Letter Re: Should I Convert My Nickels to Silver?

Hello Hugh and Jim,

Per Jim’s good advice, my wife and I have been taking nickels out of our pocket change each day and setting them aside. It has been an easy and painless way to simultaneously set aside some cash, hedge against inflation, and invest in industrial metals. Over the last couple of years, we have accumulated over $150 in nickels. I’m wondering now, at this point in time, whether it would be wiser to take the cash value from those nickels and use it to purchase pre-1965 “junk” silver coins, or retain the nickels as a store of copper and nickel as a hedge against inflation. Very interested in your opinions on this matter. Thanks, SB in CA.

HJL’s Comment:

Both silver and gold seem to be holding relatively steady right now. While not as low as it has been, the price is reasonable. Depending on the seller, you should be able to get nearly eight ounces of silver for your $150 right now. Seems like a good move to me, as junk silver is fairly well recognized.


  1. Both 1982+ pennies and nickels have metal content that’s about 2/3rds the value of the coins based on current metal market rates. Pre ’82 pennies are still worth nearly double (~1.75 times) the face value right now.

    If you believe the current silver price is 1/3rd below true value (i.e., silver value will likely go up soon in short order) then buy all means buy junk silver.

    One thing for certain, $150 in silver is definitely more portable than those nickels.

  2. A few years ago I converted over $300.00 in nickels to silver. Be sure to search them for silver wartime nickels that are 40 percent silver. My search of rolls found 5 silver and 1 buffalo nickel. Good luck.

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