Numismatic Silver

Numismatic Silver Coins

5 Best Silver Coins For Survival

Picturing the end of the world and the collapse of global economic stability leads many bullion stackers to think what are the best silver coins for survival. Numerous scenarios could lead to financial collapse. Whether it’s nuclear warfare, unsustainable trade feuding, or a natural disaster, an end-times level event is always possible. No one wants to see the systems of the world come crashing down. But it’s always important to consider that this eventuality is a distinct possibility.

If the economy collapsed and the world as we know it were to end today, would you be prepared? How would you secure necessities, such as food, water, or even weapons, for yourself and your family? There are many ways to prepare for a potential apocalypse. But a growing number of savvy doomsday preppers are buying gold, silver, and other precious metals. Buying silver coins for survival is one great way to make sure that you and your family remain safe and secure, no matter what the future holds.

If the world were to end, then the currencies of governments would certainly lose any claim to objective value. This is why knowing the best silver coins for survival is imperative. Without a country to back them, how would United States Dollars be worth anything at all? The same is true for Canadian Dollars, Great British Pounds, Japanese Yen, and all other major currencies of the world.

Best Silver Coins For Survival

But gold and silver maintain their value, even after the apocalypse. No government needs to assign value to these rare assets in order for them to have purchasing power. Whether you’re trading for food, clothing, water, or even luxury/entertainment goods, the value of precious metal is universally known, making it essential to know the best silver coins for survival. For the modern skeptic, collecting silver for survival is an important task for ensuring long-term survival in nearly any conceivable event.

But best silver coins for survival and what makes silver coins such a good way to amass silver for survival? Is silver better than gold? And what specific silver items are worth collecting? This guide for the “Best Silver Coins for Survival” will teach readers of the Bullion Academy everything they need to know about collecting silver coins for survival.

Remember: being prepared for every possibility requires preparation and diligence. Nobody is truly prepared for the end of the world. But with the help of smart silver investment, consumers can hedge their bets against even the most bleak of futures.

Top 5 Best Silver Coins for Survival

Below you will find our list of the 5 best silver coins for survival based on a few criteria outlined below each one of our picks.  Full disclosure; we did include 1 oz silver rounds even though they aren’t technically “coins” but their versatility and practicality makes them a lock for silver you need to own in a SHTF type situation.

  1. 90% Silver Dimes:

    – Easily Recognized
    – Real US Currency – Has a Face Value
    – Small Denomination
    – Easy to trade for 1 loaf of bread or 1 Gallon of Milk and other Everyday Essentials

  2. Junk 90% Silver Quarters:

    – Recognizability because it is US Currency
    – Real US Currency – Has a Face Value
    – Small Size – Less than 1/4 ozt
    – Trade for 2 loaves of bread or 2 Gallons of Milk and other Everyday Essentials

  3. Junk Silver Half Dollars:

    – Recognized World Wide
    – Real US Currency – Has a Face Value
    – Small Size – Less than 1/4 ozt
    – Trade for 4 loaves of bread or 4 Gallons of Milk and other Everyday Essentials

  4. 1 oz Silver Rounds:

    – Not technically considered a “coin” – No Face Value
    – Not minted by a Sovereign Government Mint
    – Essentially 100% Pure
    – Easy to Calculate Because it is 1 oz of Silver
    – Easy to Trade for Goods and Services

  5. 1 oz American Silver Eagles

    – Most Recognized Silver Bullion Coin in the World
    – Minted at the US Mint
    – Essentially 100% Pure
    – Easy to Calculate Because it is 1 oz of Silver
    – Easy to Trade for Goods and Services

Best Silver Coins for Survival - American Silver Eagles

Why Collect Silver?

Silver coins and rounds are two of the most effective ways to financially prepare for long-term survival. There are a few reasons why silver is such a sound choice for investment. For one thing, silver coins and rounds are relatively cheap, and therefore important to collect the best silver coins for survival. Especially when compared to gold and platinum, collectors can amass a far larger collection if they look for silver coins and rounds.

This is especially important because trading bullion for commodities will become more difficult if the cost per unit of the bullion is high. Take gold as an example. Even relatively small units of gold hold considerable value in the status quo. Trading expensive gold coins for small commodities like food and water would be a tremendous waste of value. But with silver, the low spot price means that survivalists can purchase small commodities without sacrificing a high amount of tradeable value with each purchase.

