“Say These 5 ‘Magic’ Words To Your Local Bank Teller— And You Could Walk Away With A Handful Of Silver”

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We’re rerunning this piece because it continues to be one of the most asked-for explanations on the Stock Gumshoe website. What follows below was originally published in mid-2012, it has been updated for the change in silver values but otherwise remains unchanged.

Dr. David Eifrig over at Stansberry’s Retirement Millionaire newsletter has been teasing us with “five magic words” that he says you can use at your local bank to get free silver.

Huh? What’s he talking about?

Don’t worry, we’ll sniff through his clues and try to figure out what specific opportunity he’s talking about … and maybe we’ll even be able to guess exactly what his “Magic words” are. Here’s how he gets us interested:

“Say These 5 “Magic” Words To Your Local Bank Teller—

“And You Could Walk Away With A Handful Of Silver

“I never thought this would work. But it did! I tried it, and to my surprise, I got 34 silver coins from a single bank. Needless to say, I’m going back for more! Thanks for the great idea!” — Maury D., Tyler, TX”

Sounds great, right? Don’t worry, there’s more where that came from …

“I recently heard a wild rumor about a major loophole in the U.S. retail banking system…

“One that enables you to get real, ‘hold-in-your-hand’ silver from practically any FDIC-insured bank in the U.S. All you do is walk in, say 5 simple, but very specific words and – according to this rumor – you could walk out minutes later with a handful of silver, as part of a totally free transaction.

“You don’t even need an account with the bank where you want to collect your silver….

“Right now, a group of banks in the U.S. are finding themselves in possession of a certain type of government-created coin, which does not circulate widely in the general population…

“You see, these coins were originally produced during the early part of the 20th century, as part of a government mandate – called H.R. 2934 – to create money that was respected and easy to use. More than 750 million of these coins were minted, all containing varying amounts of silver.

“These coins – which contain as much as 90% pure silver – were designed by many of the best sculptors and engravers of the day – people like Augustus St. Gaudens, Charles E. Barber, and Gilroy Roberts. One of these coins is even listed by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) as one of the “20th Century’s most beautiful silver coins.”

“The coins were date-stamped and engraved with official U.S. government markings, to ensure authenticity.

“These unique ‘silvers’ were originally intended to be kept in circulation. But the Feds ceased production in 1971 because people were hoarding them and not circulating them like the government planned.

“But what 99% of the public doesn’t realize is that many banks today still hold large quantities of these coins.”

So what are these coins?

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Well, from the general tone of the letter it appears likely to me that he’s talking about old US currency from the silver coinage days, not about specialty or collectible coins — and he has often teased so-called “junk silver” coins before. Junk silver refers to the pre-1965 circulating dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars that were made of 90% silver and which are the easiest low-cost entree into silver accumulation for a lot of people — either because they buy bags of old “junk” silver or because they sift through their pocket change and set aside those occasional 1963 dimes that are actually worth a few dollars each.

But what about that 1971 date? That tells me we’re looking at something else — and my guess is that he’s talking about Kennedy half dollars.

The fifty cent piece is one of the most common coins in US history, and was very widely used up until about 50 years ago, but it has effectively disappeared from circulation. Part of the reason it disappeared is that the half dollar became the Kennedy half dollar in 1964 to honor the assassinated president, and it was extraordinarily popular as a memento of a much-loved public figure so people tended to hold on to it. Add that to the fact that this is also the time when silver was getting taken out of circulating coinage and folks started to hoard all coins that had real silver content, and the 50 cent coin was pretty much killed as a circulating piece of currency.

But the key is that 1965 isn’t the only key date for silver in JFK half dollars — 1970 is also important. Because although all the other common coins stopped containing silver starting in 1965, the JFK half dollar was struck in 40% silver for several more years, from 1965-1970. So you have an extremely common coin (hundreds of millions were minted) that’s almost never seen, and one that’s not pre-1965 and therefore not as widely known for its silver content, and people don’t use them in daily commerce, so there must be at least a few still out there waiting to be found.

The theory then, I suppose, is that a ton of these fifty cent pieces are just sitting in the dusty back portion of bank vaults — stores don’t want them to give change, but they occasionally get them in change, and every once in a while bank customers will bring in a roll or two of fifty cent pieces, and they probably sit in a box in the back of the vault until someone asks for them. So maybe if you go to the bank and ask for any half dollars they have, you’ll get some of these older ones.

