How To Sell Silver Coins for Melt Value

If you’ve built up a collection of silver coins and have noticed the price of silver rising, you might be tempted to sell. But how do you value coins for sale? Should you sell silver coins for melt value or attempt to sell them as collectibles?

Be aware that some coins may have a higher numismatic (coin collecting) value than the silver content melt value, which could make selling to a collector the wiser decision. That being said, finding an interested buyer could take longer than you want before cashing in on the coin’s value.

What Is the Process of Selling Silver Coins at Their Melt Value?

The process of selling silver coins at their melt value is fairly straightforward. You must first determine the value of your coins. Calculate and compare the melt value to the coin’s value on numismatic auction sites. You could even use other auction sites like eBay or Heritage Auctions to find historical sale prices if your coin doesn’t appear in live auctions.

Once you determine how you’ll get the best value for your coin, it’s time to decide whether to auction or sell the coin for its numismatic value if that’s the better option. However, if your coin has some wear and tear and won’t fetch as much as a collectible, you’re probably wondering where to sell it for melt value.

Refineries will purchase junk coins for their silver content to melt down. You may also be able to sell to local coin buyers, pawn shops, reputable silver-buying sites, and silver exchanges. These buyers may purchase your coins for melt value so you can get cash in hand.

How Is the Melt Value of Silver Coins Calculated?

two stack of silver coins in front of calculator

To sell silver coins, you must first determine their value. You can find out the composition of coins based on their year, face value, and design.

For example, most silver coins minted before 1965 will have 90% silver content by weight, including dollar coins, half-dollars, and dimes. Most nickels moved to a copper and nickel composition by 1866, except for the Buffalo Nickel between 1913 and 1938.

After 1965, no silver coins in the U.S. contained silver, except for certain limited edition coins, like the 1965-1970 Kennedy half-dollar which contains 40% silver.

Once you calculate the silver content of your coins, multiply that by the daily market spot price for either an ounce or a gram of silver. Ensure you multiply metric by metric or imperial by imperial — don’t mix up your measurements between grams and ounces.

For example, a Peace Dollar has 0.77344 troy ounces of silver in it. If the spot silver price is $24.43 per ounce, you could net $18.895 to sell a Peace Dollar for the silver in melt value.

Where Can You Find a Potential Buyer for Your Silver Coins at Their Melt Value?

While you can calculate the melt value of your coins easily enough on your own, your coins will sell faster with an official appraisal by an authorized coin dealer, and most buyers will only purchase coins authenticated by an expert.

Once you have an appraisal, you can begin looking for a market for your coins. One of the key factors in answering “How do I sell silver coins for melt value?” is where to sell them. Auction sites may allow you to sell your coins quickly within a certain time frame. A coin dealer may purchase coins for melt value if they aren’t rare enough to be collectibles. Scrap coin dealers may buy junk coins.

Is It Better To Sell Your Silver Coins for Melt Value or as Collectibles?

old collectible coin made of silver in the album

Selling silver coins is a matter of supply and demand. If you have a large number of collectible coins with intrinsic value to coin collectors, you should sell them accordingly. The following are some coins that typically have more value as collectibles than their melt value:

  • Peace Dollars
  • Morgan Dollars
  • Franklin Half-Dollars
  • Kennedy Half-Dollars
  • Walking Liberty Half-Dollars
  • Standing Liberty Quarters
  • Liberty Head (Barber) Quarters
  • Washington Quarters
  • Winged Liberty Head (Mercury) Dimes
  • Liberty Head (Barber) Dimes
  • Buffalo Nickels 1913-1938

However, except for these coins in very good condition, junk coins from before 1965 will only sell for their melt value. Scrap buyers will purchase your coins for the silver content, or you can find a coin collector who also purchases less desirable coins for the quantity of silver in melt value.

Can You Negotiate the Melt Value When Selling to a Dealer?

Buyers and sellers expect to negotiate on pricing when values often fluctuate with the market, and precious metals are no exception. When attempting to sell your silver, you want to get as close to the true melt value as possible. However, buyers are also hoping to get a deal on their investment and may try to haggle you down to a better price.

If you’re selling a large number of coins, it could benefit you to improve your reputation as a coin seller by accepting a reasonable offer below the true melt value. Establishing connections with prospective buyers can make selling in the future easier by building a trading network for your silver.

However, if you’re new to silver investing or have yet to stack a large collection of silver coins or bullion, you may want to sell smaller amounts of your collection on an auction site and begin your bidding at close to the melt value so you’re more likely to get a winning bid of the melt value or better.

Benefits of Selling Silver Coins for Melt Value Compared to Other Selling Methods

coin collector selling his silver coins to investor

There are some benefits to selling at melt value instead of attempting to sell at collectible value. Selling coins for their collectible value requires selling them in the numismatic market to diehard collectors. Coming in as a new seller could deter potential buyers from offering as much as your coins are worth.

By selling your coins for their melt value, you’re more likely to sell them quickly and walk away with cash in hand, ready to reinvest in more silver or other precious metals. You may not get as good a price by selling them for melt value, but you can find buyers through online auction sites, pawn shops, local silver dealers, and even some coin collectors.

You can also sell directly to reputable silver refineries. Many even offer mail appraisals for you to send your coins and get a quote if you don’t have a refinery nearby. If the process of selling your coins for their collectible value seems too tedious and not worth the trouble, and you are more concerned about getting cash quickly, then selling your silver coins for their melt value might be the more advantageous option.

Learn More About Investing in and Selling Silver With the Oxford Gold Group

Investing in silver may lead you to sell silver coins for melt value when silver prices are high. The Oxford Gold Group has helped investors plan for retirement with gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars for years. For more information about buying and selling silver, contact us at the Oxford Gold Group to speak with an investment adviser.

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