The value of silver coins is largely determined by four particular factors.
Rarity. A scarce or rare coin has a value simply because there are so few of them. An example is the 1913 liberty Head Nickel which would sell for over one million dollars while the plentiful 1000 year old Chinese coins sell for just a few dollars.
The condition of a coin is most important. Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated coins are worth hundreds more than coins which have been used. Collectors are always looking for the best quality and best preserved coins available.
The value of the metal, such as gold or silver, will have an effect on the price. Some coins are more in demand because of their precious metal content rather than the rarity value. Gold, silver and even platinum coins will rarely sell for less than their precious metal value.
Lastly demand plays an important part in the value of silver coins. Some coins are in high demand by collectors and of course this elevates their value as they are prepared to pay more. As an example, there are more than 400,000 1916D dimes in existence compared to 30,000 1978 dimes. You would think the 1978 dimes would fetch a better price as there are less of them and they are much older. In fact the 1916D dimes are more in demand and so collectors are prepared to pay more. Consequently they have a higher value.
All of the above factors play a part in determining the value of silver coins and it is important therefore that one does due diligence when seeking a good quality silver coin. Lots of study and scouting around and finding out what is considered valuable and what isn’t can save you from making a loss and a lot of heartbreak.
The value of silver coins can be established easily provided you keep in mind rarity, condition, precious metal content and demand.