U.S. SILVER: Where did it go?

halfdolcollageAfter using the chart below to compare the price of silver taken from us and the prices of other metals given to us in replacement, one must ask the question “where did all our silver go?” and also “why was it taken from us?”

90-Silver-US-Franklin-Halves“Within a fortnight following the battle on silver in the United States, Sir Hugh Dalton, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that legislation would soon be offered in the British Parliament designed to withdraw from circulation all silver half-crowns, florins, shillings, six-pences and three-pences for the purpose of melting them down and extracting the silver to provide a stockpile for sale to silver using industries in the British Isles.

The silver coins to be withdrawn from circulation are composed of 50 percent silver, 40 percent copper, 5 percent nickel and 5 percent zinc. The new substitute coinage of the same denominations will be composed of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel. The agreement under which this silver was lend-leased to Britain requires repayment in kind to the United States Government within five years after the President declares World War II to have ended. British statisticians estimate that a total of 221,000,000 fine ounces of silver would be recovered as a result of this withdrawal.

They also estimate that the program of demonetization will yield at the rate of approximately 50,000,000 ounces per annum and that four and one-half years will be required to complete the demonetization program.”


PRE-1982 PENNIES – Before Ronald Reagan reigned, pre-1982 pennies were made with 88-100% copper depending upon the year, compared to only 2.5% copper ever since 1982. Pennies today have 2.5% copper and the rest is zinc.

ALL NICKELS – all nickels have 75% copper and 25% nickel which is similar to their content originally.


These pre-1965 coins have 90% silver and 10% copper compared to post-1965 dimes and quarters which now have the same content as nickels (75% copper / 25% nickel).  Post-1965 half dollars now have no silver whatsoever and are instead comprised of over 90% copper and the rest of it made of nickel [from 1964-65 to 1969, half dollars contained only 40% silver. The silver was removed after 1969].

Keep in mind these current values of precious metals as you review the above:

Copper $3.3402/lb
Zinc $0.8549/lb
Nickel $7.2450/lb
Silver $28.43/oz

WEIGHT OF COINS (in ounces from low to high):

Dime = .080001 oz
Penny = .088184 oz
Nickel = .176369 oz
Quarter = .200003 oz
Half Dollar = .400006 oz
Dollar Coin = .285719 oz

Dollar Coins are now made of 88.5% copper and the rest of it is composed of manganese, nickel, and zinc (all of which are fairly worthless).

One must ask the question after comparing the price of silver taken from us and the prices of other metals given to us in replacement: Where did all our silver go? and why?

U.S. MINT INFO: http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/?action=coin_specifications


MORE INFORMATION BELOW (for those who want to know more):


From 1793 to 1982, pennies had from 88% to 100% copper content in them.

After Reagan became president, pennies were reduced in 1982 from copper to zinc. Now your penny has 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper (plated with copper).


As of 2012, it costs more than eleven cents to produce a nickel; the Mint is exploring the possibility of bringing down the cost by using less expensive metals.

The nickel is today composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel and has been since 1946. As far back as 1865, the nickel was made of this percentage of metals.

From October 1942 to 1946, an alloy of 56% copper, 35% silver and 9% manganese was used, although originally this version of the nickel was supposed to have 50% copper and 50% silver, but Congress gave the Mint the authority to vary the proportions which they did by reducing the silver from 50% to 35%.

On March 3, 1865, right after John F. Kennedy died and right during the administration of his Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Presidential reign, Congress passed legislation authorizing the U.S. Mint to strike three-cent pieces of 75% copper and 25% nickel. Mint Director James Pollock prepared a bill authorizing a five-cent coin of the same alloy.


If you have pre-1965 dimes, they have 90% silver and 10% copper.

After 1965, your dimes now contain 75% copper and 25% nickel. Feel robbed yet?  Meanwhile, you might want to hold on to your pre-1965 dimes instead of sharing them with your bank, who will store them away and give you post-1965 dimes in return.


How do men in the government rob you besides through taxation?

The modern U.S. “quarter” currently costs 7.33 cents to produce (as of 2004)!

Quarters today have 75% Copper and 25% Nickel. Quarters from 1932 through 1964 were far more valuable with 90% silver and 10% copper.