How much is my coin worth?
December 30, 2008 8:53 AM   Subscribe

How much is my silver coin worth? Should I wait to sell it?

I was given this silver coin a long time ago but now I want/need to sell it for college expenses. It reads "United States of America One Pound Fine Silver" on one side, and "Liberty/In God We Trust" on the other. It was made in 2000. From googling I learned that it is a Silver Eagle Coin aka, I think, a bigger version of silver dollars. Knowing nothing about coins or the precious metals market, I'd like to know a) how much is my coin worth and b) is there going to be any type of increase in demand for this coin in the near future.
posted by saoyama to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It probably says "One Oz" not "One Pound". I mean, that'd be a heavy coin!

According to this it's worth $15.42 right now.

In general, you're not going to finance your college education with a single coin, unless it is some ridiculously rare coin.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:00 AM on December 30, 2008

It is heavy! And about four inches in diameter. But you've made me realize that it's kind of ridiculous to call this thing a coin. And yeah, if only I could finance a college education with one coin! For now I'm just hoping for spending money for the next semester.
posted by saoyama at 9:06 AM on December 30, 2008

Well, if it is a pound of silver, and silver is currently at 10.79 an oz, and there are 16 ounces in a pound, thats 172.64.

Though being in coin form may change its value, and I'm not 100% certain the silver price quoted on that page is price per ounce.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:10 AM on December 30, 2008

I suspect that over the long run (20-30 years) silver demand will go up. Whether or not this particular coin will give a better rate of return than you would get if you sold it and invested in the stock market is up for debate and I really have no idea if it will.

Personally, though, I would recommend holding on to it until absolutely dire circumstances force you to sell it. This is the sort of thing that families save for when governments fall (though, usually they have more than one). It's something that will have intrinsic value when things like paper money will not. I'm not saying we should be paranoid about that sort of thing, but that's probably why whoever gave it to you gave it to you. Or at least part of the reason. Stick it away somewhere safe. There are better ways of finding spending money. Practice your pool game.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:15 AM on December 30, 2008

Just for clarification, is it a Troy Pound Silver Eagle?
posted by Floydd at 9:46 AM on December 30, 2008

Agreed with jeffamaphone, but +10 to paranoia: Save it for bartering when the Buttpocalypse comes.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:05 AM on December 30, 2008

Floydd - Yes, you got it. Thanks!
posted by saoyama at 10:38 AM on December 30, 2008

and there are 16 ounces in a pound

Silver is measured in troy, and there's only 12 troy ounces in a troy pound. Today's NY Times gives silver a value of $10.96 per troy ounce, making the coin worth $131.52 for the metal alone. I don't know if it has more value to a collector, probably not much more.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:50 AM on December 30, 2008

This is a privately minted silver bullion coin. The official U.S. Mint does produce "american eagle" silver bullion coins but only in 1 oz size, nothing of this size. These types of "tribute" coins are frequently produced by private manufacturers and despite what their marketing materials may imply, they generally have no real collectible value. The value is purely the silver bullion, and as noted a troy pound is 12 troy ounces rather than 16. Silver peaked out somewhere around the low 20s during the past year and has been dropping pretty steadily since July, though in the last few months it seems to have plateaued and even rallied slightly. You might realize a decent chunk of spending money by jumping on another peak somewhere down the line, but it's never going to be worth enough to mean all that much.
posted by nanojath at 1:36 PM on December 30, 2008

"Silver is measured in troy, and there's only 12 troy ounces in a troy pound. Today's NY Times gives silver a value of $10.96 per troy ounce, making the coin worth $131.52 for the metal alone."

It's likely worth somewhat more than that.

Right now there's a premium (above the spot price) for pretty much any silver in physical form. The size of the premium depends on the form the silver takes. 1 oz US Mint Silver American Eagles are going for something like $4-8 above the spot price.

Here's a website that tracks prices on EBay for various silver coins.

I have no idea what the premium on this coin would be, but be sure you get more than the spot price for it. Even just a plain bar of silver will fetch more than the spot price.
posted by mikeand1 at 3:02 PM on December 30, 2008

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