Silver typically is the least expensive of the precious metals and can be an attractive investment. You can find silver in everyday change.
The last year that American dimes, quarters, 50-cent pieces and dollar coins were made from silver was 1964. These coins used to be made of 90 percent silver.
These coins are called "junk silver." But they are anything but junk. What does this mean? Simply that a quarter from 1965 or later is worth exactly 25 cents. However, a quarter from 1964 or before is worth the value of the silver it is made from. The value fluctuates with the price of silver. As of July 2011, a pre-1965 quarter has a melt value of $7.27. That's how much raw silver you'd have if the coin were melted down into bullion.
People who don't collect coins are often surprised to find out that a quarter could be worth more than 25 cents. The next thought to cross most people's minds is to look at the change in their pockets. Surely there must be a couple of those silver quarters around here somewhere.
What most people quickly realize after looking at their change for a couple of days is that pre-1965 quarters and dimes are hard to find. One won't come across many in day-to-day transactions. Most of them were hoarded away years ago. It's always worth it to look at your change though because you will find a good coin occasionally. But there are places to look.
First, dump out your coin jar and sift through it for coins of value. Half dollars from 1970 and before also have silver in them so keep that in mind as you look. If you've still got grandparents ask for permission to look through their coin jars and help them search for silver coins.