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We have created a quick reference guide to help distinguish rare coins from regular spending money worth face value. We believe the best way to sell your coins is to arm yourself with knowledge. This helpful guide is designed to help you prepare your coins for appraisal, collecting, or to sell. Once you go through these steps, you are ready to schedule your appointment with our coin experts or come in to the store anytime!

Making Sense of Appraising Your Cents 

If you are bringing in coins for an appraisal or to sell, here are a few helpful tips to expedite the process. 

Are my coins valuable?

Always be sure to use a qualified dealer who is a valid member of professional numismatic organizations. This assures that you get the best value for your coins or collection.

First, If possible, separate your coinage by placing like coins with like coins. This allows us to evaluate the coins quicker as well as helps us find key dates and coins that may be more valuable than others.

Secondly, NEVER clean your coins before bringing them in for appraisal; this could take away from the value of the coin. In the coin industry, it’s best to let a coin stay in its natural state; a simple cleaning can wreak terrible damage to a coin and permanently alter its natural appearance.

Finally, DO NOT remove coins from an album that were assembled by a collector. Coins that were placed in an album may have a greater chance of being worth more, so keep them intact until a professional dealer can review them.

Once your coins are separated, call us at 713-597-6367 to set up an appointment with our specialists!
Or use the form below to start the process. 


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What coins are actually made of Silver? 

In the United States, coins that contain silver and used in widespread circulation are dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and dollars minted before 1965. These pre-1965 coins contain 90% silver. If you look at the edge, they will look silver all the way through. 


90% Silver Coins

Coins from 1964 and older in values of 10¢, 25¢, and 50¢ contain 90% silver content. Everything minted after 1964 in 10¢ and 25¢ is worth face value.



40% Silver Coins Ike or Kennedy Half Dollar

Half dollar coins from 1965 through 1970 contain 40% silver. This is ONLY in 50¢, everything other coins after 1970 in 50¢ is worth its face value. 

Kennedy Half-Dollars minted 1965–1970, and 1976, as well as Eisenhower Silver Dollars minted in the years 1971-1974, and 1976. 

Why do my silver coins have brown or copper on the edge?

The Coinage Act of 1965 removed silver from new circulating coins. If you look at the edge of a quarter released after 1964, you can see a copper stripe in the middle. Modern dimes, quarters, and half-dollars are made of copper and nickel. So, a good way to figure out if a coin is worth face value would be to look at the edge of the coin. If the coin’s edge has brown or copper showing, it is worth face value.

Identifying Specific Coins


Valuable dates are from 1909 through 1958. Memorial Cents (picturing the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse) from 1959 to current are worth face value.

Most valuable dates include: 1909-S, 1909-S VBD, 1914 D, 1922 No “D”, 1931-S, 1955 Double Die

Wheat Cents

Learn More About Wheat Cents


These coins were minted from 1859 through 1909. The coin represents Liberty wearing an Indian headdress, not an actual Native American (Indian).

Most valuable dates include: 1877, 1864 (L on Ribbon), 1909S and 1879

Indian Cents

Learn More About Indian Cents


The Flying Eagle Cent was our first small-size cent and minted from 1856 through 1858.


Flying Eagle Cents

Learn more about Flying Eagle Cents


These coins were minted from 1916 through 1945. This coin is also referred to as the “Winged Liberty Head” dime. Contain 90% Silver.

Most valuable dates include: 1916 D, 1921, 1921 D, 1941 and 1942

Learn more about Mercury Dimes


Easily recognized by the large “V” on its reverse side, this nickel was minted by the U.S. Mint from 1883 through 1912. 

Most valuable dates include: Pre-1897 and the highly sought-after 1885

Liberty "V" Nickel


These coins were minted from 1913 through 1938. You can sort them by no date visible, partial date visible, and full date visible. The Buffalo Nickel is extremely popular as a collector’s item. 

Most valuable dates include: 1913, 1915 

Buffalo Nickels

Learn More about Buffalo Nickels


These Jefferson nickels were minted from 1942 through 1945 and are 35% silver. They picture a letter on top of the capitol building.

All other dates are face value.

War Nickels

Learn More about War Nickels


Only Silver Dollars dated 1935 and older contain silver; they would include Morgan Dollars and Peace Dollars.

Most valuable: Any Carson City Dollars, marked with “CC” above the word dollar.

Silver Dollars

Learn More About Morgan Dollars

Learn More About Peace Dollars


40% Silver, Ike’s typically come in sets. These coins are most commonly found in brown presentation boxes or blue envelopes, as pictured below.

Eisenhower "Ike" Dollars

More Helpful Coin Reference Materials

Coin Anatomy & Grading

Coin grading standards were adopted in the 1970s by the ANA from the first coin grading scale called “the Sheldon scale,” which was used for Large Cents. 

Learn More

Coin Collecting 101

Have a coin question? Feel free to contact our store or read this useful blog on building a rare coin collection that includes commonly asked questions.

Learn MOre



Read Our Coin Blog

Interested in Coin history? Read our coin blog that is filled with the rich history of our coins, fun stories, and historic facts.

Go to Blog now

Coin Terminology

Understanding Coin Terminology. We’ve compiled some basic terms and knowledge to help you gain a greater understanding of the coin market.

Learn More

Coins & Currency
The Paper Money Of The United States The first recorded use of paper money dates back to the Tang Dynasty in first century China.  Sixteen hundred years later, the New World colonies began issuing their own currency to facilitate trade. This was the beginning of “American” paper money. Over the coming two centuries, our nation has taken currency through a number of changes. And from these early colonial pieces to now
The Modern Coin Collector Tool Kit Modern rare coin enthusiasts have the luxury of a huge online numismatic community that has blossomed over the last decade. In this new century armed with little more than a laptop and a loupe, collectors will have what they need to dive headlong into the deep waters of coin collecting. A collector needs a few simple tools to effectively make purchases and fully enjoy their new treasures. At U.S.
Collector Strategy For 2021: Building A Centennial Year Set As we enter the New Year, most of us are glad to put 2020 behind us. The events of the past twelve months have forever changed the landscape of numismatics. But in hindsight, it isn’t all bad news. Stay-at-home orders have allowed collectors to reinvent their collections. Taking the extra time to review, research, and reassess their holdings has made many better-fine-tuned collectors. During
The Origin Of The Peace Dollar The Peace dollars were struck in 90% silver between 1921 and 1935. This coin series is steeped in historical lore and was born from international demand for the precious metal contained within it. As such, the type remains popular for investors because of its content and is inexhaustibly collected and studied for its rich history, shear availability, and quintessential design.   How The P



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There’s two qualities I look for when dealing with a coin dealer. I want a dealer who is trustworthy and provides a quality product at a fair price. U.S. Coins and Jewelry do both of these and more. I have purchased from Kenny and his team multiple times and I’m always overly impressed with how they do business. First, their prices are more than fair. I don’t even bother shopping around because I know the price they give me is the best out there. More importantly I feel safe and I know that the products I buy are genuine and as described. What more could you ask for?
Joshua Stein