4 Interesting Ways To Identify If Quarter Is Silver - Coin Ring Maker

4 Interesting Ways To Identify If Quarter Is Silver

Since I have started my coin ring-making journey my interest in silver has skyrocketed. I am now checking every quarter I come in contact with to see if it has silver in it. I really want to make a coin ring out of a silver quarter but, I have to find one first.

In this article, I will tell you a few ways I am using to spot a silver quarter out in the wild. While finding silver quarters is rare, taking advantage of these strategies will surely help you along the way.

The strategies for finding silver quarters are listed below but I will go more in-depth into each one later in the article.

  1. Check the sound. Silver quarters, when dropped, make a higher-pitched sound than regular quarters.
  2. Check the ridges on the side of the quarter. Silver quarters have only 10% copper, normal quarters are 90% copper and it is often clearly visible on the side of the coin.
  3. Check the date. Quarters minted before 1965 contain silver, so you want dates from 1965 and before.
  4. Check the mint id. Most quarters have an id letter to note where the coin was minted. If instead, you find an S the coin is a proof coin.

To learn more about each one of these strategies keep reading, interesting facts lay ahead!

Check The Sound

This method I find to be interesting and fun! If you have ever handled a silver quarter before you may have noted that it sounds different than a normal quarter when it is dropped. In fact, silver quarters make a higher-pitched sound than a normal run of the mill quarter. So, next time you drop a quarter listen carefully it might just tell you it is silver!

Check The Ridges For Visible Copper Sandwich

Normal quarters, those minted after 1964, are made of about 90% copper and 10% nickel. The copper is nickel-plated and when the coin is made the two metals are sandwiched together, nickel on the outside copper on the inside. By looking at the edge of a quarter you can quickly find out if it is a silver quarter, you will not see the copper.

While Silver quarters are not 100% silver they are mostly silver, 90% in fact. That leaves about 10% left for the copper. This makes an easy to see the difference between the two types of quarters. In fact, you can check a whole roll of quarters this way quite quickly. This is my go-to method. If I think I see a silver quarter I grab it and move on to the next method.

Check the Quarter Date

Quarters minted after 1965 out of the running. Between 1932 and 1964 quarters were minted with 90% silver. This the date range you are looking for if you want to find a silver quarter. I do want to note that there are other types of silver quarters than those in this date range. I will talk about these next.

Check The Mint id

In 1992 quarters started to be minted a little differently. They started minting what is called proof coins. These coins are 90% silver and 10% just like the quarters I talked about before, but they are newer! So how do you know if you found one? Check that mint id. This can be found on the head side of the quarter. If you find an S then the quarter is a proof coin!

Only about a million proof coins are minted each year so the chance of find one in the wild is quite low, but if you know what you are looking for you have an edge on others for sure!


I hope that by using these silver quarter identifying strategies we can both find some sweet silver quarters! Just remember…

  • Check The Sound
  • Check The Ridge
  • Check The Date
  • AND
  • Check The Mint I.D.

It is just that easy!

If you would like to learn more about making coin rings from me, check out my YouTube channel linked below!


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