Free Silver

For all you patient silver stackers this is the risk free trade.

If you have any smaller banks in the area head down there and ask for any half dollars they may have.
They are only too happy to give them to you as nobody wants them in change and they have to count them every night to balance their till. After you have cleaned them out of those ask them if they have any in the vault. If not ask them to order you a couple of boxes or more.

The first time I asked my local bank they only had about 80 coins but about 10 of them turned out to have about silver. Most of them the 90% variety. You can literally hear that sweet silver ping when they drop them on the counter.

What you are looking for is so called "junk" silver. Junk because it has no real numismatic value. 
If you can get $1000 worth of 90% silver you have a little under $20,000 worth of silver in your hand.
Most of what you will find will be the 40% variety. Which is still better than a slap in the face with a wet fish. has all the specifics.

The simple rule of thumb is anything before 1971 hold onto. 1971 is when we decided that coins with Silver was a bad idea. Now that turned out to be a great idea if you want to print money out of thin air but a bad idea for anyone holding it.

Each box contains 1000 coins (or $500 for the math impaired).

A couple of tips.
I tried searching through about $5000 worth of coins from Bank of America and I got about 3 coins out of the whole lot. Complete waste of time. I noticed their boxes are of the longer variety and their coins are in rolls of $10 and are not stacked. Maybe they sort them?
Whereas my smaller local bank has the more square shaped box and the rolls of $10 are stacked two high.  Much better results there and I average about 6 coins per box. Sometimes you hit pay dirt sometimes it's a wash. 

I have found that by peeling the paper packing on a roll at one end I don't have to destroy the tube and can simply slide them out of the tube. When I am done I slide the coins back into the tube and fold the paper back.

Never, ever return the coins to the bank you got them at. The teller is your friend and you don't want to piss them off. Bring them back to one of the big banks.

This tip you want to pay attention to as it will speed up the process. When you slide the coins out don't bother looking at the dates. Just look at the sides of the coins in a stack. The ones containing silver will be uniformly zinc like in color. Whereas anything after 1971 will have either a copper edge or half copper half silver edge as long as they have been in circulation.

I haven't bothered with quarters or dimes yet. My reasoning is there are less half dollars out there than quarters and dimes. They are easier to sort as well.  

I have been thinking about getting a good metal detector to see if I can pick out the rolls containing  silver without opening them and really assembly line the process. I might pick one up this weekend if Radio Shack stock them. I have to do a little research on metal detectors to get the best bang for the buck.

One last tip. That big pile of shrapnel you have sitting on your shelf may contain some nuggets. To save you actually looking at them bring them down to your local "Stop for Slop" or "Wally Mart" and throw them into the coinstar machine. These machines typically reject silver coins, Canadian and wheatbacks.
Check the return slot for your silver shrapnel and wheatback pennies. The guy before you may have left some in there for you as well.

There are a few ways to avoid paying the coinstar machine service charge of 8-10%. Either take the gift card for Amazon or the local "Stop and Slop" or this is the fun one;
Disconnect the phone line from the back of the machine and choose Amazon or whatever gives you full value.  It will try to call up and when that doesn't work it will default to a coupon for full value which you can cash in the store rather than a card which forces you to shop at the store.
I haven't done that in while so I don't know if it still works and I did it just out of curiosity.

Happy Hunting

P.S. Please post up success stories you may have had or any other info that may be useful.

P.P.S. I forgot to add this in the original article but it's probably the most important point.
You can order the coins without it hitting your account until you pick up. If you have the time you can really assembly line this and have it set up to pick up every day say 1000 at a time. All you need is a float of $500. Go get them before Slamhound get's them all. See comments below.


John 97205 said...


Your ideas for speeding this up have prompted me to try it.

Also, nice idea of taking the coins back to a criminal bank, not one you like. I carefully selected a small local bank that contributes to the community for my own accounts and didn't want to burden them with this entire process when I first came across this idea a week or two ago.

But I can get the coins at my bank, and turn them back in at Bank of America across the street.

Anonymous said...

Picking up $800 at Wells Fargo tomorrow :) Ill let you know how we do. When silver hits $100 this play will be over

JC said...

