united states silver coins silver eagle

Throughout the history of the United States, a wide variety of silver-containing coins have been minted for various purposes. From collectible coins to pure silver bullion, coins made with any percentage of silver have value as both legal tender and as a raw material investment.

A Comprehensive List of United States Silver Coins

The following is an extensive list of U.S. silver coins you can sell, including years run, Actual Silver Weight (ASW) and other information.

Flowing Hair Half Dimes (1794-1795)

  • ASW of 0.03834 troy ounces (1.1926 grams)
  • One of the first coins ever produced by the U.S. mint

Flowing Hair Half Dollars (1794-1795)

  • ASW of 0.38572 troy ounces (11.99 grams)
  • Desirable among collectors

Flowing Hair Dollars (1794-1795)

  • ASW of 0.77144 troy ounces (23.99 grams)
  • The first U.S. silver dollar ever minted, it’s extremely desirable to collectors

Bust Dollars (1795-1804)

  • ASW of 0.77144 troy ounces (23.99 grams)

Bust Half Dimes (1796-1837)

  • ASW of 0.03863 troy ounces (1.2015 grams)
  • Composed of roughly 89% silver

Bust Dimes (1796-1837)

  • ASW of 0.07726 troy ounces (2.4 grams)
  • A smaller version containing the same amount of silver was introduced in 1828

Bust Half Dollars (1796-1839)

  • ASW of 0.38572 troy ounces (11.99 grams)
  • The “Capped Bust” design was the first to consistently show the 50 cent face value

Draped Bust Quarters (1796-1838)

antique silver dollar

  • ASW of 0.19286 troy ounces (5.99 grams)
  • The first quarter ever minted in the U.S.

Seated Liberty Half Dimes (1837-1873)

  • ASW of 0.03877 troy ounces (1.206 grams)
  • The Seated Liberty is one of the longest running coin designs, with multiple variations across different denominations

Seated Liberty Dimes (1837-1891)

  • ASW of 0.07726 troy ounces (2.4 grams)

Seated Liberty Quarters (1838-1891)

  • ASW of 0.1933 troy ounces (6 grams)

Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)

  • ASW of 0.38658 troy ounces (12.024 grams)

Seated Liberty Dollars (1840-1873)

  • ASW of 0.77345 troy ounces (24.057 grams)

Three Cent Silvers (1851-1873)

  • ASW of 0.0193 troy ounces (0.6 grams) from 1851 to 1853
  • ASW of 0.0217 troy ounces (0.675 grams) from 1854 to 1873
  • Commonly called “trimes”

Trade Dollars (1873-1885)

  • ASW of 0.78763 troy ounces (24.498 grams)
  • Named for the fact that the coin was made specifically to meet export demands

Twenty Cents (1875-1878)

  • ASW of 0.14468 troy ounces (4.5 grams)
  • Unpopular and easily confused with the quarter, it did not last long

Morgan Silver Dollars (1878-1921)

US Morgan Silver Dollar coin minted 1921

  • ASW of 0.77344 troy ounces (24.06 grams)
  • Named for George Morgan, the coin’s designer

Barber Half Dollars (1892-1915)

  • ASW of 0.3617 troy ounces (11.25 grams)
  • All denominations of Barber coins are named for their designer, Charles Barber

Barber Dimes (1892-1916)

  • ASW of 0.07234 troy ounces (2.25 grams)

Barber Quarters (1892-1916)

  • ASW of 0.18085 troy ounces (5.625 grams)

Commemorative Quarters, Half Dollars and Silver Dollars (1892-Present)

  • ASW varies depending on the coin, but can often be estimated based on other coins of equal face value
  • May commemorate a president, historical figure, event or other concept

Standing Liberty Quarters (1916-1930)

quarter dollar USA

  • ASW of 0.18085 troy ounces (5.625 grams)
  • Modified slightly in 1917 to cover an exposed breast present in the original design

Mercury Dimes (1916-1945)

  • ASW of 0.07234 troy ounces (2.25 grams)
  • Officially called “Winged Liberty” and nicknamed for its similarity to the Roman god Mercury

Walking Liberty Half Dollars (1916-1947)

  • ASW of 0.3617 troy ounces (11.25 grams)

Peace Dollars (1921-1935)

  • ASW of 0.77344 troy ounces (24.06 grams)
  • Designed in part to commemorate the end of the first world war

Washington Quarters (1932-1964)

  • ASW of 0.18085 troy ounces (5.625 grams)
  • Initially designed as a limited run commemorative coin

Wartime Jefferson Nickels (1942-1945)

  • ASW of 0.05626 troy ounces (1.75 grams)
  • Minted during World War II using 35% silver
  • Can also be identified by a letter marked on the reverse (P, D or S)

