What is a Slick Coin?

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Written By Natasha Jones
I'm Natasha Jones, an avid collector of coins, stamps, and paper money.My passion drives me to seek unique finds, from antique shops to international exchanges.I enjoy connecting with fellow collectors through forums and meet-ups, sharing discoveries and insights.

What is a slick coin? What is so special about these coins? You see, in the world of numismatics, there is a term called “slick coins.”

If you don’t know what that means, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll look at slick coins, what they are, their value, and if they are worth collecting! Let’s jump right in!

What is a Slick Coin?


You may be wondering, “What exactly is a slick coin?” Maybe you’ve heard of them but are unfamiliar with the term.

Well, you see, slick coins are essentially those old coins that have undergone wear and tear due to frequent circulation. The most common type of slick coin is junk silver coins.

They are priced based on their weight and purity in silver, not their face value like those pennies you see around.

A Brief History

Slick coins have a long history with the American public. Well, if you haven’t heard of slick coins, let me tell you something.

These bad boys are old American coins that have been around the block a few times, if you know what I mean.

They’re also referred to as junk silver coins or circulated dimes, quarters, half-dollars, or dollar coins. The phrase is derived from the fact that these coins are typically slim and shiny, which reflects their age and wear.

So, when we talk about a “slick coin,” we’re referring to the rubbing action of other money against these worn-down nickels, dimes, and quarters over time.

However, it can also refer to any slight change from other metals, such as copper. The most popular slick coins out there are the ones minted between 1964 and 1986, made with 90% silver content.

And let me tell you, they’re worth a pretty penny because they contain over $1 worth of metal per dollar face value, a standard measure used by collectors.

Slick Coins and Junk Silver Coins

You may have heard the term “junk silver” before. So, we’re talking about silver coins that don’t have any collector value but can still be used as legal tender.

People often refer to them using a slang term. We commonly refer to them as junk silver coins or slick coins.

Governments worldwide used to issue junk silver coins until 1965 when the U.S. Mint ceased production.

These coins were minted for general circulation originally. Many folks held onto these for later use or simply for their visual appeal, as their actual worth was quite low compared to their face value.

So, guys, let me tell you about these pre-1965 government-issued collectible items.

They used to be called junk silver coins because, well, let’s face it, nobody wanted them back then. But now, they’re considered valuable collectibles!

End of Slick Coins

You see, the year of minting for that coin has to be before 1964. That’s because those were the final years when the U.S. Mint made dimes and quarters out of silver.

Well, you see, the thing about silver coins from 1964 to 1967 is that they aren’t considered Slick Coins. This is because, during that period, the U.S. Mint decided to stop producing them.

The reason for this was that the price of silver was going up, which meant that making these coins was no longer profitable.

Are Slick Coins Valuable?


Well, a silver coin’s value is determined by its weight and purity. And you can find those two things stamped on the coin’s surface.

It’s important to note that there isn’t a fixed “face value,” as you would see with paper money. The current spot price of silver determines the price of slick coins.

For example, if the price of silver is $19 per ounce, then a dime would be valued at 10 cents, which is 1/10th of an ounce. Similarly, a quarter would be valued at 50 cents, 1/4th of an ounce.

If you were to purchase 70 dimes at this rate and melt them down into bullion bars, you would have 70 ounces of pure metal that could be sold for $1,400!

Are Slick Coins Still Available Today?

You can still purchase junk silver coins directly from a coin dealer; at times, you may even get them at a reduced price compared to melt value prices.

Most people use circulated 90% silver coins such as half-dollars, quarters, and dimes.

When buying junk silver, ensure you get a coin certified by an independent grading service like PCGS or NGC.

Some dealers might try to sell you uncertified coins or give you false information about the coin they’re selling!

Before you go…

I hope this article helped you answer your questions about slick coins! Remember that not all coins are priced for their face value; some are priced for their metal content, like these slick coins! If lucky, you can buy these directly from a dealer or find them in circulation!

Check out my next article: “What is Lowball Coin Collecting?

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