What are you doing about savings and investment these days?  I’ve been interested in stock markets and other investments since high school when I was entering in mock investment competitions.  Much of what Courtney and I write on this blog has to do with skills from days gone by – and so is this one.  We’re building a savings account the old fashioned way, with old fashioned money.

I have been watching gold and silver for quite some time, but I own very little of it.  I’ve known that the best ways to buy are on the dip days.  Well, yesterday was one and so I headed in to the coin shop after work and bought all of the mercury dimes they had in the display case.  With a few Roosevelts to top it all off, I left with 40 dimes in total in exchange for a one hundred dollar bill. And boy do I feel better about possessing physical silver rather than fiat paper money.

I adapted a small spreadsheet I found online to analyze prices so I was confident I was getting a good deal.  I have never done this before.  As I do this more, I’ll be able to look at certain coins and know whether or not they’re a deal.  For now, though, I needed my cheat sheet which I adapted from the chart at this site.  Here it is: 2011-05 Junk Silver Calculator

Mercury dimes were produced between 1916 and 1946.  I chose them for their beauty, history and due to my personal aversion to President Franklin Roosevelt.  The Roosevelt dimes minted between 1947 and 1965 are just fine in terms of silver content and value.  I ended up with one Barber dime from 1901 as well.  Once I got home and had time to analyze the stash, I realized that a few of them were slightly rare, carrying twice the collector value of the others, so all in all it was a very worthwhile experience.

The term junk silver refers to currency with dates prior to 1965.  That was the year silver was no longer used in the coins.  It is rare, but you can bump into these coins in circulation today;  I recently found a silver canadian dime in a jar of spare change.  Referring to the chart above, you’ll see the silver content listed is different with each coin type.  The dimes I bought are all 90% silver content.

Thanks, Robert.


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