Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Monday, February 21, 2011

Silver Content and Values of US Mint Products

After silver traded below $27 per ounce in late January, prices have come back in dramatic fashion. Today, the price of silver reached a 31 year high at nearly $34 per ounce. This has the consequence of making certain United States Mint products relatively better bargains based on the rising metal value of the coins.

At this time, the US Mint has only five different products which contain silver: the 2010 Silver Proof Set, 2011 Silver Proof Set, 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Proof Set, and the proof and uncirculated 2011 Army Commemorative Silver Dollars.

The silver content of each of these products in troy ounces is shown below.

Silver Content
2010 ATB Quarter Silver Proof Set 0.90420
2010 Silver Proof Set 1.33823
2011 Silver Proof Set 1.33823
Proof Army Silver Dollar 0.77344
Unc Army Silver Dollar 0.77344

Based on a silver price of $34 per ounce, the metal value of a few products is now approaching the US Mint's issue price. The table below shows the silver value for each product, the face value of any non-silver coins included, total of the silver and other face value, and the US Mint's current price.

Silver other FV Total Price
2010 ATBQ Silver Proof Set 30.74 0 30.74 32.95
2010 Silver Proof Set 45.50 5.06 50.56 56.95
2011 Silver Proof Set 45.50 5.06 50.56 67.95
Proof Commem Silver Dollar 26.30 0 26.30 54.95
Unc Commem Silver Dollar 26.30 0 26.30 49.95

While the US Mint adopted a pricing strategy to allow them to frequently adjust the prices of products containing gold or platinum, the products containing silver are subject to their old procedure which requires publication in the Federal Register. In the recent past, the issue prices for silver products have been established prior to the start of sales and not adjusted subsequently. In extreme circumstances, the US Mint would have the ability to suspend sales until new prices could be published and made effective.

Besides current US Mint products, there are a number of past products that often trade on the secondary market for below the silver value. Within comments, some readers have mentioned the 2000 Silver Proof Set or the 1971-1974 "Blue Ikes". These are uncirculated Eisenhower Dollars that the US Mint struck in 40% silver for collectors.

An excellent resource for checking the metal value of U.S. coins is, which I used to help in the calculations above.



At February 21, 2011 at 11:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I have been skeptical in the past, I now believe silver prices at the current level or above are here to stay. Why? Because now silver can be considered a true alternative to gold, which with its run up has now been priced out as an investment for many people.

I'm kicking myself for passing up buying $15 silver a few years ago, since I thought "I'll wait for it to drop to $12 first".

At February 21, 2011 at 12:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought at 16 and sold half at 21. I was kicking myself for that one so I recently bought more on the dip when it was in the mid 28s, but was waiting to buy even more when it broke below 26. Looks like I missed it. I don't see us below 30 the rest of this year anyway. It's hard to buy more now though, knowing the prices I was previously able to buy at. It's hard to forget the past!

At February 21, 2011 at 12:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with above poster wholeheartedly. All in all , I'm glad I bought in on silver all the way thru $9.00-$24.00 range .Not bragging ,because I to kicking myself for not buying more at those levels !! But , sure those levels are a thing of the past , onwards and upwards!!!

At February 21, 2011 at 1:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen posts on the 2000 silver 10pc proof set. Why are these selling for less than melt+fv?

At February 21, 2011 at 2:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like we get another price hike this week if gold keeps it up. I wanted an opportunity to buy the first 2011 first spouse coin before another price hike, but I may not get it.

At February 21, 2011 at 2:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

With 2010 being the first year of ATB quarters, and most of the general population not having seen even one coin in circulation, it seems to be logical why the mint hasn't sold out.

With the selling price of the 5 piece proof set being $2.25 higher than the silver value, and most of the general public not knowing about the series (yet), the set all the sudden becomes quite attractive.

The $2.25 price differential is just about the same as the $2.00 premium that the mint charges for its silver eagle bullion coins to its distributors, and the silver eagle doesn't come with any of the special packaging or the superb proof strike that the quarters have.

One speculative question arises: is it possible that the 2010 set will eventually become as prized/expensive as the 1999 silver state quarters became due to the fact that it is the first year in the series?

Lastly, if silver does decline, will the sets retain more value then bullion since they are proof sets?

Time will tell.

At February 21, 2011 at 2:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see those with forward vision to buy various forms of items containing silver are now happy that the metal is at $34 oz. The main grumble is looking back and wishing to have acquired more at cheaper levels. We all do that. Speaking of various forms, some buy ingots, mini bars, 100oz bricks,"junk" silver bags of coins, silver sets, etc. There are plenty of choices and sources. In fact, on a recent thread several months ago, I mentioned that I have accumulated quite a pile of older Franklin Mint sets, broken sets, and individual pieces when available at coin shows, on-line, our local Pennysaver, and other venues. The majority of these "medals" are .999 sterling silver, some at/below/slightly above 1 ounce each. Different medals were minted in various mm. weights and sizes and priced accordingly when issued. Actually, since they are mostly in or from sets, many are housed in plastic capsules which protected the items from wear to the weight. It's amazing that many people sell partial and broken up sets because they are incomplete, and at bargain prices releative to the price of silver itself.

