The following paragraphs provide a very brief summary of each of the coins whose melt values are shown above. But for more detailed information, visit the links provided in the U.S. coin melt values calculator.
Jefferson Nickels (1942-1945)
Jefferson Nickels have been struck by the United States Mint since 1938. However, they only contained silver during the years of 1942 through 1945. The nickels were changed to a content of precious metal as the nickel used in their normal composition was desperately needed during World War II. Silver Jefferson Nickels were struck from 35% silver with a total silver weight of 0.5626 troy ounces. Each showcases a portrait of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, on their obverse.
Barber Dimes (1892-1916)
Barber Dimes were released by the United States Mint from 1892 until 1916. Each was struck from 90% silver and 10% copper with a total weight of 0.07234 troy ounces of the precious metal. Barber Dimes take their name from their designer, Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1880 to 1918 Charles E. Barber. The obverse shows a bust of Liberty complete with a Phrygian cap while the reverse contains a wreath of corn, oak and wheat leaves.
Mercury Dimes (1916-1945)
Mercury Dimes replaced the previous Barber Dimes in 1916 and were struck by the US Mint until 1945. Like their predecessors each was composed of 90% silver and contained 0.07234 troy ounces of the precious metal. Mercury Dimes were designed by noted sculptor Adolph A. Weinman who used a Winged Liberty image on the obverse which has since come to be considered one of the most beautiful designs ever struck on an American coin. The reverse shows the image of a fasces (bundle of sticks with an ax blade emerging from them) all wrapped by an olive branch.
Roosevelt Dimes (1946-1964)
Roosevelt Dimes have been struck by the United States Mint since 1946. However, they were only composed of 90% silver from their debut through 1964. Subsequent Roosevelt Dimes were struck from a clad composition. The silver dimes each contained 0.07234 troy ounces of the precious metal. Shown on the obverse is the portrait of former President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. His image first appeared on the dime just months after his death. The reverse shows a torch, olive branch, and oak branch.
Barber Quarters (1892-1916)
Barber Quarters made their debut from the US Mint in 1892 and were struck until 1916. Each Barber Quarter originally contained 0.18084 troy ounces of silver. These strikes are named after their designer, Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1880 to 1918 Charles E. Barber. He was also responsible for the designs found on the dimes and half dollars of the same period. Shown on the obverse is the bust of Liberty, facing right, wearing a Phrygian cap. The reverse shows a heraldic eagle surrounded by thirteen stars.
Standing Liberty Quarters (1916-1930)
Standing Liberty Quarters were struck by the United States Mint from 1916 until 1930. Like other 90% silver quarter dollars, each contained 0.18084 troy ounces of the precious metal when struck. The Standing Liberty Quarters Dollars feature a Standing Liberty design by Hermon Atkins MacNeil on their obverse. The reverse shows a flying eagle.
Washington Quarters (1932-1964)
Created as part of the bicentennial celebration of the first President of the United States George Washington, the Washington Quarters made their debut in 1932. They have actually been struck annually since that year, however, only the 1932 through 1964 quarters have a composition of 90% silver. Each contained approximately 0.18084 troy ounces of the precious metal when struck. The obverse portrait of Washington was created by John Flanagan. The reverse contains a design of an eagle perched on a bundle of arrows with outstretched wings and an olive branch shown underneath.
Barber Half Dollars (1892-1915)
Barber Half Dollars were released by the US Mint from 1892 through 1915. Like the dimes and quarters of the same time frame, these coins are named after their designer, Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1880 to 1918 Charles E. Barber. When struck, each contained 0.36169 troy ounces of silver. Shown on the obverse is the image of Liberty, which was also used on the dime and quarter. The reverse contains a heraldic eagle with a shield.