Due to its availability and its relatively low price it is important to buy and stack the best silver coins for survival. Silver is a precious metal, but it is also highly available, particularly in contrast with gold or platinum. Governments all over the world regularly mint their circulation coins using at least some amount of silver. In the United States, many coins minted before the early 20th century were made using high silver content. This high availability makes it even easier for people to amass a high quantity of silver items.

This isn’t to say that silver is the only thing that the savvy survivalist is likely to collect. In fact, some bullion experts might even advise that consumers diversity their portfolio and collect all the best silver coins for survival. Doing so can make it possible to buy a wider variety of commodities when the need arises.

But for bullion collectors who want to maximize their ability to quickly increase the value of their collection as a tool for survival, silver is a nearly unbeatable option. Consider buying and collecting the best silver coins for survival because there is a wide availability of coins and the low spot price makes accumulating value simple, while silver is nevertheless sure to retain value as an asset in any scenario, even economic collapse.

Silver Versus Gold for Survival

As we explained above, the main advantage of buying silver is that it has a much lower spot price than gold. Both gold and silver will be capable of making purchases of key commodities in a world following a major apocalyptic event. But the startup investment cost for gold is great, and even fractional denominations of gold are relatively expensive. It can be difficult to barter for most common items using gold alone. And in a survival situation, these common necessity items are generally the most important objects to barter for.

This does not mean that gold doesn’t have its uses. Survival experts recommend carrying a variety of different currencies. While there’s little reason why currencies like the United States Dollar would remain valuable after the fall of its backing government, this does not mean that some people won’t still prefer to hold the currency as something to barter with.

999 Junk Silver - Best Silver Coins For Survival

Gold also has a few big advantages. Specifically, gold is great for making large purchases. It would take a whole lot of silver bullion, silver rounds, or silver coins to pay for an expensive medical procedure or a car, for example. Paying in gold for massive purchases in a survival scenario might require a currency with a higher spot price, because these currencies require less denomination to make these purchases.

In our minds, this makes silver the first stop for collectors looking to stock up to be prepared for whatever the future holds. Big expenditures are sometimes necessary, so diversifying your portfolio is never a bad thing. However, most immediate needs in a survival situation will be better acquired by using silver items as currency.

Identifying Valuable Coins

Recognizable silver coins are going to be some of the most valuable trading commodities in any survival situation in the near future. While the design on a coin has little purchasing power on its own, certain coins already have an established value among collectors well-versed in the bullion economy. Both coins and rounds have popular series.

This is particularly helpful when it comes to verifying value. Unrecognizable coins might be composed of high silver content, but distrusting traders might not know this at first glance. In the absence of an infrastructure of verifying the legitimacy of a coin’s silver composition, recognizing coins known to be filled with pure silver is one way that traders can make sure that the silver they’re receiving is legit.

There are multiple easily identifiable coins circulating the American bullion market. The American Silver Eagle Coin is one surefire option. The U.S. government has long guaranteed the high purity of this silver coin, and it has been a favorite of some collectors for decades. Its image of the American bald eagle is instantly recognizable to anyone who remembers the history and majesty of the US republic.

The Morgan Silver Dollar is another popular option for silver collectors. Additionally, the Kennedy Half Dollar, Washington quarter, Roosevelt and mercury dimes as well as a few other denominations that are recognizable American coins minted with a 90 percent of pure silver. Coins minted in the U.S. before 1965 are almost invariably struck with high metal content.

America is not the only place that survivalist silver collectors should look for their rounds and silver investments. The Silver Canadian Maple Leaf Coins have been continually minted for over thirty years, and their silver content is .9999 pure. Similarly popular high purity silver items exist all over the world; the British mint also produces a number of pure silver annual release coins. The Silver Britannia Coin and the Silver Queen’s Beast coins are just two examples.

Collecting Junk Silver Coins

While we recommend first looking for highly recognizable and pure silver coin variations, looking for junk silver is another good way to obtain as much usable silver as possible before a survival scenario takes place. The easiest ways to buy junk silver are to either purchase low purity silver coins in bulk or to buy junk silver packages.