Of course, plenty of banks probably don’t have any half dollars at all or would have to order them for you (which might be worth it, I don’t know, the Federal Reserve banks are certainly loaded with them but I have no idea if the coins in storage have any potential for silver dates), so it won’t work every time.

So if you walk into a bank and ask them if they have any half dollars, maybe you’ll get a little trove that you can search through and see if it includes any treasures — and of course, you can’t really lose money, because this is circulating coinage so the bank won’t charge you anything, you just give them $20 (or whatever) for $20 worth of half-dollar coins.

The rub? Well, part of the rub is that they might not have these coins, since no one ever wants or asks for them and they’re rarely used in commerce. And the other part of the rub is that the next decade or so worth of JFK half dollars are also very, very common … so if you do get some half dollars, it’s likely that almost all of them will be from the early 1970s or the widely minted 1976 bicentennial half dollar, pretty much all of which are worth, well, fifty cents. And you can’t use them in most vending machines or parking meters.

But if you DO get lucky and find a few older half dollars that are from 1970 or before, they’re worth a lot more than 50 cents — so that’s how you can be compensated for the time you spent searching for these coins and sifting through them.

The silver half dollars from 1964 and earlier, including the 1964 JFK half dollar, the 1948-1963 Benjamin Franklin half dollar or, if you’re really lucky, the Walking Liberty half dollar that was minted from 1916-1947 are all 90% silver and that silver content is, at $23 silver, worth a little less than $8.20.

The more common and perhaps not as widely known 40% silver JFK half dollars, which are the ones that are theoretically more likely to still be found in rolls at the bank on occasion, are the ones that were minted from 1965-1970 — and they have about $3.35 worth of silver in them. Some of the years also may have collectible value, including some of the post-1970 non-silver years, but if you’re talking just about the silver content you want coins that were minted 1970 or earlier. An easy place to check for silver content and the (constantly updated) value thereof is the free calculator at the Coinflation.com website.

Eifrig does, to his credit, caution that this “free” silver isn’t completely free — it doesn’t work all the time, at every bank, so you have to put time in (and, of course, you have to be fortunate):

“How often does saying these 5 magic words actually get you free silver?

“Well, from my experience, after observing more than 250 people to try this technique in dozens of banks around the country, I estimate that if you go to the right banks (I’ll show you which ones), and say the right words (again, I’ll give you the specifics) it works about 25% of the time.

“So, you’re going to have to do a little legwork to get this secret to work for you. But remember, this is basically FREE silver we are talking about here. If you are too lazy or too busy to do a little work to get something as valuable as silver, essentially free of charge, well, I’m sorry, but you can stop reading right now….

“The reason this works is because most Americans (including the people who work at banks) have no idea how this “loophole” works.

“But eventually, word will get out and this opportunity will end.”

And the special magic words? I don’t know exactly, but I’ll wager the phrase goes something like, “May I please have half-dollars?” Or “Do you have half dollars?”

There are bajillions of web articles and discussion boards about how to get your mitts on collectible or silver-content coins by getting an “in” at the local bank or trying to find the customer-rolled coins — the guess being that if Grandma let her grandchildren roll up the old jar of coins they found in the attic and take them in to the bank to exchange for bills so they can buy video games, maybe you’ll get lucky and find that the roll of dimes had a bunch of pre-1965 coins and is worth more than ten times the face value.

That’s also the hope for half dollars, though I guess they’re probably not as widely requested or talked about, or rolled up for that matter, so you may want to either cruise around to any sleepy bank branches you know about to give it a whirl, or chat up your friendly neighborhood bank teller so you can get an “in” when a promising pile of coins gets turned in. Though why any teller wouldn’t sift through them on her own is beyond me.

Or heck, maybe your brother in law runs the local Coinstar operation (those are the automatic coin counters you’ll see at some grocery stores) and will let you sort through the coins every week.

The point is that this is not just something you can do at your local bank branch every day to get a guaranteed free $50 every time — it’s probably best thought of as a hobby that will occasionally provide a nice perk of some “free” money if you’re willing to drive around to a lot of bank branches and look at a lot of coins. Unless you live in a very small town, however, you’re probably not the only person trying to look for these kinds of old coins … so be nice.

