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Silver can be more than an investment

How about a stroll down memory lane?

If you are looking for a new challenge at reasonable cost, you might just take a look at the APMEX website.

It is a bullion sales site to be sure, but there is a collector element, too, if you want to try it.

I still have a soft spot for the Mercury dime. When I see it I think of my early years as a collector in the 1960s when you could still find Mercury dimes in change.

These dimes were not exactly scarce, nor were they plentiful. They showed up often enough to be tantalizingly exotic among the many Roosevelt dimes that were the current issue.

In short, they were a perfect fit for a kid, a paper route and a Whitman album.

Naturally, at that late date in the circulation finds era, there were no 1916-D coins for me to discover, nor did I come across any of the coins from 1921.

But I did find nearly slick common pieces from the first years of issue 1916-1920.

The coins of the 1920s were in better shape still and the dates of the 1940s were often near the top of the circulated grading scale.

I miss those days. How about you?

APMEX sells Mercury dimes in quantity. You can by a bag of $500 face value for $7,003.43 this morning. Melt value is $6,150 at $17.20 an ounce.

APMEX posts a buy price of $6,113.25.

If you are inclined to own silver anyway, why not buy some Mercury dimes and a Whitman album and relive the circulation finds days?

Naturally you won’t find the 1916-D or the scarce semi-key dates, but so what?

There will be 5,000 coins to look at.

See how much of a set you can put together.

This, of course, is not a way to invest in silver to maximize value, but it is a way to invest in silver to maximize pleasure.

If you believe silver will someday be 20 percent higher, you will come out financially ahead as well as emotionally ahead.

If 5,000 coins are too many, you can get a 50-coin roll for $86.49.

If Mercury dimes aren’t your thing, there are other silver types available as well.

Sometimes you just have to do things as a collector that gives you pleasure. This can be one of those things.

And, no, I was not paid for this message. When I daydream over other websites, I will mention those, too.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."