A number of local coin dealers and online retailers sell bulk cull coins. Cull silver coins are coins with a relatively high amount of silver that have been circulated and contain some kind of noticeable impurity. While these coins aren’t quite as pretty as uncirculated variations, they still contain silver and can be purchased at an extremely low premium. American dimes are particularly popular, but most older U.S. coins can be purchased in bulk cull coin packages.

Buying bulk silver bullion directly is another option. While silver bars might not have the same aesthetic appeal as recognizable silver coins, they still contain extremely pure silver and can easily be used as a form of currency in a world post-economic collapse.

Safely Storing Survival Bullion

Some investors neglect the importance of this step in the process of securing bullion coins and other products for survival purposes. Safety when storing gold and silver bullion is essential. In a survival situation, having high amounts of any currency can make someone into a target for robbery, or even worse. To hedge against theft, investing in a quality safe is always a wise idea.

But using safes to store gold or silver can also present its own problems. In a truly dire survival situation, time is always of the essence. It might be necessary to quickly leave your home in a matter of hours– or even minutes. Having to pull a large amount of currency out of a locked safe.

Some doomsday preppers recommend keeping at least some currency in a “bug out bag.” This is a bag filled with all the basic necessities of a survival situation. It generally includes food, water, first aid supplies, and various types of currency. Packing and keeping a bug out bag in your safe can help to save valuable time. A few experts even advise keeping a second bag in the car or in another place outside of a safe to save even more time.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section should give readers a good idea of the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about buying silver for survival.

Q: Will silver maintain value after economic collapse?

A: While it’s impossible to say for certain, it is extremely likely that silver will retain some semblance of value, even following an economic collapse. Before the creation of fiat currencies, countless ancient civilizations used precious metals like gold and silver to barter.

Q: Is silver better than gold for survivalists?

A: In some ways, silver is the ideal precious metal for survival prep. Because of its low spot price and value per unit, collectors can amass quite a bit of silver without spending very much. This low value also makes it easier for survivalists to purchase essentials following a survival event.

Q: Which silver coins are best for survival?

A: It’s best for collectors to target recognizable coins with high silver content. These include coins like the American Silver Eagle, the Canadian Silver Maple, and more. All American silver coins minted before 1965 contain a high percentage of silver.

The Bottom Line: Silver Coins for Survival

Best Silver Coins For Survival - 90% Junk Silver Dimes

Stacking the best silver coins for survival with a high percentage of silver is a great way for the savvy doomsday protector to hedge their bets against inflation and currency collapse. In the case of a massive world event, it is important to have some way to pay for goods and services. If you believe that the world is heading for some sort of collapse, amassing bullion is always a good choice.

When it comes to survival bullion collecting, our advice is to look for silver coins with a high recognizability and silver content. Doing so maximizes the odds that the items you collect will successfully retain value in the distant (or not-so-distant!) future.

Hundreds of Ancient cultures appreciated the value of gold and silver. Put simply: silver was valuable before our civilization, and silver will remain valuable long after the collapse.

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How to Find Unsearched Bags of Coins From Banks

Unsearched bags of coins from banks are one of the most popular draws for new bullion and coin collectors. The appeal is very easy to understand. Who wouldn’t want to buy rolls or bags of coins that haven’t been searched? After all, some American coins are worth quite a bit of money. Picking the right coins out of a large pile of unsearched pieces could quickly turn a profit for the coin collector.

Particularly old coins, as well as rare coins with mint errors, are some of the most common types of coins to look for in an unsearched bunch of coins. There is also an intrinsic value to finding silver coins. Some coins, especially among older series, might contain coins with high purity silver. These can be worth quite a bit of money!

However, many veteran bullion enthusiasts advise caution for new collectors looking to score with some unsearched bags of coins from banks. There are a few different reasons for this long-held skepticism. To start, coin dealers can easily search their bags, extracting the most valuable coins before marketing them falsely as “unsearched.” It is nearly impossible to distinguish a pre-searched bag from a truly unsealed one, especially when dealing with smaller sellers who have no oversight or accountability. 

