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- Mint/Brand: US Mint
- Type: Coin
- Composition: .90 (90% Silver)
Prior to 1965, US Coins, including dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars were composed of 90% pure silver. The composition of America’s coinage, the one-hundred- and seventy-three-year tradition of silver coinage, was eradicated when President Johnson signed the Coinage Act of 1965 into law.
Shortly before signing the Coinage Act of 1965 he spoke to Congress, “If we had not done so, we would have risked chronic coin shortages in the very near future.” President Johnson also stated, “Our uses of silver are growing as our population and our economy grows. The hard fact is that silver consumption is now more than double new silver production each year. So, in the face of this worldwide shortage of silver, and our rapidly growing need for coins, the only really prudent course was to reduce our dependence upon silver for making our coins.”
The comments President Johnson made to congress in 1965 implied the reason for making this drastic change to US coinage was the scarcity of silver due to increasing industrial usage and sluggish mining output.
However, the gradual effects of inflation in the economy and the imminent effects on silver prices cannot be ignored as a factor which contributed to the signing of the Coinage Act of 1965.
Pre-1965 US Silver coins ease of use with trade, lower premiums, and their familiarity make them a desired method for collecting silver.