Silver has had a place in human history for centuries, so it’s no wonder that it continues to offer a valuable choice for investors today. If you are looking to buy silver as an investment, you can buy it in a few different forms such as bars, coins and rounds.
You will generally purchase silver according to its weight, for instance troy ounce, gram or kilogram. Silver is typically priced by weight in .999 fine silver. The content below will explore the different ways you can buy silver as an investment as well as why silver makes a good choice for investors looking into precious metals.
Silver bars have long served as the backbone of private silver investments. Private mints (and some sovereign mints) around the world produce silver bars. Because a large number of mints and refineries produce silver bars, they ensure that there is enough to meet demands of collectors and investors. You can find silver bars with various designs, from mint branding to beautiful imagery.
One huge benefit of investing in silver bars is that you can find silver bars in a variety of weights. That makes silver bars accessible to a range of investors. Bars are weighted and marked in both troy ounces and grams. Examples of popular silver bars include:
- Royal Canadian Mint Bars
- PAMP Suisse Fortuna Bars
- Geiger Edelmetalle Bars
- Monarch Precious Metals Bars
- SilverTowne Bars
- Sunshine Minting Bars
Minted ingots and cast/hand-poured bars are the two primary forms of silver bars.
Just by pouring silver into a cast mold and then allowing it to cool, mints and refineries create the iconic silver bar. Mints and refineries determine the exact cooling process they will employ.
These silver bars are more highly refined than their cast/hand-poured counterparts. Long cast bars go through presses, and the presses stamp and cut bars into precise, specific sizes. Minted ingots boast elegant visuals.
Silver Bar Sizes
Silver bars are usually available in the following weights:
- 1-ounce bars
- 5-ounce bars
- 10-ounce bars
- 100-ounce bars
You can also purchase large 1,000-ounce bars.
When it comes to smaller sizes, silver bars will cost more per ounce. This is because it costs more for each ounce of metal to make the bars. As it is more cost-effective for a mint to produce a larger bar, those bigger sizes cost comparatively less per ounce.
Two main categories of silver coins exist. Investors typically buy silver bullion and proof coins. You can also buy silver numismatic coins, which are sought after for their collectible value.
Bullion and Proof Silver Coins
These silver coins are predominantly produced by sovereign mints, with Perth Mint of Australia being one notable exception. Silver coins are valued because they:
- Have a face value
- Hold legal tender status
- Have government backing for both purity and weight
You’ll find a wide variety of silver coins on the market today. Popular examples include:
Collector and Numismatic Silver Coins
Numismatic coins are valued for their collectible value instead of their metal content. As they are not currently produced, numismatic coins are typically purchased for their rarity. Though these silver coins are not an investment in the traditional sense, collectors seek out these coins.
Some examples of numismatic coins from around the world include:
- $20 and $10 Eagle coins from before 1933
- Peace Silver Dollars
- British Sovereigns
- Swiss 20 Francs
Silver rounds provide another investment option if you enjoy the look of modern silver coins but want a more affordable option. Silver rounds are offered primarily by private mints, both in the United States and worldwide.
A typical silver round contains .999 silver and weighs 1 troy ounce. Silver rounds can offer a cost-effective way to accumulate silver ounces compared to silver coins.
Silver rounds look a lot like silver coins. However, silver rounds differ from silver coins in that they:
- Are not struck by sovereign mints
- Do not have legal tender status
- Have no face value
As a result, mints can strike silver rounds in unlimited mintages, which means they can keep up with the demand for silver rounds among collectors and investors. You can find both bullion versions of silver rounds that offer unlimited coining as well as proof options that offer limited issues to interest collectors and investors in unique designs.
Why Buy Silver?
Silver is a unique precious metal because it is considered both a currency and a commodity, depending on its use. As a precious metal, silver can be purchased as a guard against inflation. Investors often turn to silver thanks to its relative affordability as well as its value in diversifying an investment portfolio.
Silver offers a variety of uses, both in terms of industry and as an investment. Silver acts as a vital monetary and industrial metal, meaning it has value across the globe. This is the case no matter the economic conditions. If needed, you can always sell silver at its current market price.
Properties of silver include :
- Electrical conductivity
- Resistance to atmospheric oxidation
In other words, silver can do many things that other elements cannot do. As a result, the metal has long been used for coins and jewelry, and demand for silver will likely continue rising. Today, silver is commonly used in:
- Electrical components
- Silver oxide batteries
A variety of recognized institutions around the world create silver products respected for their investment value. Examples include:
- United States Mint
- Chinese Mint
- Mexican Mint
- Perth Mint
- The Royal Mint
- Royal Canadian Mint
Investors look to silver when making investments in precious metals. Silver offers a range of investment opportunities, as you can buy the metal as bars, coins or rounds. You can find silver in a range of weights and sizes and, by extension, prices. That makes silver an accessible investment choice for anyone looking to diversify.
1. Britannica. ‘Silver,’ https://www.britannica.com/science/silver. Accessed September 26, 2020.