding the value of silver coins is the first step to making smart financial decisions in terms of investing, buying, or selling. Before deciding what to do with your coin collection, take the time to determine its true value.

Separate the Numismatic and Bullion Coins

All precious metals investors need to understand the difference between bullion and numismatic coins. While silver bullion coins are typically only worth their weight in silver, numismatic coinage contains external value due to rarity or exclusivity. Separating these two different types of silver coins can make it easier to accurately determine their value.

Determining the Value of Numismatic Silver Coins

Figuring out the value of numismatic silver coins requires more research and expertise than their bullion counterparts simply due to the number of components influencing their worth. In general, there are three factors that influence the value of silver collectible coins:

  • Condition – Coins in better condition can yield higher prices, although the age of the coin is taken into consideration too.
  • Demand – If there’s a high demand in the numismatic coin market, the value of the coin will be higher.
  • Scarcity – The fewer copies in circulation, the more sought-after the coin. That’s why low-mintage years often confer more value.

Consult reputable resources

Fortunately, you don’t need to have an encyclopedic knowledge of collectible coins to get a rough idea of the value of your silver coins. There are some excellent resources you can consult such as The Official Blue Book Handbook of United States Coins which lists the wholesale prices of nearly all major US-minted coins. For foreign coins, there are comparable books and websites providing the estimated value of silver coinage. Just make sure you’re using an up-to-date source for the most accurate assessments.

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Speak with an expert

No matter what books or websites might say, a silver coin is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. As a result, the more precise way of evaluating the value of your coins is to shop around for different offers from precious metals experts, professional coin dealers, and other specialists. You can start locally before expanding your search online to professionals across the country. The range of offers you receive will give you an accurate idea of the value of your silver coins.

Determining the Value of Bullion Silver Coins

You’ll have an easier time judging the value of your silver bullion coins than numismatic coinage. With fewer factors affecting the value of bullion, the calculations are much more straightforward.

Check the current price of silver

The price of silver is in constant fluctuation as with any other asset. Checking the current spot price of silver will help give you a close idea of how much your silver coins are worth right now. You can expect to receive an offer slightly below the spot price of silver when selling your coinage. It’s the same when you’re purchasing silver because of the premiums dealers charge to cover overhead costs.

Calculate the Actual Silver Weight (ASW)

The value of a silver bullion coin is largely determined by its weight and purity. The heavier a coin and the more silver it contains, the higher its value. Actual Silver Weight (ASW) is a key metric to understand when determining the real value of silver coins. This is defined as the raw weight of a coin multiplied by its silver purity.

You can use a gram scale to get an accurate weight for your silver coins or use a reputable resource to get an accurate idea. Then, you take the weight of the coin and multiply it by the coin’s silver purity. Finally, divide that total by 31.1034768 – the number of grams in a troy oz. For example, an uncirculated Morgan dollar which weighs around 26.73 grams and has a fineness of .90 would have an ASW of 0.7734 t oz.

Determine the coin’s current melt value

When you know the current spot price of silver and a coin’s ASW, the calculation is simple. Just multiply the ASW by the live spot price and you’ll have the bullion coin’s melt value. Keep in mind that this won’t necessarily be reflective of what offers you’ll receive when trying to sell your coinage. Coin dealers typically offer retail prices slightly below the spot price of precious metals, but this can change dependent on market situations.

Shop Around Before Selling Silver Coins

Now that you have a better understanding of your silver coins’ value, you can confidently explore different buying offers. It’s important to avoid jumping at the first offer even if it meets or exceeds your assessment. You should always play the field by getting quotes from various buyers. This is an accurate way to gauge roughly what your silver coins are worth in terms of market value.

Silver Coin Value FAQ

Silver is currently worth $28.34. The spot price of silver is in constant fluctuation, so the value of your silver coins will continue to rise and fall too.

One of the best ways to sell your silver coins is by finding a reputable and experienced coin dealer or precious metals expert. These professionals know how to determine a silver coin’s value and will offer competitive rates. In addition, online marketplaces and auctions are possible opportunities too.

It’s impossible to accurately time the highs and lows of the precious metals markets which is why it’s always better to buy silver and wait instead of waiting to buy silver. However, the investment goals and time horizons of each investor will dictate which investment strategies are ideal. That’s why it’s advisable to speak with an experienced precious metals advisor to discuss a personalized silver investment strategy.

Yes, silver coins are a good option for investors looking to hedge against inflation. Along with other precious metals, silver coins are a great store of value even during periods of economic uncertainty. There’s a wide range of silver coin values, allowing for flexible strategies based on your investment goals.

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