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How Did It Go Down When The Us Stopped Minting Silver Coins?

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Pillar of the Community

United States
1102 Posts
 Posted 03/12/2015  9:40 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add LibertyEagle20 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
i was not around back in 1964, the last year of US silver coins but history is always interesting to me. I would love to have this conversation with my dad or grandfather but unfortunately they have passed away. What happened when the U.S. stopped minting silver? Did they announce it far in advance? Did everyone flock to the bank to cash in for rolls of silver or was the value so low at the time that no one cared? Were you around back then? How did this all go down?
Pillar of the Community
United States
1892 Posts
 Posted 03/12/2015  10:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Mister Kairu to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This is interesting. I too would like to know how this all went down.
Pillar of the Community
United States
4905 Posts
 Posted 03/12/2015  10:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add westernsky to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It was a zoo once they started issuing the clad (we called it pot metal) coins.

People would go to banks and buy bags of dimes, quarters and halves on Friday evening and search them for silver over the weekend. Monday morning, the coins would be deposited back in the bank ... Sometimes before the check for the Friday purchase would even clear! The big frustration was getting home on Friday and discovering that your bag had already been searched!

This went on for a while. Naturally, the "pickins" got thinner and thinner as time progressed.

For us poor people that couldn't afford to get a bag at the bank we'd ask clerks at the stores if they had any silver coins in the register. Sometimes they'd exchange it for us, sometimes they'd say it has already been spoken for (usually by the store owner!). I could still get some silver this way up until the late 70's.

When a vending machine would spit out a silver coin in change people would keep making purchases to see if it would change out another silver coin.

It was crazy but it was fun and brings back good memories.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
3176 Posts
 Posted 03/12/2015  10:38 pm  Show Profile   Check Pacificoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Pacificoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Actually it is a very interesting story. I live in Canada and at that time in 1964 US and Canadian coins pretty much circulated side by side. I was ten at the time and already collecting coins. It was pretty easy to save a bunch as I had two paper routes. With the assassination of President Kennedy in November of 1963 and the announcement of the Kennedy half dollar the coin market went nuts. The flow of silver dollars out of the US Treasury until it abruptly stopped in late March of 1964 fuelled the fire further. Then silver surpassed the official price of $1.29 an ounce. All of this made all US and Canadian silver coins worth very close to or more than their current face value. The decision was made first by the US to stop making silver coinage and find a substitute. Thus the clad coinage of 1965. However a lot of current collectors do not realize that clad and silver coinage (dimes and quarter dollars) were produced at the same time until 1966.
The Kennedy half was circulated in 40 per cent silver until 1969.
In Canada the coins were produced in silver until 1967 , with ten and twenty five cent coins being made with some silver until the early summer of 1968. What happened for the next four or five years was the almost total disappearance of silver coin in circulation of any kind.
A little known fact is that it was illegal to import or export silver coin (s) of either country and many people were busted on either side of the border. A coin shortage of epic proportions ensued in many parts of North America for quite a time.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1102 Posts
 Posted 03/12/2015  10:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add LibertyEagle20 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for sharing your stories guys, very interesting! I always see random ebayers unloading mass amounts of silver so I often picture them as people who lived back then and hoarded all those coins! I'm from the U.S. But I found it interesting how The RCM is trying to recover and melt all their pre-2001 coins. Pacificoin You probably have a good opportunity to grab some nice, soon to be rare coins out of circulation right now up there.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
563 Posts
 Posted 03/12/2015  10:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add denny7000 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My father has told me of a time in early 1963 when he was at an American casino and got kicked out for being to drunk, drinks were free. He cashed out 350$ in silver morgans which were just considered a dollar back then and stuffed his pockets full to stumble back to his room. He said he brought them back in my mothers make up kit. We still have them. He tells me the silver craze was nuts after that.
Bedrock of the Community
Australia
16449 Posts
 Posted 03/12/2015  11:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Germany stopped issuing the 650 fine silver Five Mark for circualtion in 1974. I do not know for how many years after that date, that they they continued to circulate.