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290 Responses to “Say These 5 ‘Magic’ Words To Your Local Bank Teller— And You Could Walk Away With A Handful Of Silver”

  1. I just ordered the newsletter for $39, but I wished I’d seen this site first. The very next day, I heard a radio spot exclaiming, “Free Silver Coins At Your Local Branch Bank, blah, blah, blah… “, I knew I’d been had. I’ll see if I can get a refund, hopefully I can. Actually, I had ordered the newslettter for something else, but I’m thinking that if the whole free silver coins thing is a scam, then what about anything else has to offer in his newsletter?


  2. I bank @two banks in a small town. I have been asking for half dollar and dollar coins each time I go by and over the past few years I have ended up with with 20-30 keepers. The others I spend or just redecorating. This is not a “money making deal” more of a hobby. I am not spending extra money for gas or spending time running from bank to bank, just asking while I am there.


  3. Better idea:
    Pick up a few rolls of nickels every time.
    Sooner or later they’ll be taking them off or replacing w/ cheaper metal since the present metal value is more than 5 cents.


  4. Stansberry also defaults to “Autorenew”. I was disappointed in their newsletter, I told them to keep the 40 bux but DO NOT attempt a renewal. My next paid sub will be Gumshoe 😉


    • I did the same. I complained about their going on and on and on in an hour video promising to tell all “in the next few moments” but never did, just promoted another book to buy. I canceled the entire deal, they immediately credited my CC and did not respond when I offered to return the America 2020 book


  5. I’ve Tried Hundreds Of Easy Money Get Rich In 8 Minutes SHIT. By The Way, SHIT Means Ship High In Transit. Look It Up, Cute Story. Now I Do What I Love. F Millions. I Build The Best Adirondack Glider In The World In My Hobby Shop. No Stinking Job, No Stinking Boss, No Stinking Commute, No Stinking Suit, No Stinking Rules, No Stinking Employees, No Stinking Government, No Stinking Time Clocks. Everyone Wants One, Many Want Two. Yes, The Waiting List Is Long. I’m Never Late For Happy Hour, Which Comes To Me In My Dream Hobby Shop, BYOB And A Little For Me. Do What You Love And Are Good At , It Took Me 68 Years To Figure It Out, A Cheap Price Indeed. Love Always, TwinkyBrain


  6. They make their millions of dummies that suck it in and pay for the subscriptions. *Disclaimer says, “NO guarantee”


  7. This business of getting silver from banks has been on you tube for several years. It’s easy to search for if you have a mind to.
    The way it works is simple enough you go into your bank and you ask them to order half dollars for you. Generally they have to be ordered because most banks don’t like them and many tellers don’t even know what they are and think they’re dollars. I ordered $500 worth. That’s 50 rolls. They came from the Federal Reserve bank nicely rolled up. I had my Grandson go thru about 10 rolls nothing. Then we figured out that all the rolls were within 1 or 2 grams of each other. Well silver halves weigh more than the cupro-nickel clad versions. So we only opened the rolls that were a little heavier, Still nothing.
    I for one think it would be a lot of work to find one silver coin per $1000.
    Now heres another method. Most smaller banks have coin counters on the premises, larger banks send their coinage to some central location. The smaller ones get foreign coins kicked out. Among those foreign coins there could be silver or Euros. My bank lets me go thru them and TAKE what I want. No charge. The Euros I take to the airport and cash them in. What would Stansberry charge for this info? I paid them $99 once and they didn’t help me at all.
    Good Luck


  8. This is absolute nonsense. Here are the fatal flaws:
    1. So-called cherry-pickers have been wise to this for many years. Most of the coinage you’ll ever get from a bank has been searched many times over. This also includes “unsearched” rolls you’ll find on auction sites, flea markets, etc.
    2. Banks are businesses, too, so they are not likely to have ballistic bags, boxes, or other large volumes of coins simply collecting dust in a vault.
    3. Banks are not going to sell large quantities of coins to non-customers, at least not at face value. Many require customers to be account holders to transact any business.
    4. In the age of the Internet, most bank tellers know how to detect silver coins. Many banks allow tellers and other employees to pick out silver and exchange it with equivalent value coins.
    5. The notion of ordering halves or quarters to find silver is time consuming, and because the coins have very likely been searched many times, the chances of finding silver are slim. It’s not impossible, but don’t be surprised if you end up with 1 silver coin for every 5,000 coins you search. (Incidentally, if you order dollars, you will now receive mixed coins, i.e., Sac dollars, Presidential, Susan B. Anthony, etc. You will not get Ikes, Peace dollars, Morgans, or other large format coins. Also, dimes contain silver, but because of their small size and the slim chance of finding silver, most people only search “majors.”)


