Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sorting coins as a hobby

Years before I was born, the government quit making coins out of silver, and began making them out of copper and nickel. Various coins had different years before the silver was gone, but today, almost all coins in circulation are the cheaper versions of their formerly glorious selves.

 The following link demonstrates one persons philosophy on coinage, and actually suggests saving up nickels now, betting they will make them cheaper in the near future as well. As always, remember to take anything on the internet with a grain of salt, but hey, it's something to read!


The following is a list of coins and the year you are looking for:
Quarters/Dimes** - 1964 and older (these coins are 90% silver).
Franklin Half-Dollars - 1963 and older
Kennedy Half-Dollars - 1964 (key year, still 90% silver)
Kennedy Half-Dollars - 1965-1970 (40% silver... not as good as they were, but still silver)
Eisenhower Silver Dollar - 1971-1976 (40% silver)
Nickels - 1942-1945: These are called war nickels, because nickel was needed for armor during WWII, so they made them out of silver during this short period. Their mint mark (P-Philadelphia, D-Denver, S-SanFrancisco) is on the reverse side of the coin, above the dome of Monticello. See the following image for an example:

** Some quarters and dimes were made of silver during 1965 and later, while the mint's re-tooled and built up supplies of the cheaper metal, but to avoid confusion, any dime/quarter made of silver during this time, was still stamped as 1964.

All that to say... I always check my change. You never know when you are going to get that old dime that is actually worth like, $2.03 based on the price of silver today, at $28.11 per ounce! That makes old quarters worth, right now, $5.08!

My wife and I check all of our coin change, and hold onto the rare finds that are worth more, and put the rest in a jar, to be used later at either coinstar, or to buy a soda, beef jerky, what not, at the gas station.

One more thing that is "fun" for kids, is sorting pennies! Pennies made BEFORE 1983 (so 1982 and older) were made out of 95% copper and 5% nickel. Current prices today, of those metals, makes those older pennies actually worth 2.5 cents each... not alot, but enough to save a seperate jar of them, and let kids/grandkids go through all of them and hold onto the older and "more valuable" coins.

These are great ways to get into coin collecting as a hobby. It's a great way to teach younger children the value of money and a little bit about putting forth a little effort, for a little reward. And it beats having kids sit in front of the TV all day...

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