But don’t despair! There are quite a few tips that coin collectors can use to correctly identify, search, and cash-in on the value of unsearched coin bags from banks. Recognizing the key dates for a given type of coin, purchasing from the right distributors, and keeping an eye out for coveted mint error coins are just a few ways that consumers can make the most out of the exciting niche industry of unsearched bags of coins from banks and rolls

Where to Buy Unsearched Coin Bags

Bullion and coin retailers all over the internet advertise bags of coins from banks they claim to be completely unsearched. The types of coins in these packages will vary. Lincoln cents, buffalo nickels, penny rolls, wheat pennies, and 90% silver coins are just some of the varieties available in these coin bags. United States coin collectors often have their own preferences on which coins to target, and determining these preferences is the first step in searching for sealed bags or rolls of coins. 

find unsearched bags of coins from banks

These bags of coins from banks can be purchased from a number of different types of retailers. Local coin and bullion dealers might offer unsearched rolls. Online distributors are another common way for investors to get a hold of bags of coins from banks that haven’t been picked through. Some mints sell unsearched rolls through their official websites, and other coin distributors sell these same kinds of deals on their eCommerce sites. 

Another popular way to get rolls or bags of coins from banks that haven’t been searched is to use retail sites like eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist. We are generally cautious of these options. Smaller sellers on these sites usually don’t have any kind of accountability, so there isn’t much to prevent them from removing all of the valuable coins from a pack before resealing them and selling the pack at a premium. 

The most surefire way to guarantee completely unsearched coins is to purchase them directly from the United States banking system. Some bigger banks will sell large amounts of circulated coins to collectors. The reason this strategy guarantees that the coins won’t be searched is that banks just simply don’t need to look through their coins.

Unlike smaller retailers and online sellers, who could increase personal profits substantially by just removing valuable coins and leaving the rest for the buyer, U.S. banks deal in so much circulated coinage that it would be unprofitable to spend time searching through their stock. 

How to Buy Coin Rolls from the Bank

Like we’ve already explained, buying coin rolls from the bank virtually guarantees that they will not be searched. But prying these coin rolls from the clutches of the United States banking system is often harder than it looks! The easiest way to get sealed coin rolls from the bank is to simply ask. Some bank tellers might not know exactly what customers mean when they say they want to buy rolls of circulated coins. This is okay; collectors just need to be firm and informed about what they need from the bank. 

Bigger banks are almost always going to be better for this purpose. Smaller banks might be able to get the job done. But collectors looking for unique or rarer varieties of coins might have trouble finding what they need from local banks. Some of the largest banks in America are in direct contact with the Federal Reserve, which makes it easier for them to special-order rolls of coins for repeat coin-collecting customers. 

A lot of people don’t even know that this is an option. But the truth is that almost all banks are capable of selling rolls of coins. There is an additional big advantage to this strategy: the coins just cost face-value. Buying these same untouched rolls of circulated coins from coin dealers often means paying an extra premium on top of the base value of the coins. But when collectors buy directly from the banking system, the cost is just the total face-value price of the coins in the roll. 

Buying Unsearched Coins Online

Companies online often offer coin rolls or bags that haven’t been searched or opened. These are almost always big sellers. But there are different types of online sellers. Bigger bullion distributors are one thing, but smaller coin sellers sometimes operate on platforms like eBay and Amazon, as well as Craigslist. 

how to find unsearched bags of coins from banks

It helps for collectors to first figure out which types of coins interest them. Wheat pennies are some of the most popular coins to be bought and sold in the form of unopened rolls. Wheat pennies are generally not worth very much money; their copper content certainly isn’t worth anything significant. But some key dates are considered exceptionally rare. A few wheat penny editions can carry massive price tags with them. We’ll address some of these dates to look out for later in this guide. 

Silver dollars are rarely found in rolls, where as junk silver quarters, buffalo nickels, 90% silver dimes, and junk silver Kennedy half dollars are some other major coin models sold in this way. Most Eisenhower silver dollars are clad copper nickel, and have no precious metal value, but there is a 40% silver Ike silver dollar so be sure to look at the edge of the coin to see if it is two toned. As a general rule, nearly any kind of coin can be valuable. American quarters are frequently sold in unopened bags, rolls, and boxes. 

The big thing to remember when buying unsearched bags and coin rolls from sellers other than US banks is that the trustworthiness of the seller is everything. Truthfully, there is no guaranteed way to make sure that the seller has not opened the roll/bag, picked out the most expensive or rare coins, and then closed it before selling it to a collector. Learning to seal coins just like the federal banking system does is not very difficult, and any seasoned seller will know how to do it. This makes it even harder to know whether or not a selection of coins has been searched. 

