Junk silver is an easy way to invest in silver for possible financial instability within the economy. All United States dimes, quarters, and half dollars dated pre-1964 are made of 90% silver. They are coins that are not considered bullion or rare, but they are worth more than their face value due to the precious metals content. Junk silver is the least expensive way to buy silver, and it can be easily traded and liquidated.

History of 35% Coins

During World War II, many commodities were rationed to filter resources into the war effort. Nickel was used for armor plating and many other military supply products being produced rapidly in large amounts. Congress decided to require the nickel be removed from five-cent pieces and made this official in October 1942. From then until the end of 1945, nickels were minted with the normal design, but included large mintmarks of a “P” above the dome of Monticello. It was the first time the “P” was used on a United States coin, designating them as being minted in the Philadelphia Mint.

It was anticipated that these coins would be taken out of circulation after the war ended. These nickels were minted with 56% copper, 9% manganese, and 35% silver, and are known as “war nickels.” Each nickel contains an alloy of 0.0563 troy ounces of silver. Sacagawea and presidential dollars are the only other United States coins that contain manganese.

These War Nickels are popular among coin collectors and silver investors, and allow investors to own silver at a very low initial investment. War nickels have a different coloring and hue to them than regularly minted nickels, as the manganese content creates a darker color. Nickels with this manganese content that are protected in plastic encasings often retain a lighter color and aren’t as dark as circulated coins.


Collectors also take great interest in the historical background of these silver coins. War nickels are also known as Jefferson War Nickels, and include a portrait of Jefferson facing to the left on the front. The reverse has artwork of Monticello, which was Jefferson’s estate home.

35% Silver Value

Many online websites, such as Coinflation.com, have free melt value calculators for war nickels. These calculators allow people to figure out the total silver value and weight for different amounts of nickels. The variables are the quantity of war nickels, face value of the war nickels, or the total weight of the nickels. Some calculators have the ability to enter combined variables.

Once the amounts are entered into the calculator, the silver value is based on the current silver market price box. This is normally pre-populated and will have a clickable option to update the price. This is taken directly from the market’s spot value. This silver value lets war nickel owners know the actual value of the silver in their nickels, or can aid them in knowing how much they want to pay when purchasing 35% silver nickels. Although gaining silver wealth by obtaining 35% silver war nickels can be tedious, it’s an economical way to invest in silver.