More on Loose Change

Several months ago I did an article about saving your change. You remember the one. Don't spend your pennies or nickels. Keep a lookout for silver dimes and quarters. Yeah, that one. One thing that I neglected to mention was how to easily identify silver coins. Once you've got all of your coins separated there's a quick and easy way to find the silver coins without checking each individual date. Newer coins have brown edges because the middle is made up of copper. Silver coins are all silver on the edges. Just take a bunch of them and look at the edges like so.

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The silver ones will stand out like a sore thumb. Sorry for the crappy pic but it's pretty obvious which coins are silver and it's very easy to see how dramatic the brown is on the newer coins. Every once in a while you'll get a dirty silver coin that looks like it's brown or a brand new one that looks silver. Just check the dates on the coins that seem suspect.

Ever since silver went through the roof a couple of years ago I haven't been finding silver coins in change nearly as frequently. Just a few years ago I'd go through my change pile once every couple of months and pull out at least a couple of quarters and a small stack of dimes. It's been over a year since I've even found a silver coin in change. I don't let change pile up like I used to, though. If you've got an old change jar that you've been filling up since you were a kid or a relative dies and there's a change jar sitting in their bedroom then it would definitely be worthwhile to go through it. Even with your chances of finding silver being so low this method is so quick and easy that it takes away all of the hassle.


Anonymous said…
Plus silver coins are worth more than face value, often very much more, to those who collect coins as a hobby.
Ryan said…
First of all that is a good piece of information. Not to poo poo it but the chances of finding silver pre '64 stuff in loose change are quite low. Awhile back I went through all of my change that was lying around and didn't find anything. For someone who worked at a store or otherwise had lots of change go through their hands this simple method would work as a quick filtering process (before looking at the dates) of which coins got swapped for the ones in your pocket.
Years ago, when I worked at a gas station, I actually had quite a bit of silver pass through the register. Of course, back then I'd just take it down to the local coin shop when I got a decent amount and cash it in. Either that or I'd send it to my dad who's been an avid coin collector for as long as I can remember. To be honest your chances are pretty much non existent that you'll find any in change these days but, like I said before, if you've got a really old pile of coins that you get the opportunity to go through then your chances of finding silver get much better. Just keep an eye out for an old relative that talks about cashing in their coin jar or whatever. You might get lucky.
Ryan said…
Urban Survivalist, I concur on the chances of finding silver in loose change. I look at dimes and quarters when I get them but with no expectations (or results). If I end up cleaning up the house of an older relative who has a jar full of coins I will sit down and look through them.
Anonymous said…
My wife is a cashier at Krogers.
Recntly she got a roll of dimes to fill her drawer and when she broke it open she noticed they sounded different so she purchased the roll and ended up getting 31 silver dimes. She couldn't wait to get home and show me.
Survival Chick said…
Can you link your old post to your new one? I want to check it out...
Just check out the archive. I posted the original article in Dec 2007.
Anonymous said…
Here is a photo that might work better.

Feel free to use if you see fit.
Anonymous said…
I'd pass on the nickel's and pennie's,too hard to carry.You will probably never find any silver in loose change,unless some kid swiped his dad's collection for candy money!Modern dime's,quarter's,halve's,are worth more in melt value than face value,so save all of them!Get a 5 gallon water bottle,toss your silver into it.You'll be amazed how fast it add's up!
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