When I posted this, a few bloggsters seemed less than enhusiastic and more or less poo-poo'd the action. That's OK, everyone has their own method of accumulating hard assets (and value it according to eventual melting prices.) I still maintain these are a bargain priced source of acquiring meltable silver for it's run up to $50. It will reach it. That's what I think anyway. ~Grandpa

At February 21, 2011 at 3:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anon 2:13pm

I've been buying the NP 010 proof sets pretty aggressively. I think that they will hold their value even with a drop in silver prices. Remember the 011's with the same number of pieces is going to be 39.95. This should establish a floor for the 010's I would think.

If you calculate out the cost per trpy ounce the 010 NP's are 36.44 not counting shipping costs.

For a contrast a few minutes ago I checked APMEX for the cost of a 011 silver eagle business strike. And their sale price even at the twenty piece level was $37.99 each.

So the 010 NP's are a dollar fifty less than a business strike 011 silver eagle.

I just bought 30 more sets about twenty minutes ago from the mint.

At February 21, 2011 at 3:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today I received 2010 ATB 5 oz coins from A-Mark in PCGS holders and I don't see edge lettering on those coins.

At February 21, 2011 at 4:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just picked up the 2011 silver proof set to keep the proof silver streak alive. With the premium closing in on the 2010 silver quarter proof set, I bought 4 more. Can't hurt!

At February 21, 2011 at 5:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't see edge lettering in the PCGS slabs because their holder covers it up...but it's there!

At February 21, 2011 at 6:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Received also Lincoln Spouse gold coins. Proof has some red spots on the Mrs Lincoln face. What should I do? Keep it or mail back for replacement.There is also fingerprint on this coin. How can I clean it ?

At February 21, 2011 at 7:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Return that spouse proof. A fingerprint on the coin is crazy. That is probably a returned coin anyways.

At February 21, 2011 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 2009 Silver Proof Sets with six Quarters are even better.

Issue Price = $52.95

Current Melt Value of their eight silver coins is a hair under $52, and you also have the $5.06 add'l face value.


2009 Silver Proof Quarters Set
(six Quarters, box, COA)

Issue Price = $29.95

Current Melt Value, almost $37

At February 22, 2011 at 4:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not going to use the word "pop"; however, things can change on the proverbial dime. Silver is down down 5% since Michael's post yesterday. Remain cautious about large upticks in PMs. Buy PM coins if you want and like them. Buy actual bullion if you are a speculator in PMs.

At February 22, 2011 at 10:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point, I believe, is that when the numismatic premium approaches the bullion premium, there is no reason not to get the numismatic products. Of which, there can be little argument.

At February 22, 2011 at 2:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I predict an early sellout of the 2010 Silver Proof sets. Here's why...

The Mint can't make any more 2010 Silver Proof sets. However many they have sitting in the warehouse is all that are left...that's a fact! The $64,000 question is, "How many is that?".'s December 2010 and silver prices have been going up since August with no end in sight. The 2010 Silver Proof sets sell at a fixed price ($56.95) and will compete with the new 2011 Silver Proof sets ($67.95) in January (new Mint product schedule).

If you were the Mint Director and sales have been down for Silver Proof sets the past three (3) years in a row, how many additional 2010 Silver Proof sets would you put on the shelf...when you need the equipment to produce the 2011 sets?

...just saying. I wouldn't be surprised if the Mint made less than 600,000 2010 Silver Proof sets.

If there were just 600,000 2010 Silver Proof sets produced (a crazy low number!), the Mint would still have 65,000 left to 18 month supply given current monthly sales of 3,500/month.

The Mint has already announced that both the 2010 and 2011 sets will go off sale by 31 December 2011 and any remaining sets destroyed. That would mean "no 2010 sell out", right? ...not so fast.

If the POPmeister's prognostications prove premature and we continue this herky-jerky upward trend in PM prices, there's a good chance that 2010 Silver Mint products could soon sell near melt. That would produce higher monthly sales and an early sell out...(jmho). Thanks for following along!

At February 22, 2011 at 4:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, i'm in for five more 2010 silver quarter proof sets. Might buy more in couple of weeks if they are still available.

At February 22, 2011 at 8:30 PM , Anonymous A.E. Neuman said...

This excellent post is very interesting. Good job.
However, please tweak it just a tad to reflect correct mathematics.
Specifically, 30.74 + 0 does not equal 30.75. Also, 26.30 + 0 does not equal 26.23.
Thank you.

At February 22, 2011 at 8:39 PM , Blogger Mint News Blog said...

sorry about that.

At February 23, 2011 at 10:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mint is suppose to sell 5oz unc version of silver coins directly to public. Anyone know when release is for the 2010? They been lurking this one too long ...I couldn't get hold of the bullion version cuz it was all sold within and hardly any to public.

At February 24, 2011 at 4:22 AM , Blogger Mint News Blog said...

Here's all of the available information on the numismatic America the Beautiful 5 ounce silver coins. Still no release date, though.