Walking Liberty Half Dollars (1916-1947)
Walking Liberty Half Dollars replaced the previous Barber Half Dollars in 1916 and were struck by the US Mint through 1947. Each Walking Liberty Half Dollar was originally composed of 0.36169 troy ounces of silver. They were designed by sculptor Adolph A. Weinman who also designed the dime of the same period. The obverse shows the image of Walking Liberty and has become one of the most loved designs ever to be used on an American coin. Shown on the reverse is the image of perched bald eagle on a mountaintop.
Franklin Half Dollars (1948-1963)
Franklin Half Dollars made their debut in 1948 and were released by the United States Mint through 1963. Composed of 90% silver, each contained approximately 0.36169 troy ounces of the precious metal when originally struck. The obverse of each Franklin Half Dollar shows the portrait of American founding father Benjamin Franklin as designed by John R. Sinnock. The reverse contains a depiction of a cracked Liberty Bell.
Kennedy Half Dollars (1964)
Within months of the death of President John F. Kennedy, his portrait appeared on the obverse of the new Kennedy Half Dollar. In 1964, these coins were struck from 90% silver and contained 0.36169 troy ounces of the precious metal. However, subsequent years would see the silver content changed to just 40% silver only to be replaced again by a clad composition. Shown on the obverse is the portrait of John F. Kennedy by Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1948 to 1964, Gilroy Roberts. The reverse shows the presidential coat of arms as designed by Frank Gasparro.
Kennedy Half Dollars (1965-1970)
Kennedy Half Dollars struck from 1965 through 1970 were composed of 40% silver. As such, each contained approximately 0.1479 troy ounces of the precious metal. The designs found on the 40% silver half dollars were the same as the previous 90% silver half dollars including an obverse portrait of John F. Kennedy by Gilroy Roberts and a reverse design of the presidential coat of arms by Frank Gasparro.
Morgan Dollars (1878-1921)
Morgan Dollars were released by the United States Mint from 1878 through 1921. Each was composed of 90% silver and contained approximately 0.77344 troy ounces of the precious metal when struck. The Morgan Dollars take their name from their designer, US Mint assistant engraver George T. Morgan. He placed the left-facing profile of the mythical figure of Liberty on the obverse. The reverse shows an eagle with out-stretched wings.
Peace Dollars (1921-1935)
Peace Dollars replaced the previous Morgan Dollars in 1921 and were struck by the US Mint through 1935. Like previous silver dollars, each was composed of 90% silver and contained 0.77344 troy ounces of the precious metal. The coins were named "Peace" owing to national sentiment following World War I. The obverse contained an image of Liberty by artist Anthony de Francisci. The reverse shows a perched bald eagle with an olive branch clutched in its talons.
Eisenhower Dollars (1971-1976)
Eisenhower Dollars started appearing from the United States Mint in 1971 and were struck through the bicentennial celebration of the United States in 1976. Each Eisenhower Silver Dollar was composed of 40% silver and contained approximately 0.3161 troy ounces of the precious metal. Shown on the obverse was the image of former President of the United States and General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower. The original reverse depicted the Apollo 11 insignia of an Eagle on the Moon. It was replaced for the bicentennial coin with a Liberty Bell over the moon.
American Silver Eagles (1986-Present)
American Silver Eagles first appeared from the United States Mint in 1986 and have been struck annually ever since. The Silver Eagles are traditionally struck in bullion form but have also been issued in both proof and uncirculated conditions. Each is composed of one ounce of .999 fine silver. The obverse of the Silver Eagle contains the "Walking Liberty" design by artist Adolph A. Weinman first used on the 1916-1947 half dollar. The reverse contains a heraldic eagle with shield by Chief Engraver of the United States Mint John Mercanti.
America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver (2010-Present)
America the Beautiful 5 Oz Silver Coins made their debut from the US Mint in 2010. The coins are struck to both bullion and uncirculated qualities from five ounces of .999 fine silver to a diameter of three inches. The imagery on these strikes are originally taken from the circulating quarters known as the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. This includes an obverse portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan and reverse designs emblematic of selected sites of national interest from around the United States and its territories.