The Value Of Silver And Appraising Silver Coins In Coin Shops

Posted on: 13 November 2017

Silver is gaining in value, albeit much slower than gold. If you have some silver coins laying around, you could have them appraised to see what they are worth. Usually, the silver in old coins is a lot less than pure silver jewelry, which is why it may be better to sell silver jewelry if you have it. In lieu of silver jewelry, the coins will have to do. Here is how to check the value of silver, understand the value of silver in silver-colored coins, and appraising silver coins in a coin shop.

Silver Value Calculators

You can find online calculators for the value of silver. However, these calculators vary widely based on what unit of measurement is used. Some silver coin buyers use the standard ounce, while the rest use the "troy ounce" of measurement. The troy ounce is quite a few grams lighter than the standard ounce, which makes self-appraisal methods impossible unless you know exactly what you have in your silver coins and what type of value calculator you are using. Currently, the value of silver is approximately $17 for a troy ounce.

The Troy Ounce

Silver is almost always weighed in "troy ounces." If you see a calculator for the value of silver, the calculator operates on troy ounces and only applies to things that are pure silver. There are very few American coins that are 100% silver. Hence, silver coins have to be weighed and assessed at what an appraiser knows to be true about particular coins. The result is often a percentage of the fair market value for pure troy ounces of silver.

Appraising Silver Coins

Appraising coins of any type of metal is difficult. Almost all coins, except for those specially minted of pure metal, are a meld of multiple metals. For example, the current nickel is no longer pure nickel. Even so, when nickels were mostly nickel, there was not enough nickel quarried to make billions of nickels. It was combined with an iron alloy in order to create enough nickels for everyone to use. Likewise, silver being the semi-precious metal that it is, is often combined with other alloys just to mint enough silver coins. 

Silver coins, then, range from twenty or thirty percent silver to one hundred percent silver, depending on the year they were minted and the availability of this metal. The older the coin, the more likely it is pure silver. Only an appraiser who is an expert in silver coins can tell which coins are pure silver and worth every cent at the sale price and which ones are only a percentage of silver and only worth a percentage of the going rate for a troy ounce of silver. To learn more, contact a company like Rocky Mountain Coin

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