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How Much Silver Is In A Silver Dollar?

Silver Coin Melt Value

1921 Silver Dollar

How Much Silver Is In A Silver Dollar?

In order to find out the amount of silver in a silver dollar, you first need to know the 'type' of silver dollar, because the silver content has been changed at various times. Use our super reference chart to check the precious metal content of your US dollar coins and calculate their silver value!


As a "general" rule-of-thumb, United States silver dollars dated 1964 or earlier are made from 90% silver, 10% copper - with a total silver content of around 0.77-0.78 troy ounces. However with silver dollars from 1965 onwards, things get more complex. For example, "Eisenhower" silver dollars (1971-1978) were issued in both proof and circulation versions; the circulation versions contained no silver, the proof versions contained 40% silver. More recently, some dollars are made from copper-nickel and have no silver, others are 90% silver.

In the modern era, coins made for general circulation are not made with precious metals any more. 'Proof sets' and other special commemorative coins issued as collectors items may well contain precious metals in varying amounts. Bullion coins are special coins made to contain a specific amount of precious metal.

Silver Dollar Silver Content Chart:

1795 silver dollar
"Flowing Hair" Silver Dollar (1794-1795)

Coin Type: Date: Coin Weight: Diameter: Purity: Silver Amount (Troy Ounces):
"Flowing Hair" Silver Dollar 1794-1795 27 grams 39-40mm 0.900 silver 0.7813 oz t

1804 silver dollar
"Draped Bust" Silver Dollar (1795-1804)

Coin Type: Date: Coin Weight: Diameter: Purity: Silver Amount (Troy Ounces):
"Draped Bust" Silver Dollar 1795-1804 27 grams 39-40mm 0.900 silver 0.7813 oz t

Note - only 15 genuine examples of the famous 1804 dollar are thought to exist. All existing 1804's were actually made after 1834 (in 0.900 silver) and have slightly variant weights. Counterfeits exist.


gobrecht silver dollar
"Gobrecht" Silver Dollar (1836-1839)

Coin Type: Date: Coin Weight: Diameter: Purity: Silver Amount (Troy Ounces):
"Gobrecht" Silver Dollar 1836-1839 27 grams (original) or 26.7 grams (restrike) 39mm 0.892 or 0.900 silver 0.7743 or 0.7726 oz t

Note - Very rare, only around 2,100 made altogether of this type. Worth far more to collectors for its rarity than for its silver!

seated liberty silver dollar
"Seated Liberty" Silver Dollar (1840-1873)

Coin Type: Date: Coin Weight: Diameter: Purity: Silver Amount (Troy Ounces):
"Seated Liberty" Silver Dollar 1840-1873 26.73 grams 38.1mm
(1.5 inch)
0.900 silver 0.77345 oz t

silver trade dollar
Silver "Trade" Dollar (1873-1885)

Coin Type: Date: Coin Weight: Diameter: Purity: Silver Amount (Troy Ounces):
Silver "Trade" Dollar 1873-1885 27.216 grams (420 grains) 38.1mm
(1.5 inch)
0.900 silver 0.7875 oz t

1878 morgan silver dollar
"Morgan" Silver Dollar (1878-1921)

Coin Type: Date: Coin Weight: Diameter: Purity: Silver Amount (Troy Ounces):
Morgan Silver Dollar 1878-1921 26.73 grams 38.1mm
(1.5 inch)
0.900 silver 0.77345 oz t

1921 peace silver dollar
"Peace" Silver Dollar (1921-1935, 1964)

Coin Type: Date: Coin Weight: Diameter: Purity: Silver Amount (Troy Ounces):
"Peace" Silver Dollar 1921-1935 26.73 grams 38.1mm
(1.5 inch)
0.900 silver 0.77345 oz t

Note - in 1964, 316,076 additional peace dollars were minted but are believed to have all been melted down.

1971 eisenhower dollar
"Eisenhower" Silver Dollar (1971-1978)

Coin Type: Date: Coin Weight: Diameter: Purity: Silver Amount (Troy Ounces):
"Eisenhower" Silver Dollar ("circulation" type) 1971-1978 22.7 grams 38.5mm
(1.5 inch)
No Silver Content! (cladding 75% copper / 25% nickel, core 100% copper) 0
"Eisenhower" Silver Dollar ("proof" type) 1971-1974, 1976 24.6 grams 38.5mm
(1.5 inch)
0.400 silver (cladding 80% silver, core 21% Silver) 0.3164 oz t

susan b anthony dollar
"Susan B Anthony" Dollar (1979-1999)

Coin Type: Date: Coin Weight: Diameter: Purity: Silver Amount (Troy Ounces):
"Susan B Anthony" Dollar 1979-1999 8.1 grams 26.5mm No Silver Content! (cladding 75% copper / 25% nickel, core 100% copper) 0

Note - much smaller than the silver dollars; slightly larger than a quarter.

