From 1795 to 1964, the United States Mint issued all of its silver denominations of circulating currency with actual silver content. In general, these coins had 90% silver content and 10% copper. In the 1960s, silver was phased out as prices were rising to the point that the silver content in circulating coins in the US exceeded the face value of the coins. Silver coining returned in 1980s, but was largely limited to the bullion programs from the US Mint. However, it is still possible to find some of the nation’s most common coins issued with silver content in Silver Proof Sets.
Silver Proof Sets from the United States Mint stand out from other collections in the use of silver content in the coins. Unlike silver bullion coins from the US Mint that offer pure silver content in Troy oz weights, the silver coins in a Silver Proof Set have the same specifications as the circulation blanks, but are struck with silver content.
Generally speaking, there have been two major Silver Proof Sets issued by the US Mint in the last two decades. The standard US Mint Proof Silver Set comes with all six circulating denominations from the US Penny to the US Dollar coin. The other Silver Proof Set issued in the last two decades was the US Mint Proof Silver America the Beautiful Quarter Set. This collection featured five coins per set, with each circulating quarter boasting the same reverse design issued for that date mark in the America the Beautiful bullion series.
The silver content in the series depends on two factors: the coin and the date mark. Across all Silver Proof Sets, only the dime, quarter, and half dollar coins have any silver content. Though the penny, nickel, and dollar are struck with beautiful proof visuals, this is done on the standard circulation blank with metallic alloys of zinc, manganese, nickel, and copper (depending on the coin). Up until 2018, the silver content of the dime, quarter, and half dollar coins was 90% silver against 10% copper. In 2019, the US Mint enhanced the silver content in these coins to 99.9% silver.
If you have any further questions about Silver Proof Sets from JM Bullion, please feel free to ask. Our team is available to assist you at 800-276-6508, online through our live chat, and using our email address. Please reference our Payment Methods page for easy answers to common questions regarding acceptable forms of payment.