How to Collect Silver Half Dollar Coins Cheaply


Cheap can be construed in many different ways to include being made poorly or something that is inexpensive. Many definitions include low price or costing little labor or trouble–both of which are good attributes to have when building a coin collection. For many Numismatists it is not reasonable to spend a great deal of money on collecting money, so an alternative is using your local bank as a repository for  finding collectible coins. The following will review steps to help you cheaply collect silver coins.

Step 1: Go to your local bank and request to purchase Kennedy half dollar rolls. Each half dollar roll contains 20 coins or $10.


NOTE: Since 9/11 occurred, membership at a bank is a requirement to exchange cash for coins. If you are buying coins to sort through you will need to have a bank account with a local bank. If you don’t have a bank account you may be able to purchase coins from a local grocery store’s customer service counter. Ask around your area if you do not belong to a bank or credit union.

Perfect alternative to a checking account

Step 2: Purchase as many rolls of coins as you can and take them home.

Step 3: Once you are home situate yourself in a well lit area at a desk or table. If you are working at your kitchen table you may want to put down a towel or newspaper to work on to prevent scratches on the table.

NOTE: You may need a magnifying glass to help you identify the year and mint for the coins.

Step 4: Sort through your coins and organize them based on the dates they were minted.

According to Coin Values Magazine, coins dated 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968-D, 1968-S, 1969-D, 1969-S, 1970-D, 1970-S are 40% silver clad. These are some of the more common dates you may find in your half dollar rolls from the bank that you will want to keep for your collection. Including the years mentioned, you will want to keep any coin older than 1964.  Many of the coins older than 1964 are 90% silver making them great for collecting. A few examples include the 1964 and 1964-D Kennedy half dollars and the Franklin half dollars form 1948-1963; all are 90% silver. Walking Liberty half dollar from 1921 through 1947 are also 90% silver.


All of the coins mentioned here are readily available in the rolls of coins purchased at the bank. Not every roll you purchase will contain a 90% silver coin which are more rare than the newer 40% silver coins, and many rolls may not contain a silver coin at all. Overall you will find more 40% than 90%, and as mentioned, some days you may not find any silver coins.


Step 5: Re-roll the coins you do not want to keep and return them to the bank.

NOTE: You can exchange the rolls for more half dollar rolls or you can wait a few weeks for new rolls to filter through the bank. Sometimes you may feel like your luck has run out because you can’t find any coins, but then you will get a few rolls that contain many silver coins.

Step 6: To keep the process interesting you can start a coin collection. This is a great way to teach children (and adults) about the history of coins, how coins change with the times, and create great bonding time for families as they create coin collections together.


If you are building collections or would like to purchase specific silver coins then you can shop at flea markets, swap meets, yards sales, and specialty coin or hobby shops. Often people will not realize the coins are sliver and may sell the items for under market value. Other people will know exactly how much the coin is worth and try to sell it above market value.

Before you go coin shopping, purchase a coin collecting magazine or book to improve your general knowledge of coins. You can purchase coin books or magazines at many bookstores or at your local grocery store such as Meijer.

Learn a little, save a lot, and have fun collecting!

Do you have any suggestions on starting a coin collection, collecting silver coins, or where to find the best book? Feel free to post suggestions; our readers would love to hear from you.

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