All 90% Silver from JM Bullion
Prior to the 1960s, many of the silver coins in circulation around the world contained up to 90% silver content. In the United States, this applied to the US dime, quarter, half dollar, and dollar. Though these coins all had different Troy oz weights, each one had 90% silver content and a 10% copper balance. In the United States, this 90% silver mixture applied on most coins from 1836 until 1964, the final year for 90% silver coining. Learn more about 90% silver from JM Bullion in the paragraphs below.
US Silver Dollars
The US silver dollar debuted in 1794 to 1803, but it wasn’t until 1836 that the US Mint began to regularly issue silver dollars. When those silver coins debuted in 1836 with the Seated Liberty design, the US Mint introduced its 90% silver, 10% copper mixture to the series. Production of the US silver dollar was not regular by any stretch of the imagination. Though it went through a total of four designs, there were several stoppages in production over that time. Designs you could find on 90% silver dollars available from JM Bullion include the following:
- Seated Liberty – Issued from 1836 to 1873, this was the longest and most continuously produced design.
- Morgan Dollar – Released in 1878, its debut brought back silver coining in the United States after it was halted in 1873 and ended the Seated Liberty series. Morgan Dollars were produced from 1878 to 1904 and again in 1921.
- Peace Dollar – Issued late in 1921, the Peace Dollar design was in production from 1921 to 1928 and again in 1934 and 1935.
- Eisenhower Dollar – The final dollar issued by the United States, the Eisenhower Dollar was introduced in 1971. Because it was introduced after 1965, it was never produced with 90% silver.
US Silver Dimes
The US dime is a 10-cent piece that was first struck and issued by the United States Mint in 1792 as the “disme,” but later entered regular production in 1796. Like the quarter and half dollar, it featured the Draped Bust design in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, followed by Capped Bust from 1809 to 1837. The introduction of the Seated Liberty design on this denomination brought with it the arrival of 90% silver dimes. Designs in this series include the following options:
- Seated Liberty – The second-longest used design, Seated Liberty was on the dime from 1837 to 1891.
- Barber Dime – Designed by Charles E. Barber, the Liberty bust on the dime during the Barber Coinage era was in use from 1892 to 1916.
- Mercury/Winged Liberty Dime – Created by Adolph A. Weinman, the image on the obverse of the Winged Liberty Dime resembled that of the Roman messenger god Mercury, hence the colloquial name for the coin. It was produced from 1916 to 1945.
- Roosevelt Dime – The current design still in use on the dime in the United States, the Roosevelt Dime was available as a 90% silver coin from 1946 until 1964.
US Silver Quarters
As with the dime and half dollar, the US quarter debuted in 1796 and went through its early years of availability using first the Draped Bust design, and later the Capped Bust design. It was the introduction of the Seated Liberty design in this series, once again, that brought about 90% silver coinage. Designs for the 90% silver quarters include:
- Seated Liberty – Used on the quarter from 1838 to 1891, the Seated Liberty was the longest-used image until the Washington Quarter design surpassed it in longevity in 1986.
- Barber Quarter – Part of the broader Barber Coinage, the Barber Quarter shared an obverse design with the Barber Dime and Barber Half Dollar, and shared a reverse design with the Barber Half Dollar. It was used from 1892 to 1916.
- Standing Liberty – The shortest-lived design in the series, Standing Liberty was created by Hermon Atkins MacNeil and created quite a stir as the Type I design left one of Liberty’s breasts exposed. The Standing Liberty design was used from 1916 to 1930 and suspended at that point. No new quarters were issued in 1931.
- Washington Quarter – The existing design, the Washington Quarter was available with 90% silver from 1932 to 1964. The bust of Washington featured on the obverse was designed by John Flanagan and was just the second image of a former president to appear on American coins behind President Abraham Lincoln on the US penny.
US Silver Half Dollars
From 1794 to 1795, the US half dollar featured the Flowing Hair design. It was one of the few denominations to featured this Liberty bust. From 1796 to 1807, the Draped Bust design was used through two variations. The longest image used prior to 90% silver adoption on the half dollar was Capped Bust image used from 1807 to 1839. Among the 90% silver half dollars, you will find the following designs:
- Seated Liberty – Once again the first design on a US silver coin to feature 90% silver content, Seated Liberty featured on the 50-cent piece from 1839 to 1891.
- Barber Half Dollar – Designed by the 6th Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, Charles E. Barber, the Barber Half Dollar had the same Liberty bust featured on the dime and quarter of this era, with a shared reverse from the quarter.
- Walking Liberty Half Dollar – Created by Adolph A. Weinman, this massive popular design featured on the half dollar from 1916 to 1947. It currently features on the American Silver Eagle as well.
- Benjamin Franklin Half Dollar – This design was the shortest-lived on the half dollar. It was used only from 1948 to 1963.
- Kennedy Half Dollar – The current design in use on the half dollar, the bust of President Kennedy was rushed into production in January 1964 following his November 1963 assassination while serving his first term in office. The 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar is the only 90% silver coin in this series.
Purchase 90% Silver at JM Bullion
90% silver from these collections is often available in circulated condition or coins with varying circulated grades like Extra Fine, Fine, and Very Good. JM Bullion customer service is available to assist you at 800-276-6508. We are also available online through our live chat and email address features.