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Affordable US Silver Coins

Updated on November 15, 2014
Affordable US silver coin photo from:
Affordable US silver coin photo from: | Source

Is There Space In Your Collection For These 3 Affordable US Silver Coins?

Are you looking for affordable US silver coins? But you are not sure where to start? There are many reasons why people begin collecting US silver coins. For some it becomes a hobby if they have been given a particular old coin by a relative or a friend or find one by chance and try to start a collection. Other people though purposely start collecting coins with a view to making a real investment. Whether you are looking to make some money, looking to have a comprehensive and impressive collection there are some old affordable US silver coins that will make your collection more valuable and all the more impressive. We are now going to discuss 3 such affordable US silver coins - the Barber Half Dollar, the Walking Liberty Dollar and the Roosevelt Dimes.

affordable us silver coins: Roosvelt dimes
affordable us silver coins: Roosvelt dimes | Source

1- Roosevelt Dime: The Most Understated Of All Silver Dimes Minted In The USA

Not only an affordable US silver coin but one you can find in your pocket change too!

Soon after Franklin D. Roosevelt's death the call was made for the Mercury dime to be redesigned and for a variation to be struck in honor of Roosevelt. The Roosevelt silver dime was minted originally between 1946 and 1964. It was designed by John R. Sinnock and features on the obverse a bust of Franklin D. Roosevelt's head and on the reverse it features an oak branch, torch and olive branch. The most interesting thing about the Roosevelt Dime is that it is still minted to this day and is still in general use as a coin in America. In fact its lifespan of 67 years makes it one of the most mass produced and minted coins in the history of not only America, but the world. It is a very popular coin because it bears the image of Franklin D. Roosevelt and although the newer minted versions are not in silver, the design is still seen as something of a classic.

Buy Some Roosevelt Silver Dimes - Lot of 10 silver dimes

The silver Roosevelt dime was produced from 1946 to 1964 and was made from 90% silver and 10% copper. While it is certainly true that some people mistakenly used these silver dimes as normal US currency, they do have an underlying numismatic value ranging from $1.20 to $75 (for the 1949 S Roosevelt dime).

Uncirculated Roosevelt silver dimes: affordable US silver coins

I actually like uncirculated silver dimes. They are, however, becoming more difficult to find in the open market!

Barber Silver Coins
Barber Silver Coins | Source

2- Barber Half Dollar

An Affordable US Silver Half Dollar

This silver coin has a very interesting history. It was designed by Charles E. Barber, the United States Bureau of Mint Chief Engraver and was minted between 1892 and 1915. From the early 1830's the United States had been using the silver coins with the Seated Liberty design and towards the end of the 1880's there was a huge demand for a replacement to be designed and produced. In 1891, the Mint Director Edward o Leech decided to organize a competition to find a new look for the coins, but as the winning designer alone would win a cash prize, the artists who had been invited to participate declined. The public entries that came in were all deemed unsuitable. The responsibility was then passed on to Barber to redesign the dime, quarter and of course half dollar.

The design process of the Barber coinage was hampered by the disagreements between Barber and Leech over what should and shouldn't be included on either side of the coin. In the end it was settled that the basic head of Liberty be on the obverse with 13 stars round the edge and the words In God We Trust above Liberty's head. The reverse had an eagle, representative of the Great Seal of The USA, which had 13 arrows in one of its claws and a 13 leafed olive branch in the other claw. Above the eagle there were 13 stars and the name of the country round the top half with the denomination round the bottom half. Replacements were already in the process of being ordered when these coins started being struck and circulated and although the Barber coins have often been the least favored by most collectors, interest in them has increased in recent years.

Buy Some Barber Half Dollars

There are approximately 73 known Barber Half Dollar versions available on the market today.

What makes this silver coin so much fun to collect is the fact that there isn't a super rare year or strike to try and hunt down. You can, in fact, buy just about any year, and mintage, you want at reasonable prices.

Despite the fact that the Barber Half Dollar was produced from 1892 to 1915, it has managed to maintain its collectibility. This is primarily due to the fact that is was made with 90% silver and 10% copper. This puts the value of the precious metals at around $10 by itself. If you can find one in great condition, the price will only increase from there!

1 Barber Half Dollar .50c Face 90% Silver Circulated 1 Coin Random Date
1 Barber Half Dollar .50c Face 90% Silver Circulated 1 Coin Random Date

If you want an affordable US silver coin and a fun to collect coin, the Barber Half Dollar may be just what you have been searching for! Starting your barber Half Dollar collection? You can buy a random date and start from there.


You can also buy Barber Half Dollars lots to jump start your collection.

