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'old English' coins


What is the silver content of ‘old English’ coins… is it 925 or
100% Jim Chambers


Hello Jim, Depending on the age of the coins it is between 80 and 60%
silver. The older the higher percentage. But after world war 2, it is
mostly 60% . Antique coins can even have higher contents this can go
up to 95%. But I think it stupid to melt the antique ones, selling
brings more.



Jim, Depends on the coin and how old - get a good numismatists
reference book and it should have data on each coin issued.


I dont know that much about coins, but as far as I am aware the coins
minted before 1947 have a far higher silver content than was the
actual face value of the coin, which meant that back in the 60’s it
was cheeper to get your silver from old coinage than to purchase
bullion .On the down side “you” dont actually own the change in your
pocket it is in fact public property on loan from the national
treasury, and therefore your not allowed by law to melt it down. I
have heard of two brothers who were convicted and jailed for this
offence in the late sixties(i dont think the sentence was all that
long), but they would go to the banks and change paper money for
coins ,take them home,sort out all the old coins, put them aside and
every so often would do a melt.Now they found out that by adding
Vitimin C to the melt they were able to extract more of the silver
from the alloy. This however is what eventually lead to their downfall
. Every melt would result in clouds of thick smoke billowing out from
the chimney ,this arose some suspissions among the local constabulary
and when the department of trade found that the brothers were
importing more Vitimin C than Boots Chemists(large UK Chain ) they
were rumbled . However I dont know if they can chase you for it if you
live in the U.S. ,the english government are hardly going to extradite
you for it ,… or would they? While on the subject of coins a few
years back I visited Disney in Florida (Typical Tourist) but at one of
the stalls there was a young lady who was cutting out the emblems on
foregin coins and making pendants out of them, she was charging
different prices for different coins depending on the difficulty of
the cut but I dident see any that were done with U.S. coins, probably
for the same reason as above. She did have a good few Irish coins
which did catch my eye, We have an animal theme on our cions ,celtic
birds,bull,salmon,horse and woodcock and all have a harp on the
reverse side the made nice pieces and could also be made into cuff
links , ear rings and rings.One other thing she did was get a coin and
cut a line through it in such a way that when seperated the joining
edge of each coin formed the word “love”. I should have bought one as
I could never figure out the cut.

Neil KilBane,
(currently cold and wet here, but what the heck , its nearly Paddy’s Day)


It is my understanding that this is not a crime in the USA, if the
item is then to be decorative or jewelry. ‘Defacing a coin’ is a
crime if it is being done for fraud, ie. to change it’s value, etc. I
believe the Marking Act of 1976 established this. I know '77 was
when I first saw the pierced coins as jewelry. I have a Buffalo
Nickle with the ‘background’ cut away. Lorri F


Lorri F is right - Also called the Hobby Protection Act, the only
stipulation the law spells out regarding the altering of currency is
that it not be done with intent to defraud - i.e. adding or deleting a
mint mark to increase value, gold plating and attempting to pass of as
solid gold You can legally pierce, fold, staple or mutilate a coin to
your hearts content !!?!? @Russell1


If you go to any stop on the New York Thruway they have machines that
roll your pennies flat and imprint them with a logo…must not be
illegal to deface coins. Carol