5 Reasons To Collect Silver Half Dollars (And Why They’re Better Than Collecting Silver Dollars!)

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Silver half dollars, like their larger silver dollar counterparts, are big silver coins that are popular collectibles and investment tools.


While there are many reasons to collect silver dollars, there are some added benefits and numismatic possibilities to consider with silver half dollars.


Silver Dollars vs Silver Half Dollars

Unless you’re an avid coin collector, you’re probably most familiar with silver dollars.

It’s time for you to find out why silver half dollars also are popular in both coin collecting and coin investing.

Here are 5 reasons you’ll want to consider collecting silver half dollars — along with all the other coins you collect:


#1 – Silver Half Dollars Offer Many Designs

Unlike silver dollars, which offer only 2 widely affordable designs (the Morgan silver dollar and the Peace silver dollar), silver half dollars come in several affordable designs:

Of course, depending on your particular budget, you might opine that Bust half dollars and Seated Liberty half dollars are also affordable. However, those two designs have prices based solely on numismatic value.

On the other hand, prevailing silver prices tend to influence the values of many Barber halves, Walking Liberty halves, Franklin halves, and Kennedy halves, especially in lower grades.


#2 – Silver Half Dollars Are Cheaper Than Silver Dollars

If you want to get your hands on silver but running on a tight budget, you might find half dollars a good compromise in terms of both price and desirability.

Pure and simple, when you’re buying well worn, common silver coins (commonly referred to as junk silver), half dollars cost only about half that of a common silver dollar. This fact is particularly important to those who have perhaps only $10 or $20 a week to invest in silver and want to get their hands on something.

While $20 may not be enough to buy a silver dollar in the current market, it could fetch 2 silver half dollars from the coin dealer’s junk box — or perhaps a silver half dollar, a silver quarter, and two silver dimes.


#3 – Silver Half Dollars Can Be Found In Bank Rolls

While we don’t see many half dollars in circulation anymore, they’re still pretty easy to find at your local bank. What’s more, it’s relatively easy to find silver half dollars if you look enough.

On top of being able to get half dollars for only face value (instead of the markups usually encountered when buying), there’s always the thrill of the hunt — searching through bank rolls of half dollars can be both fun and rewarding.

Here’s a video about finding silver half dollars in bank rolls:

Kennedy Half Dollar Roll Video


#4 – Silver Half Dollars Provide Sleeper Opportunities

Everybody loves silver dollars, right? So with all the attention on the bigger silver pieces, many half dollars are simply being ignored by silver dollar-minded coin collectors and investors.

Especially among the Walking Liberty half dollar series and Franklin half dollars, there are many bargains to be had. Millions of those coins have been melted over the years for their silver content, and many dates — especially those in higher grades — are much scarcer than their mintages suggest.

Don’t forget that even the common date, low grade pieces may offer some potential value down the road. Should more people begin collecting Walking Liberty half dollars or Franklin half dollar by date and mintmark (a collecting method popular with Lincoln cents), demand and prices could appreciate all around.


#5 – Half Dollars Are Small & Versatile

Unlike the large silver dollar, half dollars are quite a bit smaller and not nearly as heavy. These physical features can make the half dollar somewhat more appealing in the sense they can store in a smaller space (such as in a safe deposit box) than silver dollars.

And, ultimately, there is the liquidity of half dollars — while it’s pretty hard to imagine being able to spend large silver dollars in an emergency (it’s safe to say very few people working cash registers today know what old silver dollars even look like), half dollars are quite a bit easier to spend.

Not only do many stores still readily accept half dollars, there are still paper coin wrappers available for half dollars — not the case with large-size silver dollars.

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11 thoughts on “5 Reasons To Collect Silver Half Dollars (And Why They’re Better Than Collecting Silver Dollars!)”

    • Ricardo,

      I definitely recommend calling many banks in your area — banks have them, you just have to know where to look and do some telephone work to find them. Good luck!

  1. Have you ever calculated the odds of buying 50 rolls, or any quantity of rolls, to determine what your chances of finding 1 90% silver half?
    I am thinking about doing it, I suppose when you find your first silver coin you become hooked.
    What type of neighborhoods are best for finding banks which would yield better chances of finding silver coins? I am thinking hi concentration of elderly, maybe places where there are a lot of retirement homes in one area.

      • Hi Josh,
        I will give it a try, I’ve been thinking about it for years now may as well make it happen.
        I’ll bet my theory would have been more viable 15 years ago, I know for sure there are a lot of 80-90 year olds still around who may be circulating their old change, however the chances of one slipping through the fingers of the first cashier they hand it too would be very slim these days.
        I managed a restaurant near a very large retirement neighborhood, ever so often I would find some silver coins but it was the bank teller who scored big for me as she had been collecting silver dimes and I asked her if she ever saw silver come through the bank, this was thirty years ago. We did our deposits for the restaurant at that bank and also picked up bundles of 1,5, 10 and 20 dollar bills for change every other day, one day she gave me an extra bundle of 5’s worth a hundred bucks which I returned, the next thing I knew she offered me all the dimes she had collected. I exchanged her post 64′ change for it, probably should have allowed her to keep her collection but I couldn’t resist the offer.
        I will keep you updated regarding how I do.

  2. I just wanted to say on my second roll of halves ever I scored 3 kennedy 40% halves 2.. 1967’s and a 1965 all in the same roll! 🙂


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