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    90%, 40%, and 35% US Silver Coins

    Understanding 90%, 40%, and 35% US Silver Coins from JM Bullion

    One of the easiest ways to start investing in silver bullion or to expand your investment catalog without spending a lot of money is through the purchase of 90%, 40%, and 35% silver. The term “90%, 40%, and 35% silver” is a broad phrase used to describe circulation coinage that is heavily damaged or worn from use, but which still maintains its value based upon the weight and purity of silver within the coin. Learn a little more about 90%, 40%, and 35% silver now before you buy.

    Why is it 90%, 40%, and 35% Silver?

    These coins, like the modern quarters, dimes, and half-dollars in your pocket today, were once used for all manner of commercial transactions. These coins were never housed in protective plastic or sealed up in capsules. The original intent was not for investment or collection, but rather for settling commercial transactions and debts.

    As such, 90%, 40%, and 35% silver coins have signs of wear and tear on them. Others, based upon the design present on the obverse and reverse, may possess signs of attempted repair or cleaning to try and improve the value of the coin as a collectible piece. Regardless, 90%, 40%, and 35% silver coins showcase less luster in their finish and more damage to the design elements, surface areas, and edges than bullion coins which never entered circulation.

    Silver Content of 90%, 40%, and 35% Silver Coins

    For the majority of American history, silver coins issued by the United States Mint had a silver content pegged at .900, regardless of the weight of the coin. From the onset of silver coinage until 1964, all US silver coins had a true metallic content of .900 pure silver. From 1965 to 1970, the silver content in remaining silver coins in the US (mostly half-dollars) had just 40% silver. Today, any coin that appears silver in nature is actually a cupro-nickel alloy that contains a variety of metals that stand up to the rigors of daily handling better than precious metals such as silver.

    Examples of 90% Silver Coins

    If you’ve purchased silver coins before, you’re probably familiar with some of the designs you’ll find on 90% silver coins in our 90%, 40%, and 35% silver catalog. The following are some popular examples of 90% silver coins, though it is not a comprehensive list of all possible coins with this silver content:

    • Morgan Silver Dollar: Introduced in 1878, the Morgan Silver Dollar was designed by George T. Morgan. Mr. Morgan was British by birth, but came to the US as an apprentice engraver and designer for the US Mint at a time when it was difficult to find employment in the same role at the Royal Mint. The Morgan Silver Dollar was primarily in circulation from 1878 to 1904, with a partial year in 1921. The obverse includes Morgan’s left-profile portrait of Lady Liberty and the reverse features his version of the heraldic eagle.
    • Mercury Dimes: Designed in 1916 during a Golden Era of American coin design, the Mercury Dime was actually known as the Winged Liberty Dime. Created by Adolph A. Weinman, the vision of Liberty on the obverse included a winged cap. The vision of Liberty Weinman created resembled the Roman messenger god Mercury, hence the name. Mercury Dimes were in circulation from 1916 to early 1945.
    • Walking Liberty Half Dollars: The popular 50-cent piece was designed by Adolph A. Weinman in 1916, the same year as the Mercury Dime. This vision of Liberty showcased the nation’s drive toward a brighter future as Liberty walked toward the rising sun on the horizon in the obverse design. The Walking Liberty Half Dollar was in circulation from 1916 to 1947, and eventually succeeded by the Benjamin Franklin and John F. Kennedy designs.

    Examples of 40% Silver Coins

    Amid rising silver prices in the 1960s, the United States Mint took action to ensure it was still economically feasible to strike silver coins. Though many of the smaller denominations of US coins were already transitioning toward more durable metallic alloys for composition, it wasn’t until 1964 that 90% silver content in coins was done away with. The only prominent remaining coin with any true silver content as of 1965 was the Kennedy Half Dollar. These coins, issued as early as January 1964, featured 40% silver content from 1965 until 1970.

    Why Buy 90%, 40%, and 35% Silver?

    90%, 40%, and 35% silver is a great buy for several types of investors. If you’re just starting out as an investor, 90%, 40%, and 35% silver offers a very affordable starting point. If you already invest in major silver bullion coins, but want to add bulk amounts of silver at a more affordable pricing point, this type of silver is also a good option. The bottom line is that 90%, 40%, and 35% silver has a more affordable pricing point compared to the spot price of silver than modern bullion and proof coins.

    Purchasing Silver from JM Bullion

    We encourage JM Bullion customers with questions about 90%, 40%, and 35% silver to reach out to us at 800-276-6508 with questions. You can also connect with us online through our live chat and email address features.