  9. There goes all your credibility!! What a blunder!! There is NO silver in 1970 Kennedy half dollars !!


  10. Here is my 50 cents worth:
    Kennedy half dollars:
    90% silver: 1964, 1964D
    40% silver: 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968D, 1969D, 1970D
    40% silver (bicentennial commemorative): 1976S


  11. I have a 1964 john Kennedy silver half dollar. It was my Fathers. It has been sealed in a clear round case that has the Renault Logo on the back. It was given away by a Renault Dealer as a key ring. I am wondering if any one has sen one like it.


    • Hi I have a 1964 Kennedy half dollar. One that has a Renault Logo on the plastic case is probably worth more than a car! lol Just Joking,,,,,, Travis or someone else might have a clue on the valuation. We can tell you, banks do not have these coins available.


  12. The best five words I will give you is ” Dont Give In TO Scammers” That is all they are, so dont let them succer you.


  13. 5 simple words to walk into a bank and get silver, says the teaser…… I was watching that on TV with my kids when one of them blerted out, “5 words….. THIS IS A STICK UP”.

    Hee hee, just thought my kid was pretty funny, only 12!
    Seriously, thanks for your above explaination on what they were REALLY talking about, I could tell it was a scam jut from the goofy guy host. Thanks much, very informative.

    A mom in Tucson, AZ


  14. Did this for approx. 3 months in 1974. Worked like a dream! the ratio at some banks was astounding. Now, not a chance…maybe a few bucks here and there at best! gas was about .50 a gallon and there were many 40% and some 90% in every roll. Wish I would have written and sold the “5 magic words” instead of doing it in ’74.LOL


  15. LMAO!!!!! Lots of laughs in this thread. Glad I came across this again from Google. This crowd is better than stand-up comics!


  16. Very helpful – I keep hearing these advert on the radio and they are rather annoying. Glad to finally know what it’s about.


  17. – Well I’ve been doing this as a little treasure hunting hobby for years.
    When I go to the bank I buy rolls of Pennies other people have brought in.
    Because sometimes there’s Wheat Pennies in the rolls for my collection.


  18. the 5 magic words are:


  19. You have better odds of getting half-dollars and even Ike dollars, etc by asking the cashier at any place you go. Many times people do pay for their purchase using some non-normal coins.
    Next time your checking out just ask if they have any you could get back in your change, or swap even cash, they’d rather not have to count the anyways.


  20. So, what are the five words?

    Just kidding!!!! I am cracking up at the number of people who have asked this quesion when it has been answered at least five times in the first half of this thread.

    I saw Eifrig’s $39 promo for the five magic words and figured if I did some research and reading I could find the info for free. And here it is.

    Thanks everyone for the info. I think I’ll just make a habit of asking for hand rolled coins when I’m in the bank.


  21. This is such scam. He is a salemans and selling you his products.

    Just like bartending which he sold “teaching” lesssons to. He is selling the scam.

    My friend who was uses metal detectors knew about this and he would walk into banks and do this exact things. Many people know about this and have known. This is a scam so you will buy his $49.00 book and eh can laugh all the way to the bank.


  22. Hey guys, just wanted to say this: I agree with the sales tactics thing being crazy! They are just trying to make money off of you with the $49. OMG! A business trying to make a profit, how shameful!! Really people, get off it! You show me a business thats not trying to make a profit and I’ll show you a business owner on welfare! They all use some kind of advertising or sale or special deal to get you in the door, but once your there, they ultimately want to sell you something! Isn’t that what capitalism is about? So here is the breakdown: I own a membership at Stansbury and it has been well worth the $49 I payed for it. It is great information for investors. So, what about the silver thing you ask, well I don’t go around the country going into banks and asking them for their silver, that would be insanely stupid, but how many times do you go to the bank to conduct other business? Since your there anyway, wouldn’t you want to ask them for their silver? If you don’t your an absolute idiot! So, the 5 words are “Please exchange for pre 1965”. Pre 1965 half dollars being 90% silver. 1965 to 1970 are 40% silver. So there you go, do with it what you will, but I have a milk jug half full of these things and they are a profit no matter what the silver market does! I hope you people that were calling scam get your head out of your ass and see how relly stupid you sound!


