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How Can $5 – $3.50 = $8?

by smeneshi - Aug 20, 2014

There’s a great little pizza place near Public Retirement Planners, LLC  in Evanston that I stop in for lunch about once a week.  Recently, I picked up a slice of pizza for $3.50 and was given $1.50 back in change for my $5 bill.  On the face of things, I was given the right amount of change but in reality, the cashier actually handed me about $8.  Keeping in mind the cashier correctly handed me a $1 bill and two quarters, how did I end up with $8?

Pre-1965 dimes, quarters, and Kennedy half-dollars have a silver content of 90%.  The content of every dollar made up of these pre-1965 coins is about .715 ounces of silver, so almost three-quarters of an ounce.  If you have four quarters that were made before 1965, even though the face value is $1, a local coin shop will give you about $14 for those quarters (minus a small transaction charge).  At the time of this writing, an ounce of silver is worth about $20, so if you take .715 times $20, you get roughly $14.  What happened at the pizza place was the cashier gave me a $1 bill and two pre-1965 quarters.  Those two quarters weigh about a third of an ounce, and with silver at $20 an ounce, he gave me around $8 in real change back (including the $1 bill)!

If you want to try making money looking for silver coins, call your local bank and ask them to put aside rolls of Kennedy half-dollars.  You can do this with quarters and dimes too, but half-dollars will obviously save you a lot of time and effort.  The number of coins you want to look through depends on your time and patience, but I think $200-$300 worth of coins is a good start.  Even though the coins you’re looking for will be few and far between, it may be worth the time considering it’s very possible you could come across a valuable batch of coins.  If you happen to come across 1965-1970 Kennedy half-dollars, put those aside also.  Those are comprised of 40% silver, so even though their silver content is less, $1 in face value is still worth about $7 (at the time of this writing).  Money doesn’t grow on trees, but anytime you pay cash for something, take a quick look at the change you get from the cashier; you could get a nice surprise from time to time!

Securities and advisory services offered through Ausdal Financial Partners, Inc.  Member FINRA/SIPC 5187 Utica Ridge Road Davenport, IA 52807    563-326-2064  www.ausdal.comPublic Retirement Planners, LLC and Ausdal Financial Partners, Inc. are separately owned and operated.

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