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Coins on eBay
I buy and sell coins on eBay. Here are sample auctions for silver dollars and ounce bullion:
Two Bit Coin
Long ago, the common folk in the colonies traded goods and services using a piece of currency called a bit. A bit was one eighth of a larger coin called a pieces-of-eight (ie, the Spanish Silver Dollars). One could buy a pint of ale for a bit and a simple meal for two bits. A bed in cheap hotel would go for four bits.
The Coinage Act of 1792 created a decimal currency. The coinage in this currency included a half dollar, a quarter dollar and strange new coins called the disme, the half disme and penny. The penny was worth one percent of a dollar. The disme worth ten percent of a dollar.
In the transition from old to new coinage, the half dollar was worth four bits. The quarter was worth two bits. A bit was worth 1/8 of a dollar ($0.125). The disme was worth $0.10 and was often called a short bit.
In old usage, the silver quarter was the two bit coin. 2/8 = 1/4.
We used silver quarters through 1964. A silver quarter weighs 6.25 grams is 90% silver. The US Market still lists prices for silver and gold in troy ounces. A silver quarter contains 0.18084795 troy ounces of silver.
On 2011-05-27 the price of silver was $37.96. A silver quarter contains $6.86. This price is often called the "melt value" of a quarter. It is both illegal and silly to melt collectible coins.
As silver quarters are collectibles, the real price of the coins is usually a little bit more than the melt price. You can verify this by following auctions on eBay. The banner below shows a selection of current auctions.
The price calculator lets you calculate the current price of silver quarters:
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