Never paid much attention to them (old "silver" coins) but recently started reading up on them, especially their melt value.
http://cointrackers.com/blog/1/silver-content-us-coins/The term "melt value" does not imply the melting of the coin, it's a definition of the coins intrinsic value or worth.
Technically it's illegal to melt coins down but you can still sell them based on their metal content worth...if you can find a buyer.
Seems like circular logic to me. I have a 1942 quarter that's technically worth 25 cents. May be worth a bit more to a collector depending on the condition and the year and mint.
Based on the silver content it has a melt value of over $5.
1943 nickel, worth 5 cents, silver melt value of $2.
But if you can't melt it down, how the hell does that work? Why would someone pay $5 for the silver in the quarter if they can't actually reclaim it and it's technically worth 25 cents?
Figure it makes for a good discussion but I'm still keeping my eyes out for buffalo nickels and mercury dimes