US Coins

Mint official explains weight differences for Silver Proof set

The silver content has not changed for any of the coins in the 2022-S Silver Proof set, despite the Mint now reporting the weight of the silver coins in troy ounces at the lower limit allowed in each coin’s specification range.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint.

Questions have been raised by some collectors about the silver content in certain U.S. coins and how the U.S. Mint addresses the specifications on its website.

Collector Bob Myers noted a YouTube video uploaded by “Son of a Silver Stacker,” suggesting that the silver content in the dime, half dollar and quarter dollars in the 2022-S Silver Proof is reduced from previous years, as indicated in the Mint’s change from grams to troy ounces in the silver coins’ descriptions.

Myers refers to the conversions differences — dime, 2.537 grams (0.082 troy ounce) in 2021 versus 2.457 grams (0.079 troy ounce) in 2022; quarter dollar, 6.343 grams (0.204 ounce) in 2021 versus 6.19 grams (0.199 troy ounce) in 2022; and the half dollar, 12.685 grams (0.408 ounce) in 2021 versus 12.41 grams (0.399 ounce) in 2022.

“[Son of a Silver Stacker] suggests maybe the coins aren’t as thick since the diameter remains the same,” Myers relates.

Coin World queried the U.S. Mint for an explanation of the references on silver content.

U.S. Mint spokesman Mike White explains that “The silver content has not changed for any of the coins.”

“We made the decision last year to list all of our precious metals in troy ounces,” White said. “For this conversion from grams, we used the lower specification limit of our silver blanks in order to provide the minimum amount of silver content in each coin.

“So, using the dime example below, rather than use 2.537 grams (the nominal weight), we used 2.486 grams (the lower spec limit weight). Dividing by 31.103 [grams] yields 0.079 troy ounces. The same explanation can be given for the quarter and half dollar coins. The weights listed below [weights from 2021, in the reader’s email] are the nominal weights and not the lower spec limits.”

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