Silver dollar collection is an American coin-lover’s hobby but without some basic knowledge about it you can lose money. With so many forgeries in circulation and changes to silver coin production, your prized currency could fall short of the silver standard. It will help you to learn what to look for in coins to determine which ones are worth purchasing and which ones are just worth looking at.
Examine the date on the front of the coin. If it has a date of 1963 or before, and it's not a forgery, it should contain 90 percent silver.
Look closely at the band of the coin. A copper band in between two silver bands means the coin is less pure. A copper band is proof the coin contains high level of nickel and filler metals.
Toss the coin and let it ping against your finger. A purer silver coin has a higher pitch and truer ring than alloy coins. The only way to know the sound difference is to spend some time listening to different coins to develop your ability to pick up the higher pitch.