At February 26, 2011 at 12:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to this article, I recently ordered several of the 2010 ATB Silver Quarter Proof Sets as their cost was now only a small premium above melt.
(Which BTW, the Mint now says are "temporarily unavailable".)

Frankly, I am more interested in bullion coins than in numismatic coins and I have a several questions about these ATB Silver Proof Quarter Sets...
I have noticed on eBay that people are selling the empty ATB Silver Proof Set cases and COA's of the Silver Proof Sets...

1. What prevents an unscrupulous seller from loading these ATB Silver Proof Set cases with clad ATB proofs and selling them as silver? Why else would someone buy them?

2. Is there an easy way to distinguish between the ATB proof clad and the ATB proof silver quarters without removing them from their plastic cases?
(I believe that both clad & silver carry the same "S" mint mark.)

3. Is the clad proof's copper colored edge readily visible in the case? Do the clad proofs even have a copper colored edge like their ordinary brethren?

4. Does the Mint add any mark to the silver coins to distinguish them from the clad? If not, why not.

5. Wouldn't these coins be both more desirable and sell better for the Mint, if the Mint did mark them as coin silver?

6. Do you think these sorts of proof sets will ever develop any collector interest, or sell at any sort of premimum above bullion?

7. And finally why do dealers/collectors break these sets up? (Should I break my own sets up and just store them in rolls as bullion coins for my convenience?)

Thanks in advance for your time
in answering all these questions.
Nedd Ludd

At February 26, 2011 at 5:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have some very good questions some of which I have also. Hopefully someone will answer these.

At February 26, 2011 at 9:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the weight.

A silver coin will weigh more than a clad coin.

For example, a clad Quarter is 88 grains (5.7 grams), but a silver Quarter is 96.6 grains (6.3 grams).

You will need a jewelers scale to weigh coins in grams.

At February 27, 2011 at 2:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's funny that the Mint finally got tired of selling the 2010 silver quarter proof set for barely above the silver value and made it "temporarily unavailable."

Wouldn't it have been better just to sell their remaining inventory at the original price and be done with it? You know the silver those coins were made of was purchased for WAY below the current value, so the Mint was making plenty of money on it. It would have been better for customer morale if they would have left it alone. People like to get a bargain, particularly when it's from a business that has a reputation for charging outlandish premiums!

I guess they just couldn't stand it.

At February 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In answer to the post above...

#1: Nothing stops them, but I don't know why they would. If they need money, it would be easier to knock over a 7-11. I don't know why anyone would buy the empty cases except to (possibly) load them up with counterfeits.

#2: Yes, edge coloring.

#3: The edges can be seen and the Clad Proofs do have the colored edges.

#4: No

#5: No

#6: Yes, but it may be 10 years after the series ends.

#7: Sets are often broken up to create album sets. I've seen folks break up sets and store them in rolls, too. I wouldn't (roll rub).

At February 27, 2011 at 4:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nedd Ludd said:
Thanks so much for your very complete answers to my questions.

I'm not sure you're right about
why somone would swap the coin holders though...
I suspect it would be a pretty easy fraud to perpertrate on ebay as few people will ever open their reconfigured "proof" sets to check the coins. But, since you say the edges are in fact visible, I suppose they're risking quick discovery.

Still, with my limited imagination I can't imagine much other than some nefarious purpose. Frankly, I don't think too much of the COA & Coin Holder sellers either.
Again, thanks.

At February 27, 2011 at 6:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose the edges could be touched up to appear silver. They would also have to do something about the tone of the coin; clad coins have a darker appearance.

...and eBay would probably shut them down after the first complaint. I don't see that it would be worth their trouble.

Still, I agree with you, why would anyone buy the empty packaging?

I see a lot of empty First Spouse boxes sold on eBay and the Chinese have some REALLY good First Spouse counterfeits!

I would never buy a First Spouse coin off eBay. The Chinese are pretty good at faking NGC/PCGS slabs, also.

I buy all my modern coins directly from the Mint...on the first day of release. If you wait, there's a chance you may get someone else's returns.

I've not only gotten (what appeared to be) someone elses return, but once I got an Anna Harrison First Spouse coin that was MY return! ...same defect and same bend in the COA.

At February 28, 2011 at 8:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

2010 United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Setâ„¢ (SV2)

Price: $32.95

This product is temporarily unavailable.

>>Is this a new development? Sorry, I was just going to buy a few, so not sure if they have been sold out for a while or not.

At February 28, 2011 at 8:32 AM , Blogger Mint News Blog said...

Yes, a reader first spotted this on Sunday evening.

At the time of the original post and for several days after, the product was available for sale.

At February 28, 2011 at 9:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess its time for some 2010 Proof Sets then!

Yes, a reader first spotted this on Sunday evening.

At the time of the original post and for several days after, the product was available for sale.

At March 1, 2011 at 8:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the money value be $5.01? Isn't the nickle made of silver too?

At March 1, 2011 at 8:04 AM , Blogger Mint News Blog said...

nickel is 75% copper, 25% nickel.


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