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Silver a dime at a time

Summer might be mostly over, but it looks like heat is now being generated by precious metals.

In my morning check of the Kitco website, I see silver has jumped to over $30 a troy ounce to $30.47. We haven’t seen a figure like that since May.

Gold has jumped to $1,663.80 a troy ounce, which the online websites call a four-month high.

At silver’s current price, the metallic value of dimes, quarters and half dollar coins struck before 1965 is 21.79 times face value. This is nowhere near the record, but it is still an eye-opening figure .

Interesting, too, is I happened to get a silver dime in change at the Crystal Cafe yesterday. It was a 1952 from Philadelphia. The fact that it is worth almost $2.18 doesn’t pay for my lunch, but it is a nice way to get a discount on the regular price.

I haven’t seen a silver coin in my change since October of 2010 when I happened to get a silver quarter at Iola’s IGA grocery store.

As Debbie Bradley declared when I showed her the dime, it will help pay for my retirement. Of course, at the rate I am currently receiving silver coins (once every 22 months), they won’t add up to much by the time I leave this desk for the last time.

But that’s not the point. Getting such a coin in change is to momentarily relive the old circulation finds days.

And that’s enough.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."