3- Walking Liberty Half Dollar

Not the most affordable US silver coin but still cheap enough for most collectors. And stunningly beautiful

These silver dollar coins were minted in the United States from 1916 to 1947. The silver Walking Liberty was designed by sculptor Adolph A. Weinman after his sketches won a competition conducted by the Commission of Fine Arts. His design on the obverse has a full length version of Liberty walking, carrying oak and laurel branches that symbolize military and civil glory, with the Stars and Stripes forming a backdrop flying in the breeze. The reverse shows an eagle perched upon a mountain top with his wings unfolded and spread, showing fearlessness of spirit and fully conscious of his power, with a sapling of mountain pine springing out of the rock, symbolically representing America. The story goes that Weinman's design was so difficult to perfect that they almost asked the Master Engraver Charles Barber to redesign the coin, but eventually the Walking Liberty went into production.

Start Your Walking Liberty Silver Half Dollar Collection Now

I am a huge fan of the Walking Liberty Half Dollar. This silver coin is, quite frankly, beautiful.

These silver dollar coins were minted in the United States from 1916 to 1947. They are affectionately known as the Walking Liberty Silver Half Dollar because the obverse image depicts Lady Liberty as she is walking along holding an olive branch. The American Bald Eagle is quietly perched on the reverse stoically watching over the land he loves.

As far as conductibility goes, these silver half dollars are extremely valuable. From what I can tell, a 1921 S Walking Liberty silver half dollar sold for an amount in excess of $14,000. You can, however, find really nice examples for much cheaper on this page.

Grab a deal on Walking Liberty silver coins

If you are looking for a nice looking silver coin, the Walking Liberty Half Dollar gets my vote!

Do You Collect US Silver Coins

The 3 coins mentioned above are by no means the most popular, nor are they worth the most. However, if you are interested in collecting to form a timeline for the history of coin making in the USA, these are important pieces for that timeline. Charles Barber's designs may have been tame and perhaps a little boring and maybe Weinman's were far too arty, they still have their place.

What is your favorite, affordable US silver coin?

See results

Learn More About These 3 Affordable US Silver Coins

Some great reference books to learn more about these coins.

What's your favorite affordable US siver coins? I love silver dimes because when it comes to collecting old US coins, silver dimes make a great place to start.

In addition to being inexpensive, they are also relatively easy to find; particularly on auction sites such as eBay or even Craigslist. When it comes to silver dimes, however, there are a few types from which to choose.

From 1892 to 1916, most silver dimes are referred to as Barber dimes (named after their designer). From 1916 to 1945, silver dimes are typically referred to as mercury dimes. Finally, from 1946 to 1964, silver dimes are more commonly known as Roosevelt dimes.

You can, of course, buy them in all conditions; from barely recognizable to near mint condition. The condition you start with generally depends upon how much money you want to spend to get started.

The silver barber dime is one of the easiest places to start. You can generally find one in decent condition rather inexpensively. Silver dimes do not get much better than these in my opinion.

The 1916 D Mercury Dime is, perhaps, worth the most money. If you can find one, grab it while you can! Of course, I would not mind finding a 1926 S Mercury dime either.

© 2013 Nathalie Roy


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The Peace dollar - because it says "Peace" on it. :)

      Last year while cleaning out the basement of my parents' house I found a whole bunch of coins. There were some pennies and nickels but there were a whole lot of silver ones - dollars, halves, quarters, and dimes. I wanted to sell them so I first called a local "We Buy" place; I'd worked with them before so I trusted them to give me a fair price. But it just didn't seem right when there were coin collectors out there who I knew would really appreciate them. So I decided to put them on eBay and I've been listing a few there almost every week since then. It's been a slow process - there were a *lot* of coins! - but I feel like it's been worth it and is a win-win situation for both me and the buyer; I get needed cash and they get something they can keep and (hopefully) treasure for many years.

      (I've sold all the dollars except for one last Peace, which I'm keeping for myself - because it's a "Peace" and because it was minted in Denver, my home for many years. So I guess I can see how people could get sentimentally attached to these things. :) )

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens on coin collecting. This a fun hobby.

    • annieangel1 profile image


      6 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      This looks great - I don't collect coins any more but I found these US silver coins very interesting.

    • kislanyk profile image


      6 years ago from Cyprus

      I used to collect coins as a child. No longer doing it, but I still have my old collection at my mom's. What a fun hobby to have!

    • LisaDH profile image


      6 years ago

      I completely agree with you about the Walking Liberty half dollar. It's one of the most beautiful coins our country has ever minted. But as for the Roosevelt dime... well, I think it's rather dull. The Mercury dime had a much more stunning design.


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