If you have silver coins to sell, read this guide first. There are important things to know about selling silver coins. These basics will make the process easy for you. Following this guide will help you get the most money for your silver coins!

The most important things to do before selling your coins are:

  • finding out how much your silver coins are worth
  • identifying what kind of coin(s) you have
  • choosing the best place to sell your silver coins
  • Identifying your silver coins will help your figure out where to sell them. We'll walk through each of these steps in detail. Our expert advice about precious metals comes from over 5 decades of experience in the market.

    1919 d walking liberty half dollar

    Silver coins have been issued by various governments around the world throughout history.

    Step 1: How to Determine the Value of Your Silver Coins

    Not all silver coins are created equal! Figuring out the worth of your silver stack depends mainly on two factors: the silver spot price and the potential collector value of the coins.

    Here are the steps you should follow to figure out a fair price for your silver coins.

    Identify What Type of Silver Coins You Have: By looking at a coin, you can ascertain its date, country of origin, and denomination. This is the key identifying information. There are useful guide books from Whitman Publishing and Krause Publications that can confirm what kind of coin you have. Keep in mind that coins are legal tender and are different from silver rounds. Follow the link to learn more about the difference between the two.

    Know Your Silver Composition: Most common silver coins minted before 1965 in the U.S. are 90% silver. This means 90% of the coin's weight is pure silver, with 10% being another metal, usually copper. More modern silver coins (often called bullion coins) are usually made from 99.9% pure silver today. These coins will be stamped or engraved with their purity, expressed as “.999 fine silver.”

    Check the Weight: Silver is measured in troy ounces (oz), grams (g), or sometimes even kilos (kg). For modern bullion coins, there should be a stamp somewhere on the coin indicating its weight. For pre-1965 silver coins, you may want to weigh it on a digital scale. Some popular brands of digital scales are Libra and Smartweigh, and they cost about $30. You can also look up the fine metal content for any silver coin in the aforementioned reference books, but be aware that circulated coins will be slightly underweight due to wear over time.

    Look Up the Spot Price: This is the current market price of pure silver per troy ounce. (One troy ounce is 31.1 grams.) The spot silver price represents how much you can expect to sell an ounce of pure silver for “on the spot.” You can find this on the Gainesville Coins website by following the previous link or with a quick web search.

    Calculate Your Silver Melt Value: Multiply the weight of your coin by its silver percentage (e.g. 0.9 for 90% pure silver). Then multiply that number by the current spot price. This will give you the base value of your silver based on its metal content. There is also a great resource called Coinflation that will show you melt values for common silver coins from around the world.

    Factor in Collector Value: Some silver coins are worth much more than their melt value due to rarity, condition, or historical significance. Research your specific coins online or consult the reference books mentioned above to get an accurate gauge on your coins' potential collector value.

    What to Do Before You Sell Your Silver Coins

    Don't rush into selling your silver coins. Even if you must sell them quickly, a bit of due diligence can make all the difference.

    Here are some smart steps to take first:

    Have a Strategy in Selling Your Coins

    Decide upon your selling goals: Are you looking for a quick cash sale or the best possible price for rare coins? This will influence your selling strategy.

    If you’re more concerned with getting full value for your silver coins, then be patient. It may take weeks to find the right buyer. This is especially true the more collectible your coins are.

    If you’re looking to sell your silver quickly, then don’t be too picky about where you make a quick buck. Most of the options listed below will give you roughly the melt value of your silver coins.

    Following this process will tell you who your target buyer should be: either patiently wait for a collector, or sell to a bullion dealer. Being armed with this knowledge beforehand will also prevent you from getting a bad deal.

    Choose a Place to Sell Silver Coins

    There are several avenues for selling your silver coins, each with its pros and cons:

    Online Bullion Dealers: Offer competitive prices and convenience, but may not give the highest price for valuable collector coins. You can easily sell your silver coins to Gainesville Coins by following the link.

    Local Coin Shops: A good option for common bullion coins or getting an initial assessment for rarer collectible coins. Look for reputable shops with experience buying silver.

    Online Auction Sites: Can be a good option for selling rare coins to collectors, but come with fees and require careful handling to avoid scams.

    Coin Shows or Forums: Great for selling high-value collector coins directly to collectors, but are more effort and may take time to find the right buyer.

    Flea Markets, Pawn Shops, or Swap Meets: Liquid market with face-to-face interaction, but you may not garner full price.

    Antique Shops: Will generally buy and sell old silver coins, but not more modern ones.

    Remember, the key to getting the best price is shopping around and getting quotes from multiple buyers. For valuable collector coins, you should strongly consider professional grading to ensure authenticity and maximize their value.

    Where NOT to Sell Silver Coins

    There are other places you may consider selling your coins but should be avoided. Online marketplaces such as Craigslist, Poshmark, or Facebook Marketplace are fine for selling generic items such as clothing or furniture, but they are far less useful for selling silver coins. They suffer from the problem of not filtering out scams and require you to trust a stranger outside of a controlled setting.

    Understand the Process of Selling Silver Coins

    First off, it can be helpful to call a dealer or coin shop before you show up so they know what you're bringing. They can give you a quote or make an offer. Based on your prior research and knowledge, you can accept their Bid price or keep shopping around.

    Bear in mind that that the price of silver is always fluctuating. The price offered to you is subject to change until you formally lock in the sale.

    Most silver coin dealers will pay you by check. At pawn shops or other venues, you may be paid in cash instead. Be mindful that tax reporting rules may apply to your sale. It's a good idea to consult with your accountant about any taxes you owe for the transaction.

    1935 peace silver dollar

    The market for silver coins is global, operating all over the world.

    Everything Else You Need to Know

    To summarize the key points to remember when selling your silver coins:

  • identify your coins through research
  • determine the approximate value of your coins before approaching any buyer
  • decide your strategy for where you want to sell
  • understand the tax implications of your sale
  • Doing the prior research and knowing what kind of coins you have is a huge advantage. Sadly, if you simply bring your coins to a buyer expecting them to know what you have, you greatly increase the chances of getting a bad deal or outright swindled. Knowledge is certainly power in this circumstance.

    Here are a few more tips to help you through the selling process:

  • old silver coins (and even many modern silver bullion coins) often walk the line between "junk silver" and something more collectible
  • not all silver coins of the same weight are necessarily worth the same amount to a collector or buyer
  • no buyer is obligated to purchase your coins, even if they are indeed valuable
  • if you follow the advice in this article, selling your silver coins is relatively easy and stress-free!

  • Read more about how to buy and sell precious metals from the experts at Gainesville Coins:

    How to Sell Gold: Step-by-Step Guide

    How To Sell Your Coin Collection

    How To Sell Gold Online: Best Places to Sell Gold Safely

    How to Sell Silver Bars: Insider's Guide to Where, Why, and How

    How to Buy Junk Silver Coins: Complete Guide

    How to Sell Coins: 5 Best Tips

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    Everett Millman

    Everett Millman

    Managing Editor | Analyst, Commodities and Finance

    Everett has been the head content writer and market analyst at Gainesville Coins since 2013. He has a background in History and is deeply interested in how gold and silver have historically fit into the financial system.

    In addition to blogging, Everett's work has been featured in Reuters, CNN Business, Bloomberg Radio, TD Ameritrade Network, CoinWeek, and has been referenced by the Washington Post.