  23. Calling it a scam is a bit much. A scam would be talking someone into giving u money and than not producing (running off with the cake) or whatever. Thats a scam. All u have here is someone trying to make a buck by signning up for the newsletter. No scam cuz it does work granted everyone and their uncle know about this so called loophole.
    As for people here asking what the 5 words r, my god!!, get your heads out of the sand and think about it. When i heard about this i thought right away which coinage would make the most sence to be getting silver coins back at face value. The only JFK halfs worth anything besides the silver it self would be with the “S” mint, to a collector. These usually come as sets of any giving year stamped (struck) out and un-touched by human hands and packaged up usually for collectors, purchased through the US Mint.


  24. I subscribed to Porter Stransberry of “Stansberry Research” a year before last or 2012 and the claim was to get this an invest with what he said and I would make big money.
    Well as I read the letter email all I saw was click here and see how to make money but all I saw was subscribe with that one and read how to make money. Well it seams that all you do is spend money for more letters since all of those places I was referred to said that, “I had to subscribe to that place”
    Oh as a second thought I get a email since I subscribed called Daily Wealth a part of Stansberry Research and any reference to make money you have to subscribe to so again so the only person I see making money is the Stansberry group…


    • Listen to the video for almost an hour and you will only get “buy this book”, not any promised info “in just a few minutes I will tell you”…..it never comes. Just “sign here for the next book sale and you can get the magic info”.


  25. John O’Hara once pointed out that only men say “half -dollar.” Women always say “fifty-cent piece.” It’s true!


  26. My first attemp in 2015, I got two 40% silver half dollars from 2 rolls. Still works. As far as the company. I make a few thousand a year from their recommendations. Solid investment research. Very close to Benjamin Graham’s investment principles. If you are bothered by advertisements like these, don’t read them. They clearly are effective as you have all just read them. If these advertisements did not work in gaining subscriptions, they would not do it. Excellent advertising tactic.


  27. I agree with you Harry. It’s no different than looking through your change to see if you got a silver coin in the lot except that this method increases your odds. If you are going to spend money anyway why not give it a try, you may be surprised at what you end up with.


  28. Here’s some magic words you can use for men and women
    got any half dollars here
    got any half dollars today
    some half dollars right away
    some half dollars right now
    how about some half dollars
    give me your half dollars
    give me all half dollars
    get me some half dollars
    can I get half dollars
    do you have half dollars
    you have any half dollars
    I’ll take some half dollars
    I want some half dollars
    I need some half dollars
    half dollars now can’t explain
    I need fifty cent pieces
    get me fifty cent pieces
    got any fifty cent pieces
    got some fifty cent pieces
    I want fifty cent pieces
    you got fifty cent pieces
    you have fifty cent pieces
    some fifty cent pieces please


  29. For you nay sayers–fyi even getting into the game this late, I just pulled 38 silvers (2@90% & 36@40%) out of a mere $100 worth of halves that I happened to have been lucky enough to pick up at a branch after asking… the manager actually said “we have been trying to get rid of these forever”… because of this, I got the “fever” and since I have a business account at my normal branch I had them order $500 worth–they came rolled from one of those security companies and I found 0 pre-1971 in that entire 1000 that I ordered…there were a few interesting coins–but no silvers… conclusion— you need to get hand rolled coins. Its possible that because they are heavier the sorting machines must be picking them out or something… I also have tried a box of dimes before too, also labeled from the same security company, 0 silver in there as well…


    • That’s the nature of the idea, I think — bank-processed coins aren’t likely to have silver, since banks the Fed aren’t dumb, but one might slip through occasionally. But some branches where a few rolls of hand-rolled coins sit on a shelf in the vault might have some hidden caches of silver, and more likely half-dollars than others (because of those 40% silver coins that aren’t as well-known as the pre-1965 90% ones).

      But it’s a time intensive hobby, not an investment strategy. And maybe one that will go away forever before too long, as more and more branches put in mechanical coin counters and you stop having folks bring in rolls of coins that they found in the attic.


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