I’m signed up for a bunch of newsletters on getting rich quick, most of which are about making the sender of the newsletter rich, but this one caught my eye. “How to collect real “hold-in-your-hand” silver from your local bank“, the email subject line promised, so I decided it was too tantalizing to pass up. Silver – from my bank? Mine has free cookies and coffee when you come in the lobby, dog bisquits if you’re Fido is riding along through the drive-through, but silver? That’s a freebie I’d like to hear more about!
The email linked to this page, which is an almost half-hour Flash animation with no speed controls and doesn’t really tell you the secret to free silver. You can pretty much read the content of the flash video here, which provide a few tantalizing clues. The only verifiable facts in the video are that the silver is available due to a “government mandate” called H.R. 2934, and that it ended in 1971.
H.R.s – house resolutions – start counting over every session, but the particular H.R. 2934 that applies to silver that you can get from a bank would be the Coinage Act of 1873, which demonetized silver and established the coins we know and love today. Silver coins continued to be minted until the Coinage Act of 1965 reduced or eliminated the silver content of nearly every coin. That is, except the silver half-dollar, which kept its silver content until 1971.
And that, friends, is the “loophole” of the Stansberry Research plan, solved without purchasing their program. The “exact five words” that they’re going to teach you must be something like “got any half dollar rolls?” What Stansberry is hoping is that, since half-dollars are still legal tender but are rarely used, banks still have old, dusty rolls of them piled up in their vault. Some of those rolled half-dollars are probably old silver coins from before 1971. Since the bank will give you a roll of 50 half-dollars for $25, if you don’t find any silver you just re-deposit the coins and you haven’t spent anything.
The thing here is: this is actually a pretty good idea. Although the Mint most likely sold or destroyed any silver coins in their inventory by the 1980s, people have been socking away their coins for years, and it’s not crazy to think that silver ones have been deposited at a bank at some point. With the popularity of coin-counting machines it’s likely that the silver half-dollars, slightly heavier than their current copper-nickel siblings, would probably be kicked out by the machine and given closer scrutiny, reducing the likelihood that the coin would be accepted as a regular 50¢ coin. So, what you’re looking for is a needle in a haystack…but since the coins are traded at face-value, you’re only out your time, not your money. This practice is similar to the people who bought rolls and rolls and rolls of the state quarters in hopes of discovering errors or finding extra-fine quality coins for the collector market. There’s a bit of work involved, but there is a potential for payoff if you put enough time into it. Whether or not it does is the gamble, hardly the sure thing that Stansberry Research would like you to believe, but if you’ve got the time, like panning for gold, it might pay off in the end.