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Perhaps you’ve heard of the term constitutional silver and wondered what it meant.
Or maybe you already know what constitutional silver coins are — and now you’re wanting to find out where you can buy them and how much they’re worth.
Many people are searching for constitutional silver coins for sale. However, before you jump to buy silver coins, it’s best to find out more:
- Are constitutional silver coins worth buying?
- Are they better than other types of silver coins?
- What are constitutional silver coin values?
We’re going to answer all of those questions and more today…
What Are Constitutional Silver Coins?
Before we go into all the nitty gritty details about constitutional silver coin values, where you can buy them, and stuff like that, let’s first explain what they are.
By and large, constitutional silver coins are any pre-1965 90% silver coins struck by the United States Mint.
Constitutional silver is a term most commonly used for describing the following coins:
- Mercury dimes
- Pre-1965 90% silver Roosevelt dimes
- Standing Liberty quarters
- Pre-1965 90% silver Washington quarters
- Walking Liberty half dollars
- Franklin half dollars
- 1964 90% silver Kennedy half dollars
- Morgan dollars
- Peace dollars
It’s safe to say that in most cases, when you buy constitutional silver, it will contain (perhaps exclusively, depending on the seller) pre-1965 Roosevelt dimes and pre-1965 Washington quarters.
These two types of coins saw the highest overall production and thus are the most common across the board.
Some dates were struck to the tune of 100 million or more. Hence, the numismatic premiums you’ll pay on these two types of coins are generally lower than for the scarcer, older silver coins that are more valuable.
Therefore, buying pre-1965 silver dimes and quarters allows you to get more bang for your buck (per gram of silver).
However, this doesn’t mean that some people selling constitutional silver won’t also include the other coins that I’ve listed above.
When we’re talking about constitutional silver coins, it’s also important to note the following coins that were not listed above — like the classic silver designs used during or created in the 19th century, including:
- Bust, Liberty Seated, and Barber types
- 35% silver wartime Jefferson nickels
- 40% silver Kennedy half dollars from 1965 through 1970
- Silver Bicentennial coins
- And other more recent silver coinage
This doesn’t mean that some constitutional silver lots won’t include 35% silver war nickels or 40% silver Kennedy half dollars. But mostly, constitutional silver entails the classic 90% silver coins that were produced before 1965.
If you have any awareness of the silver markets or are familiar with the bullion world, you’ll probably realize that much of the material sold as “constitutional silver” is the same coinage that is historically advertised as “junk silver.”
Why All The Hype Around Constitutional Silver Coins?
You’re probably hearing a lot more constitutional silver coins these days more than you ever had before.
So, why is this? And what’s the big deal about constitutional silver if it’s really just what other dealers sell as junk silver?
The term constitutional silver is marketing jargon that has become popular these days because it stirs emotions of patriotism, security, and traditional American values — things many people who like to stack silver coins are looking for.
These days, some people are concerned about currencies unbacked by precious metals (more commonly known as fiat money), economic system breakdowns, and other tragic things. Many of these people distrust modern-day governments in the United States and abroad, don’t have faith in the stock market, and believe that precious metals are the only “real” form of money.
There’s absolutely nothing misleading about the term constitutional silver — it merely refers to silver coinage that is guaranteed by the national government and is backed by the faith of the United States.
Don’t forget… the United States Mint and the coins it produces are all passed by congress, signed into law by the United States, and codified into the core legal documents that declare our nation’s sovereignty.
However, it’s important for those who want to buy constitutional silver to remember that, in most cases, constitutional silver for sale generally encompasses the types of coins typically found in ordinary junk silver rolls and bags.
Constitutional silver is not necessarily any better, safer, or more patriotic than any other type of 90% silver United States coins.
Where Can You Buy Constitutional Silver Coins For Sale?
Most coin dealers who sell silver bullion coins or classic United States coins will sell constitutional silver — or the types of coins commonly referred to as constitutional silver.
While constitutional silver is safe to buy from reputable coin dealers, you shouldn’t have to pay more for it than you would for the same types of coins in the same condition when sold under different names, such as:
- Junk silver
- 90% silver coins
- Pre-1964 silver coins
- Pre-1965 silver coins
When making a decision as to whether you should buy constitutional silver coins, it is best to reach out to the dealer offering to sell them to you and ask what specific types of coins you are likely to receive if you buy these pieces from them.
After all, one dealer’s constitutional silver may refer to something different than another dealer’s constitutional silver!
Are Constitutional Silver Coins Worth Buying?
If you want to invest money in pre-1965 silver coins, then buying constitutional silver coins may be a favorable option for you.
These old 90% silver coins are popular with both collectors and investors — and therefore, it might be wise to stock up on these coins for your collection or investment portfolio.
Be advised that silver prices do fluctuate.
There is no such thing as a guaranteed profit in coins, especially when it comes to bullion. You could just as well lose money when investing in silver as you could gain.
It’s probably more prudent to view silver not as an investment, per se, but rather as a type of insurance against bad economic times and a hedge against inflation.
Constitutional Silver Coin Values
If you’re curious what constitutional silver is worth, you’re going to need to know exactly what coins are at hand, their dates, and their overall condition.
Since there is no single type of constitutional silver coin, it’s best to refer to common silver coin values for Mercury dimes, Roosevelt dimes, Washington quarters, and other coins typically sold under the patriotic banner.
Here is a basic rundown of silver coin values for the types of coins most commonly sold under the constitutional silver branding:
- Mercury dimes – $2 to $2.50
- Pre-1965 Roosevelt dimes – $1.90 to $2.25
- Standing Liberty quarters – $6 to $8
- Pre-1965 Washington quarters – $5 to $6
- Walking Liberty half dollars – $11 to $13
- Franklin half dollars – $10.50 to $12
- 1964 Kennedy half dollars – $10 to $11
- Morgan dollars – $22 to $25
- Peace dollars – $21 to $23
*Prices are for coins in average circulated condition and based on a silver spot price of $25 per ounce. Values may be higher or lower depending on the current spot price of silver.
I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I’m also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I’ve contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I’ve authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!