Mailbox: How to Get Silver Coins

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I received the following email. Can you tell me what they are talking about?

A little-known banking transaction everyone should know about

Dear Reader,

Most people don’t know this, but right now there’s a loophole in the American banking system that enables you to exchange ordinary paper dollars for real silver coins.

To take part in this little-known transaction all you have to know is the five simple, but specific words to say.

We’ve been showing folks all over the country how to do this:

As Marty T., from Milwaukee, WI told us: “We just exchanged 8 dollar bills for 8 real silver coins! This is the last chance to achieve true wealth. Roll the dice and I think it will be a HOME RUN!!!”

And Fred M., from Provo, UT said: I took you up on your suggestion of trading ‘green backs’ for silver today… and scored 48 silver coins!!! This is a very easy and profitable thing to do. Thank you!”

What are the five magic words? Click here for the full story.


Sometimes it is difficult to separate what is worth worrying about and what it not worth your time. Time and energy are precious, spend yours wisely. I’ve seen very wise people walk away from a “fabulous offer” because it wasn’t worth trying to figure out why it wasn’t worth it. This is one of those cases.

In this case their “little-known banking transaction” that “everyone should know about” consisting of just “5 magic words” is probably something like “May I have fifty-cent pieces?

JKF fifty-cent pieces minted between 1965 and 1970 contained 40% silver. These pieces contain 0.1479 troy ounces of silver. At silver’s current price of $33.00 per ounce, this coin is worth $4.88.

Walking Liberty fifty-cent pieces before 1965 were 90% silver. These pieces contain 0.36169 troy ounces of silver. At silver’s current price of $33.00 per ounce, this coin is worth $11.93.

Pre-1965 dimes and quarters also contained silver. If you buy bags of “junk” silver coins this is what you will receive. Any coin since 1971 contains no silver.

So you can go to the bank and ask for rolls of coins looking through them for old silver coins, but most of the coins you receive will be 1971 or later. And these fifty-cent pieces will be worth, well, about fifty-cents.

If you enjoy coin collecting this can be a fun hobby, but too many people have already pulled most of the older coins out of circulation to make much money this way. If you do get a Walking Liberty fifty cent piece and sell it for $11.93 don’t forget to pay capital gains tax on $11.43. Coins are considered collectables which are taxed at a higher 28% rate so you would be required to report $3.20 in capital gains tax.

Follow David John Marotta:

President, CFP®, AIF®, AAMS®

David John Marotta is the Founder and President of Marotta Wealth Management. He played for the State Department chess team at age 11, graduated from Stanford, taught Computer and Information Science, and still loves math and strategy games. In addition to his financial writing, David is a co-author of The Haunting of Bob Cratchit.