Extracting silver from War nickels

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MeezieNY

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Sep 10, 2020
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Hello, been reading a bit here but just signed up and its my first post. Have a bunch or war nickels that I would like to get the silver out of and pour a couple bars. Have a basic idea of the Nitric Acid method and cementing but is there a real solid thread or video step by step on how to do this? What kind of silver waste will I have with this method and how is the best way to obtain the largest percentage of silver from the coins as possible. Also, I keep reading about a silver cell, but am I able to melt down and pour the powder only without getting a silver cell and what is the best % purity I am able to get that way? And help would be appreciated, thanks!

-Mike
 

Refining Rick

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There is this fellow named Sreetips on YouTube. Check him out He does a lot of silver refining. Great videos. He even comes around here now and then. . .
There are many others here with great videos too. It's a big pool to drink from.
 

cosmetal

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I'm not sure this is a good idea. Two reasons:

1.) From my past research - "It is, however, illegal to melt pennies and nickels in the United States. This was originally a temporary regulation which came into effect in 2007 for 5 months, but the legislation remains until the present time." Source: Global Bullion https://globalbullionsuppliers.com/...illegal to,the United States when travelling.

2.) Your present day melt value - "$1.5321091342 is the total melt value for the 1942-1945 silver nickel on September 10, 2020." Source: Coinfaltion.com http://www.coinflation.com/coins/1942-1945-Silver-War-Nickel-Value.html

Welcome to GRF!

Peace and health,
James
 

FrugalRefiner

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I refine a lot of silver, but I never refine coins. They are "self assaying" as they are. Everyone knows exactly what the metal content is. Once you refine them, you have silver of unknown purity if you sell it. You'll either have to pay for an assay, or the buyer will have to take your word on the purity.

Granted, they're ugly as can be, and they're only 35% silver with 65% base metals, but I still keep them as they are.

Dave

Edit to add: silver war nickels are specifically exempted from the ban on melting nickels.
 

MeezieNY

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Sep 10, 2020
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Does anyone know roughly what percentage yield I would get using only nitric acid and cementing with copper tube or something? Is there alot of loss this method?
 

galenrog

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I have never attempted to recover silver from war nickels, exclusively for the reason that they are a known alloy and easy to sell. If you are doing this as an experiment to learn how to deal with similar alloys, the war nick is a remarkably good idea. Know alloy. Known weight.

If you are looking to make a profit, I hope you got them for free.

Personally, I save war nicks until I have at least 1000, then sell if I think the price is reasonable.

Time for more coffee.
 

jarlowski1

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Dec 20, 2013
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The manganese will take a lot of time and nitric to fully dissolve. You certainly won't make a profit off of them because of that.



EDIT: To answer you question it really depends on how worn they are and your skill set. You should (if your skills allow) be able to get close to theoretical yield minus the wear. I don't know since I haven't done any for reasons stated above.
 

cejohnsonsr1

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Sep 20, 2020
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War nickles are 35% silver (I think). So weigh what you have and multiply by. 35. But, as has been mentioned, you're better off to keep them as is. Also mentioned previously, Sreetips has several excellent videos on gold and silver recovery/refining.
 

upcyclist

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Sep 28, 2015
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I have a decent-sized coin collection, but that includes a lot of coins where I bought at below-melt for melt-value coins. I should go through them and sort them into purities lol. "This pile is the 40% coins like JFK and Eisenhower silvers, that pile is coin silver (90%), the other pile is sterling, the one over there is .500...."

So far, I've only used melt-value coins as inquart fodder, and not very often.
 
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