You'd be surprised what kind of silver you can obtain by talking about it with co-workers in passsing. I have picked up junk silver from co-workers that said they had a bunch just sitting around. I would tell them it was a hobby for me and offer to buy it if they are looking to unload it.

Louis Cypher said...

Didn't you do really well on your last run?
I'll have to try the JC approach as well.

I return mine to Citizens bank as their fees for everything are outrageous but if you have enough transactions and a few thousand lodged they are OK.

The other reason is they are in my local grocer so I grab a shopping trolley and load my boxes into it.

Tomorrow I think I'll take a run to Rat Shack and see what they have for metal detectors.

Anonymous said...

Louis, I have a sweet MineLab detector, I will try it before I even open the big box. I did good on the last $2000, I Bilked 24 coins, 4 of them 90% and one of them was a 1961 Franklin LOL! I will shit if a get a standing liberty. Ever get one?

Louis Cypher said...

I got 2 Standing Liberty coins from doing this :)
Both from the same roll. I have to assume someone walked in with their fathers coin collection.
I felt bad because I know somewhere some father is still beating his son over this.

John 97205 said...


Not a single roll available from four local banks; at the fifth I went to, Wells Fargo, none either, but they offered to order a box (coming Monday) without my asking (a pleasant surprise, as I consider them to be among the criminal banks).

I don't know if by ...most of them the 40% variety... you were referring to one box or many boxes, hopefully the former, in which case I had figured the average numbers like this, per box:

5 coins @ $5.33 + 1 coin @ $13.03 less face value ($3) = $36.68 per box

Not bad if the entire process can be done in an hour or less, especially considering one can expect the value to go up over time.

I haven't gone to my own bank yet; I'm thinking if this isn't yet played out, I'll go in and ask them to order me ten boxes, just once.

John 97205 said...

GOT ONE! ;-)

At the first bank I went to, I thought the teller was getting rolls, but she came back with a handful of loose coins; I almost didn't want to bother with a small amount of loose coins, but after her effort of collecting them from two or three teller stations I couldn't refuse.

Got one 40% (a '68 Kennedy half) out of 47 coins.

Louis Cypher said...

"Every stack begins with one coin" Confusdous

Louis Cypher said...

It's the loose ones that pay off usually. They have been sitting around forever in the small banks or someone just dropped off a useless jar of coins their Grandfather had. Just my experience anyway.
I use whatever loose coins I have for tolls and coffee.

Louis Cypher said...

Well Radio shack don't carry anything in the store.
Can anyone recommend a cheap detector that will be good enough to pick out silver from a roll of dimes and quarters? I am thinking of expanding my cottage industry here :)

Anonymous said...

Got my $800 today and the results are in. I recieved a sealed box of $500 and $300 in hand rolled. The hand rolled sucked ass I wont do that again. The sealed box had eleven (11) 40% silver Sweet! I ordered another $1000. She said she will have it next week.
Just remember if your doing this to have a place where you can count the coins for free. I can take mine to my bank in a bag and they will deposit it next day. Then repeat...

Louis Cypher said...

All I can say is you are way over my average. Serious congratulations.

I forgot to add this to the article but you know you can order the coins without it hitting your account until you pick up. Actually this is the most important point. If you have the time you can really assembly line this and have it set up to pick up every day a 1000 at a time. all you need is a float of $500. The way you are picking up silver you will whittle way that float pretty quick :)

I won't ask what bank or location but would you mind sharing the type of bank? How many branches? Small town? Average age in the town etc.

Anonymous said...

Im in Washington, medium size town. :) I am ordering the coins from Wells Fargo, then I take them to be counted (for Free) at Washington Trust. Reason I am using Wells is I hear that they get the coinstar coins. Hopefully by taking from one and depositing in the other i'm not polluting the wells fargo coins. Oh and by the way the tell is Freaking HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Louis Cypher said...

Thanks for the info Slam. Funny thing is when I tried putting half dollars into my local coinstar machine it spits them out. It might just be a local thing.

Anonymous said...

Update.. Got another $1000 here is the results.
13-40% silver JFK's
1- 90% silver jfk
1- $2 canadian coin LOL!! Ill take those all day long.
Got another $1000 ordered, im getting addicted