Roosevelt Dimes (1946-1964)

  • ASW of 0.07234 troy ounces (2.25 grams)
  • Commemorates the life and presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin Half Dollars (1948-1963)

  • ASW of 0.3617 troy ounces (11.25 grams)
  • One of the only coins to feature a non-presidential figure

Kennedy Half Dollars (1964-1970)

  • ASW of 0.3617 troy ounces (11.25 grams) in 1964
  • ASW of 0.14789 troy ounces (4.6 grams) from 1965-1970
  • The 1964 version was 90% silver

Eisenhower Dollars (1971-1978)

  • ASW of 0.3161 troy ounces (9.83 grams)
  • Not all Eisenhower Dollars are 40% silver; those that are have an “S” mintmark

American Silver Eagles (1986-Present)

American silver eagle dollar coin proof, gradient background

  • ASW of 1 troy ounce (31.1 grams)
  • The only coin that is almost exclusively made of silver (99.9%)

Collecting Silver Coins

As any numismatist (coin collector) knows, some coins are actually worth more for their collectible or historic value than for the material value of their silver. As of 2022, the rarest U.S. silver coin variants are valued at millions of dollars.

On the other end of the spectrum is “junk silver,” the nickname given to common 90% silver coins with no additional collectible worth. These can be sold for the value of their silver content, which can then be recycled for new uses.

If you suspect you have any extremely rare or collectible coins, be sure to research their numismatic worth before selling them. An antiques dealer or other coin expert may be able to offer professional insight.

A Timeline of U.S. Silver Coins

The design and composition of various denominations of silver coins have changed quite a bit throughout the years. Whether they are still being produced or have been relegated to history, these precious metal coins have long been popular among both investors and collectors.

Here is a brief timeline of U.S. silver coins over the years:

  • 1792: The United States Mint first begins producing coins.
  • 1794: The very first silver coin, the Flowing Hair silver dollar, is introduced.
  • Until 1964: The composition of all silver half dollars, quarters and dimes is 90% silver.
  • 1965: As the price of silver increases, new, more cost-effective compositions are introduced. Dimes and quarters are made only from copper and nickel, and half dollars become only 40% silver.
  • 1971: The Kennedy half dollar is switched to the same copper and nickel alloy as dimes and quarters.
  • 1976: Few 40% silver collectible coins (quarters, half dollars and Eisenhower dollars) are minted for the U.S. bicentennial.
  • 1977: The U.S. Mint ceases production of silver coins.
  • 1986: Silver is reintroduced in the form of the American Silver Eagle. This new, 99.9% pure silver coin is made in both bullion and collectible proof versions, giving it value in multiple markets. This coin is still in production today.
  • 1992: The U.S. Mint briefly produces a limited number of 90% silver proof sets for Kennedy half dollars, Roosevelt dimes and Washington quarters.

Investing in American Silver Coins

Like gold, silver is a popular precious metal investment choice. Of course, certain coins make for better investments than others. Some rare coins that are limited or no longer in production may have collectible value that exceeds their material value. This makes them ideal for trade as collectibles, but not necessarily as effective as a material investment vehicle.

One of the best modern silver coins for investing is the American Silver Eagle, which is the only coin with strict, guaranteed standards for weight and purity (99.9% silver). Because they are still currently in production, these silver bullion coins are readily available, making them a great buy for beginners and old hands alike.

The Advantages of Buying U.S. Silver Coins

Although silver coins may initially cost more than bars and other forms of bullion, their many advantages make for a worthwhile investment.The following are just some of the benefits of buying silver coins.

  • They are valid as legal tender. Unlike bars and other forms of silver, coins can be legally used as regular money. Even if the material value of silver were to drop to zero, the coins would still be worth their face value.
  • They’re an extremely liquid investment. Because silver coins are both legal tender and material investments, they cover multiple markets. This means they remain flexible and can be easily sold or used regardless of what happens in the economy.
  • They’re ideal for emergency preparation. The fact that silver coins retain material value means that they are resilient against economic collapse. Even if U.S. currency becomes essentially worthless, the market value of the silver material can help you stay afloat.

Sell Your Silver Coins to Cash For Gold USA

numismatists examines collection of coin

If you’re thinking about selling silver coins for their material value, we at Cash For Gold USA can ensure that you get the highest, most accurate offer possible. Not only do we pay up to three times more than our competitors, our process is easy, efficient and risk free.

Simply send your junk silver coins to us using the free shipping materials we provide. All shipments are tracked and fully insured against damage or loss. Within 24 hours of receiving your shipment, we’ll have your coins appraised and your payment ready.  If you aren’t satisfied with the amount offered, simply let us know and we’ll send your coins back at no additional charge.

To find out how much you can get for your silver coins, request a free appraisal kit online today!