1987 constitution silver dollar
1987 "Constitution" Silver Dollar, example of
"Commemorative" Silver Dollars, numerous designs (1982-present)

Coin Type: Date: Coin Weight: Diameter: Purity: Silver Amount (Troy Ounces):
"Commemorative" Silver Dollar, numerous designs 1982-present 26.73 grams 38.1mm
(1.5 inch)
0.900 silver 0.77345 oz t

Note - there are over 40 different designs of "Commemorative" Silver Dollar. These are often identified by their unique designs, date (1983-present), silvery color, "standard" silver dollar size; often but not always with "double date" commemorating significant dates in US history. Words "One Dollar" appear somewhere on the design. If it is dated 1983-present, is silver-colored, does not say "1OZ FINE SILVER" on the design, says "One Dollar" somewhere on the design, it is one of the "Commemorative" Silver Dollars.

2006 American Silver Eagle
"American Silver Eagle" bullion coin (1986-present)

Coin Type: Date: Coin Weight: Diameter: Purity: Silver Amount (Troy Ounces):
American "Silver Eagle" (bullion coin w/ face value of one dollar) 1986-present 31.1034 grams (1 troy ounce) 40.6mm 0.999 silver 1.0 oz t

Note - the "Silver Eagle" is immediately recognizable as it states "1OZ FINE SILVER" on the reverse, other designs do not. This coin is slightly larger than the other silver dollars and is specifically a bullion coin - although proof versions and even good condition uncirculated coins are often worth more to collectors than their silver content.

2007 Jefferson Dollar
2007 Jefferson Dollar, example of
"Presidential" Dollars (2007-present)

Coin Type: Date: Coin Weight: Diameter: Purity: Silver Amount (Troy Ounces):
"Presidential" Dollars (2007-present) 2007-present, four presidents per year 8.1 grams 26.5mm No Silver Content! - copper colored 0

Note - much smaller than the silver dollars; slightly larger than a quarter.

How Much Silver Is In A Silver Dollar? - Further Notes

1: A coin that is in good condition will often be worth more than its silver content - especially if old or from an uncommon date, in which case the value can be many times that of a common or worn coin. A good way to see what the market will bear is to check out the current prices on ebay (you can do a "completed listing" search to ascertain what items actually sell for as opposed to what people would like to sell them for!) If you are a skilled ebay seller with a good feedback score, ebay may be the best place to sell the coins - but it is important to know what they are worth.

2: The copper, nickel or other metals used to 'make up' the rest of the weight of coins also have some small value, however this is not very great and typically negligible unless you are dealing with a large number of coins. (For example, the 10% copper in an old silver dollar, in Nov. 2011, is worth around 2 cents).

3: (Important) - note that there are several modern dollar coins that have no silver content! These include the "Presidential Dollars" (2007-present) that are 88.5% copper and look copper colored, the "Native American" dollars (2000-present, 77% copper). These contain no silver!

4: Due to slow wear, old coins that have been in circulation for many years will often weigh very slightly lighter than their original weight when minted. It is a small amount but adds up if you are dealing with a large quantity of coins: The best way to calculate the amount of silver in a hoard of 90% silver coins is to weigh them and then multiply the figure by 0.9, doing any necessary conversions to arrive at a figure in Troy Ounces.

5: There are many US "commemorative" silver dollar designs. The Silver Eagle is easily distinguished from the 'regular' silver dollar as the Eagle says "1OZ FINE SILVER - ONE DOLLAR" on the reverse. Most of the commemorative designs often have two dates - the date being commemorated and the date the coin was minted. The words "one dollar" will typically appear but "1oz fine silver" will not. The silver eagle, a bullion coin, is slightly larger and heavier: 40.6mm (1.598 in) in diameter and 2.98mm (0.1193 inches) thick. The commemorative silver dollars are 38.1mm (1.500 inches) in diameter and weigh 26.73 grams. The Presidential, Susan B. Anthony and other "mini" dollars are noticeably smaller, as well as having a copper hue.

6: Image Use - Unaltered images of US coins of are considered public domain in the USA as they are a work of the US Government. Silver dollar coin images were thus taken from wikipedia (where their public domain status is verified) or from coincommunity.com. Quoting Wikipedia ( http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1804_Silver_Dollar_-_Class_I_-_Watters-Childs_Specimen.jpg ) :

"... note that in the United States, reproductions of two-dimensional artwork which is in the public domain because of age do not generate a new copyright — for example, a straight-on photograph of the Mona Lisa would not be considered copyrighted (see Bridgeman v. Corel). Scans of images alone do not generate new copyrights — they merely inherit the copyright status of the image they are reproducing." Since this is simply a straight-on photo or scan, with no creative aspect involved, it should not be subject to copyright as per this precedent."




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