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Buy Old Money on eBay

Updated on May 11, 2012

Can't Buy Me Love

The Beatles were right, money can't buy love, but money will buy you more money on eBay. It's true: there's tons of the stuff being auctioned off right now. Some of it is old. You can buy old money on eBay. Getting started presents no problem. It's free to browse.

Here are just a few of the amazing deals on old money. Whip out your credit card. Click your mouse. Have a lot of fun shopping online for other people's money. It's all here.

Washington Silver Quarters

From 1923 through 1964, the US Government minted quarters emblazoned with the profile of our first president, George Washington. No one can say with certainty what President Washington might think of this honor, but history tells us he was generally a humble man who rarely sought high office. He probably would be embarrassed to see his face on coinage.

Why do Washington Silver Quarters Matter?

The reason that a veritable plethora of these coins are always available on eBay is because 90% of each coin is made of silver. Every coin is worth much more than the face value of 25 cents. Referred to as 'scrap value' or 'melt value', it's over $6.00 per coin as of this writing. So-called (self-annointed?) experts happily suggest that this price may skyrocket at any time. The price of gold will also drive the price of silver higher. It's much easier, financially, to get into silver investing when gold costs upwards of $1800 per ounce.

Are some worth more than others?

Certainly some George Washington Silver Quarters have a perceived value much higher than the melt value. A particular coin with a minting defect such as a crooked die or grease stains from the minting process may be much more desirable to some collectors. These imperfections are rare, making the specific coins worth more money than similar examples.

Will the quarters appreciate?

If you do choose to buy old money on eBay, plan to implement a buy-and-hold strategy. In general, expect your coins to appreciate in value, but not immediately. Even the most 'used' coins will always be worth their melt value and many coins will experience an increase in demand as less-desirable instances are melted down for an immediate return on investment. The supply of 1932-1964 Washington Silver quarters can never increase. Should the price of silver trend downward for any appreciable time period, look for investors to panic and bail out: deals on eBay may improve for savvy investors.

Is this old money still in circulation?

Yes. And it's still a legal payment for all debts public and private at face value. You just might have a silver coin in your junk drawer or even in your pocket. It's easy to recognize the distinctive clink made by silver when it knocks against other coins. Experienced collectors know that sound and never let a precious metal coin get accidentally spent for face value.

The edge of a Washington silver quarter is also a good indicator. Newer coins, minted after 1964, will have a copper streak running around the serrated edge. The 90% silver examples will not.

Buy Old Money on eBay
Buy Old Money on eBay

What could go wrong?

A massive cache of silver coins could be discovered tomorrow, making some instances less rare. That could drive down the value of particular coins. This would not appreciably affect the melt value of your coins because the amount of raw silver currently in existence far outweighs the amount of silver ever put into silver Washington quarters.

The price of silver could plummet. The melt value of your investment would drop in concert. No one can predict what precious metals prices will do, regardless of how earnestly they assert otherwise.

The interest inf a particular coin could fall out of favor. As with all collectibles, value is a function of emotion. The hairs on top of my head are rare, but no one is bidding on them. George Washington has been dead for a long time: don't expect a sudden spike or unexpected drop in coins bearing his likeness, but it could happen.


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @drbj : They are spoken for. ;)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      So that you will not feel neglected, nicomp, I would be happy to bid on one of those rare hairs you sport atop your pate. What is the asking price?