No doubt that like every other country, they started to dissapear from circulation when the value of the silver in them exceeded their face value. When that happens, they are hoarded by the population, or withdrawn by the banks as the difference in value makes it attractive to do so.

This situation has given rise to the issue of silver NCLT sold at a premium over silver value, and the low face value is an irrelevence.

Some other European countries continued to issue silver coins for circulation in tiny numbers, but where the face value was hugely increased over the silver value, so that they are effectively NCLT. These items found their natural but variable trading value, based mainly on the silver value, as was intended.

Some threads have been started here in the CCF, asking why silver coins are not again issued for circulation. The potential for large variation in the silver price, and as noted in the paragraph above, explains why it ain't goin' t' happen.
Edited by sel_69l
03/12/2015 11:25 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
604 Posts
 Posted 03/12/2015  11:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Neo13x to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I can't imagine how it was during that time. People must have been saving as much as they could pinching dimes to make a buck. I wonder if something similar would happen if the US ever allows people to melt the copper cent.
Valued Member
United States
59 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2015  12:53 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thetracer to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The Pres warned us all about it back then, see:
http://news.google.com/newspapers?d...silver&hl=en
Pillar of the Community
United States
5964 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2015  01:25 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CoinMasters to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
very informative pacificoin, thank you. I will no longer let a silver 1965 quarter or dime pass from my hands again. is the rim all white like a forty percenter? are the 1965 coins forty percent? I bet not because I had one but the rim looked clad.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
3176 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2015  01:44 am  Show Profile   Check Pacificoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Pacificoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
coin master the silver ten cents and quarters are all 1964, the date was frozen even though they were made well into 1966.
Bedrock of the Community
Australia
16449 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2015  02:18 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I didn't know that. Ta for the info!
Bedrock of the Community
United States
11933 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2015  3:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add GR58 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For Me I remember everyone talking about getting as many silver coins as
they could. My father and his friends were getting quite a bit. One of his
friends put away about $2000.00 face. I know that for sure, because a few
months ago that friend had me look at those same coins. It was pretty cool
seeing those coins that had been put away for so long. He even had BU
rolls of 40% Kennedy's.

For me I was to young to have a real job, but I would ride my bike around
the neighborhood finding pop bottles. I would get two cents each.
I would also pick strawberries and sell them at .35 a pint ... door to door.

I used a lot of that big cash to hit the local mom and pop stores and talk
them into trading the new clad for older silver coins. They usually kept the
silver coins seperate from the new coins. By the mid to late 60's it was
getting harder to find any silver coins. By then I was making $2.00 a
day helping my mother in her restaurant. One deal I had with her was,
I could look through her cash register and keep any of the older coins
that came in.

I had put almost a mason jar full of silver away. Then the Hunt
brothers came along in 79 or 80. Silver went high, I sold that jar of silver
for $1100.
Pillar of the Community
United States
3253 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2015  3:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add matthewvincent to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Someone should chime in with the "Exchange for silver" tangent to this topic.
As I recall, silver coins would no longer be exchanged for silver certificates.
Instead, little 'baggies' of silver nuggets, at a rate of $1.29 per ounce 'official price' of silver, were
offered and then only at special banks.
I do not recall the specifics but there was a 'drop dead' date when even this would no longer occur.

The circulating coins --- stopped circulating.
And then -- the Hunt Brothers' fiasco.
Bottom line: any silver coins which were worth more in silver than the Red Book value were melted.

It is a minor miracle that any really numismatic coins survived.

And that is my memory.
Valued Member
United States
327 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2015  4:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The US Treasury folks were not unaware what would happen. They upped coin production massively knowing that the silver would be hoarded heavily. One solution to this was stepping up production of the nickel; over 1 billion 1964 date nickels were minted, a HUGE increase over previous years. So many were minted and the nickel is so durable they are still commonly found in circulation.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1102 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2015  6:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add LibertyEagle20 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
denny7000 - holy crap $350 in Morgans!! Even if he had the most common year that's a small fortune you guys have there. Hopefully that is something you can keep in your family and pass down to kids/grandkids/whatever. Very interesting story!
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