Friday, December 30, 2011

Look At This Quarter

See this dirty old quarter right here? Nothing particularly remarkable about it. Give it to a kid to put in a gum ball machine and it might get you a piece of candy or a little plastic toy that might last 5 minutes. It would take about 12 of them to buy you a gallon of gas if you shop around today. The last time I passed by a QuikTrip station the other day the going price was $3.09 per gallon and just before Christmas it was $2.99. It would take a bunch of quarters to fill up a gas tank.

But look a little closer. This quarter was made in 1955. Hmmm, I wonder what it would have bought you back in 1955 back when it was brand new? Let's take a look: Prices for 1955 Well how about that! In 1955 that quarter could have bought you a gallon of gas all by itself and leave you a couple of pennies over. Add one more penny to that and you could get a postage stamp. Hmmm, anybody drop a penny around here? Or you could get a loaf of bread and a couple of postage stamps with it. I bet you could get something decent out of a gumball machine too! Interesting indeed. Now here's another interesting fact about this dirty old quarter. It's made of 90% pure silver. If you were to melt this quarter down the silver alone in it today would be worth a little over 5 bucks! Check out the melt value over at Now 5 bucks today would buy you a gallon of gas and still have a couple of dollars left over. Hmmm, maybe this dirty old silver quarter has kept it's value over the years after all. Compare what $5 today would buy you with what that quarter in 1955 would buy you and it's easy to see that just the silver alone in that quarter has held up very well over the years.

The Coinage Act of 1965 was passed because the cost of silver compared to the constantly devaluing dollar caused coin shortages. People were taking the silver coins out of circulation because they were worth more than face value. And over time they have continued to hold value against the dollar as inflation has eaten away at it. If you were to stick a bunch of dollars under your mattress for 20 years then take them out they wouldn't buy nearly what they will buy you today. However if you had stuck a bunch of silver away 20 years ago you would be able to sell it at todays prices and be much better off. It might be worthwhile to keep an eye on those coins that pass through your fingers or maybe go to a coin shop and pick up a few now and then. ;-)

By the way... Go back to Coinflation and have a look at the melt value of a modern day nickel. Hmmmm, it's melting at about 100% of face value. Oh my goodness! Look here: Congress has been talking about replacing the venerable nickel with a steel nickel. Ya know, there are a lot of nickels in circulation right now and you can get them for a nickel a piece. Might be something to think about. ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Hey! Has anyone done business with Arlington Gold and Silver? Opinions?