“77-year-old Government Program Makes it Possible to Buy Real Silver for $1.41”

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, December 11, 2009

I usually reserve my new articles for the Irregulars on Fridays and publish them in the Friday File — and I’ll be doing that, too, when I do my more detailed writeup today.

But I’ve had a bunch of folks ask me about this silver-buying program from Eric Roseman at The Sovereign Society, so I thought I could at least explain it for you quickly … and as a small bonus, you’ll have less of my blather to sit through!

“’Unpublished,’ 77-year-old Government Program Makes it Possible to Buy Real
Silver for $1.41″

That’s how they tease the idea. They go on to say …

“Thanks to a little-known government program – that was launched during the Great Depression – there is now an opportunity to acquire silver for $1.41.

“Not ETF shares… Not a pooled account… Real, hold-in-your hand silver.

“For decades, the Federal Government has tried to “pretend” this program doesn’t exist.

“An active President of the United States even “pooh-poohed” it…

“And… I say it’s “unpublished,” because it’s not mentioned anywhere on the U.S. Treasury website…

“But the truth is… it’s been quietly making average investors richer, with each passing month.

“And now, thanks to this program, backed by the U.S. Treasury, you can double… triple… perhaps even quadruple your money on silver over the next 12-24 months.”

Sounds exciting, no?

Well, it also may sound familiar — this is essentially the same kind of teaser language that Dr. David Eifrig used back in July when he was telling us that we could buy US government-backed silver for $1.25 (the price of silver has gone up a bit, naturally).

So you can read my thoughts on this “US government program” by clicking here for that July article if you want more details and examples, but I can tell you quickly that this is just “junk silver” — the coins (dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars — not nickels) that were minted by the United States before 1965 that were 90% silver. They’re still legal tender as currency, but they’re almost all now being hoarded and traded for their silver content because the silver is worth far more than the face value.

Oh, and just to be clear — yes, you can probably buy this “government-guaranteed” silver for $1.41, but of course it won’t be an ounce of silver, it would take roughly 14 pre-1965 dimes (that’s the lowest denomination, the one you might be able to buy for around $1.40) to get an ounce of pure silver.

You can buy big bags of “junk” silver coins, beaten up old 90% silver coins that have no collectible value, but you’ll still almost always (in this market, at least) have to pay a decent premium of at least several percent over the melt value of the coins. And of course, it’s not exactly legal to melt down US currency.

The $1.41 refers, I assume, to the price you’d expect to pay for a pre-1965 “junk silver” dime — those dimes, at the current price of silver of $17 and change, have about $1.24 worth of silver in them … but since lots of folks are looking to buy silver, even “junk” silver, you’re unlikely to find one for that price, but you can probably find them from dealers (in rolls or “junk” bags), or on ebay, for roughly $1.40 or so. At times in the past “junk” silver has traded at a discount to the silver price, sometimes a huge discount, since it’s not refined and it would cost money (and maybe the bending of some laws) to turn it into pure silver, but those days are gone for now — wait until silver falls precipitously if you want to buy this stuff at a discount. If you want to see precise numbers for the silver content of each coin and the value thereof, the Coinflation website is a great place to start. And of course, if you happen to want to sell those coins for their silver content in the future, there’s no guarantee that the coins won’t trade at a steep discount at that time.

Junk silver coins are, however, probably the easiest way to get widely-accepted silver that has a floor value (a dime is still currency and will never be worth less than a dime, though it may certainly be worth less than $1.40) and that is available in very small amounts of less than an ounce, in case you’re worried that the world is going to hell in a handbasket and you want small denominations of barter-able silver available.

I hold some junk silver that I’ve bought when I could get it for near or less than the melt value, but I don’t subscribe to the handbasket theory. Read that older article if you want more thoughts and discussion about “junk silver”, or feel free to comment here if you like. Have a great weekend

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11 Comments on "“77-year-old Government Program Makes it Possible to Buy Real Silver for $1.41”"

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I once asked Dr.David Eifrig why not buy deep out of the money Silver call options (Leaps even) for a potential Silver payoff. I’m still waiting for him to reply. He’s NEVER replied to any Q that I’ve asked him. His bogus thoughts about cashing in unwanted life insurance policies (I tried to for most of 2009, never got one decent bid!) Then the life settlement business closed down completely unless you had over a $250K policy. The good Dr. also advised his readers to NOT buy any stocks in 2009, I’m looking at the April, 2009 Retirement Millionaire edition… Read more »

I have a small,(very small)framing shop in Illinois, and I’m trying an experiment. I will advertise payments in gold and silver, and will use the junk coins as change.

There is a site that calculates metal values http://www.silverandgoldaremoney.com/

It will be interesting to see if it works, with so many people not trusting the dollar.

Tom K.

The national debt currently exceeds 12 trillion and is headed higher. Our monthly balance of trade deficit is running at about 30 billion per month and will undoubtedly head higher as oil gets more expensive. Several years ago, even Alan Greenspan admitted this is unsustainable. I don’t know how this will all play out but it is not going to be pretty.

Gary W

Tom K -about that $12 Trillion: pay it back in freshly printed dollars and halve the value of the greenback. That’ll do it.

Tom K.

That is one solution; maybe the only solution. It might be time to buy some gold and silver……… can you say “Weimer Republic” ?


Please remember, junk silver is usually good for trade only, because as gumshoe stated; It is illegal to melt US coins for their silver content. Of course, I have used them for trade during the Carter admin. and own now for future use if our economy collapses. DYODD


Gold and silver are easy to buy but not so easy to sell. If you don’t like ebay there is another auction site specific for gold and silver (https://www.bulliondirect.com).


For a daily quote on U.S. and Canadian coin melt values you can go to Coinflation.com to get the 1:30 PM EST daily coin melt values. This site also shows you a nice picture of each coin, the dates and content of silver in coins issued. This does not reflect the collectors values of selected coins which may be much higher than melt. Good Hunting.
Regards Walter


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i dont buy junk silver been buying collectable silver seems like a better investment. besides its more fun