Any guess on how much silver was pulled out of circulation by ordinary folks in 1965?
I figure the FED got nearly 20% of the silver that was ever made by the mint disregarding the very large amount that was recoined by the mint after the coins were mutilated or severely worn.
Most of the other 80% was already held by collectors or not circulating for some other reason. The general public got the lion's share of circulating coinage beginning in 1961 when it was announced stockpiles were going down so quickly it was believed coins would have to be made of base metal or otherwise debased in the near future. This hoarding increased with every rise in the price of silver and was causing shortages of coins for commerce. The mint kept ramping up production and people set aside ever larger amounts of mostly dimes and quarters. But even small change got caught up in it a little because many of those people who quit spending their coin also just threw their cents and nickels in the jar as well.
The mint had people nearly in a panic by 1965 but, I believe, hoarding was more closely related to increasing silver price. When the price of silver exceeded face value for the first time in 1967 more and more people started hoarding more and more silver coin.
But by 1967 the coins were completely picked over. Most people would rather save out older coins in nice shape than freshly minted 1964 dated silver quarters. So the mint predominantly got recent dated coins, common dates, culls, and older worn out coins.
The early clads were just disgusting. They were poorly made by tired worn out dies. They looked like junk in a pile of silver coins.
Curiously though the value of metal in a modern clad is much higher than the value of silver in a silver coin back in 1935. At the rate Congress is inflating the money there can't be any coins at all before much longer.
Time don't fly, it bounds and leaps.