People often times overlook things, its a fact. Several everyday items that pass through your hands countless times in a day are actually worth more than their face value. Coins especially are easy to misidentify, sure a quarter is worth a quarter unless that quarter is made of silver. This then makes a face value quarter worth quite a few times more.
Here is your quick guide to everyday quarters and dimes that are worth a pretty penny more than their face values. We will be discussing their metal contents, so all the numismatic value ( coin collecting) has been stripped away for the moment. Its all about silver right now. Also we are generally discussing the Washington quarter that most people are familiar with today ( dimes are slightly more complicated which will be discussed later). These quarters have been circulated in the US since 1932 and have been very popular. The key fact here is that from 1932 to 1964 the metal composition of these coins consisted of 90% silver.
Needless too say these particular quarters at today’s silver prices are hard finds indeed. Yet with a little patience and some diligence you can still find these coins floating around. Many times people pay in plastic these days and do not receive change back, this of course can be alleviated by using the good old greenback. Also of note to watch out for are dimes from the same era, though smaller and thus less silver they are still composed of 90% of their original weight in the metal.
Dimes are a little harder to understand. The common Roosevelt dime design has only been on the dime since 1946 and thus only had an 18 year window of having the silver content as opposed to the silver quarters 32 year. So the savvy collector must be on the lookout for earlier dimes, those that are known as Mercury Dimes. These feature the goddess Liberty in a winged cap and are made of the same composition as the Roosevelt dimes (90% silver). Of course these coins are different and older and many years have acquired value outside of the coin’s metal.
Also of note since you are searching your pocket change anyway is the discussion about nickels. No matter what has been said to various individuals only really old nickels or those minted from 1942-1945 hold any silver content. The average Jefferson nickel was introduced too replace the Buffalo nickel in 1938 using the standard alloy of 25% nickel to 75% copper, which is still used today. But due to the shortage of nickel for the war effort in 1942 the composition was changed to be 35% silver, 56% copper and 9% manganese. Any nickel minted between these dates (as long as its not counterfeit) is worth substantially more than its face value.
Washington Quarter Article
Jefferson Nickel Article
Current Silver Value