My father introduced me to coin collecting as a child. He showed me how to tell if a coin was 90% silver by the way it looks and by the date. My father didn't actually collect coins, but he did accumulate them. A true collector has them graded, looks for coins that have not been circulated, and knows a whole lot more about them then my father did!
Anyway, after talking to many different people about coins, I'm finding that more and more older folks have coin accumulations that they don't know are very valuable. You see, the value is in the SILVER weight, not the rarity of the coin. It doesn't matter if they've been used and show wear. Rare coins are a whole other ball game and I don't know nearly enough to discuss them with you. I'm talking about people that have thrown coins in a jar or box or whatever for many years, preferably in the 1960's or earlier.
The last year that coins were made of 90% silver was 1964. Since I was born in 1965, silver coins were plentiful while growing up. My father told me to keep them because they'd be valuable some day. Here is the second lot of quarters that I sold recently:
This is lot of 80 quarters, all 90% silver that I sold for $518 at auction and it's just like the lot I sold in February. None were "rare", all were previously circulated, and some showed significant wear. The value was purely in the silver.
I realize that you can't just walk into a yard sale or thrift store and find coins. Since it's been 46 years since they stopped minting coins in silver, you don't often get silver coins back for change when you buy something at a store. Once in a while you do, but not often -- it sure is worth glancing through your coins though to see if any are dated 1964 or earlier. If you look at the photo, they look a little bit different - shinier and brighter.
Why am I telling you this if you can't just find it at store? Because I bet many of you have an older relative or friend who has been hording miscellaneous coins for years and they have no idea what they have. Personally I don't sell a lot of items for other people, but this is one thing that I will take on consignment because they are so easy to sell! Think about how easy it is to ship 80 quarters, and if you take a 30% commission, you'll make over $150 and the coin owner will be very happy to have hundreds of dollars instead of just the original face value of $20.
Dimes dated 1964 and earlier are also made of 90% silver. Check out this listing; who wouldn't want to get $6,400 for $250 worth of dimes??
So next time you visit older relatives and friends, strike up a conversation about coins and see if they have any that they would want you to sell for them. You don't need to be a coin expert to sell coins for the silver value.