We recommend that consumers try to find a seller with an exceptionally strong reputation for honesty and consistency before choosing to buy this type of coin package. 

How to Identify Valuable Coins

For new collectors, nothing is more exciting than the rush of finding a valuable and rare coin among a selection of common ones. But when collectors are holding onto a large number of coins, time is of the essence. Developing the good sense to quickly identify which coins are rare takes some getting used to. But with a little bit of studying, collectors can learn to pick the right coins out of a roll with ease. 

When working with coin rolls where the most valuable coins are made of silver or gold, one strategy is to unpackage the pieces, but keep them tightly held together in a roll. The edges of coins will change in appearance based on their precious metal composition. Silver coins, for instance, will stick out like a sore thumb when resting against a sea of low-grade metal coins, often called “silver clad coins.”

Identifying coins with rarity derived from minting errors or key dates is a little bit more difficult. Key dates are generally years where a particular coin was minted very rarely in contrast to coins that get their value from their gold and silver precious metal content. This means that the circulation of these coins is lower than in other years, so they’re worth more. The key date isn’t the only thing that matters in the rarity of a coin.

The small letter written next to the date is the mint mark, which represents the city where the coin was struck. Some mints only produced very few of a given coin in a given year, making that year and mintmark combination rarer than others. 

Some collectors and bullion fans also split some coins into the subcategory of ‘semi-key dates.’ These coins are rarer than common coins, but not quite as coveted as key dates. 

As a general rule, all coins are subject to these basic tests of rarity. Rare coins will almost invariably either be struck with a metal seldom used in the series or minted at a year and location which is rare. We suggest that collectors interested in coin hunting look into one of the many key date lists available for the kinds of coins they want to search for. Over time, casting aside the common dates and keeping only key or semi-key dates will become second nature. 

Frequently Asked Questions

New collectors are right to have quite a few questions about finding, buying, and sifting through unsearched bags of coins from banks. Read on to learn the answers to many of the most commonly asked questions on the topic. 

Q: Are unsearched bags impossible to find? 

A: Some collectors claim that every bag or roll of coins has been searched at some point. While it is true that many bags of coins from banks advertised as unopened have actually been sifted through by the seller, finding an honest and reputable seller makes this unlikely to be the case. 

Q: Will banks sell coin rolls to anyone? 

A: The best way to ensure that a bank will sell coin rolls is to get an account with them. Most banks are more than willing to do business with anyone who wants to buy their coin rolls, but they may be more flexible and accommodating with paying account holders of the bank. 

Q: Are coin rolls worth it? 

A: Rolls of coins are sometimes worth the money. The best way to minimize risk buying coin rolls is to purchase them directly from the US banking system. Coins bought in this way cost only their face value. 

Q: How are unopened bags of coins from banks found? 

A: There are a few ways that retailers get ahold of unopened bags. Some unopened bags are found buried; people buried coins frequently during the Great Depression. Others are found in old vaults, attics, and storage units. 

The Bottom Line: Unsearched Coin Bags

Unopened coin bags and rolls of coins are a fantastic and fun way for investors to potentially expand their collection. Some fans of bullion are cautious of the claim that any bag of coins is truly “unsearched.” There is some truth to this fear. Many bullion sales people probably open up their bags of coins from banks and extract the key dates and valuable coins before passing them onto their customers. 

 Still, there are several ways to make the most of what unopened penny rolls and other unsearched coin lots have to offer. Our advice? Either work with banks or with extremely trustworthy dealers. Doing so helps to sure-up the odds that those lots have truly never been searched. 

Get Bags of Coins from Banks - 90% Junk Silver

One of the biggest obstacles for new collectors is figuring out what to keep, and what to throw away. Getting around this barrier takes a lot of research and some hands-on work. Using tips like holding coins in roll form to identify which are made from unique precious metals are helpful. But at some point, collectors need to be able to spread the coins out and start to identify the rarer dates and mint symbols on the faces of their pieces. 

With such a wide variety of valuable coins sold in bags from so many different retailers, it is important for collectors to take the time to orient themselves to the value indicators used for United States coins. 

After you find the right kind of coin and the perfect distributor, it’s time to get searching!

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