Silver bars come in various sizes, typically starting at 1 oz silver bars and ranging as high as the massive 1 kg bars (and for industrial use, the truly impressive 1000 oz bar). For many investors, the sweet spot lies somewhere in between. A 5 oz bar of silver is usually around 2.5 inches long and 1.5 inches wide and offers a lower premium over the spot price of silver compared to smaller bars. At the same time, a 5 oz bar has a lower sticker price than the higher weights.
Typically, each bar has details such as the manufacturer, the weight and silver content, and in most cases, a unique serial number. All of this information is inscribed directly onto the bars.
Some bars are cast by pouring molten silver directly into a mold. Cast bars are typically the less costly method of manufacturing silver bars. There is a flat, matte finish on the surface of all cast bars, and some manufacturing marks may be present as well, making each individually unique. Cast bars look more crafted than manufactured.
Other silver bars are minted. Like coins, the minting process starts with a blank slab of silver which is stamped or pressed with its final design, then polished. The minting method creates a shinier finish to the bars, which are more consistent in appearance than cast bars. Note there’s no functional difference between silver bars produced by these different processes. No matter what a silver bar looks like, it’s valued almost exclusively based on the purity and weight of metal.
One of the most popular 5 oz silver bars on the market is the Sunshine Minting 5 oz bar. This minted bar features an eagle traversing the sun, the purity, weight, and serial number on the obverse.
The bar’s reverse displays a repeating pattern of Sunshine Minting’s logo (a sun). These bars are eligible for purchase within a precious metals IRA.
The SilverTowne Mint’s 5 oz bar is also minted (not cast) from 0.999 fine silver, the standard purity for bars of this size. The obverse side shows a trademark design of a prospector leading a mule laden with mining gear, with a pickaxe slung over his shoulder. The purity content and weight are inscribed in raised letters along with the SilverTowne logo. On the reverse side, the prospector, mule, and logo appear again on a criss-cross background.
Silver is one of the oldest forms of money on the planet, in use since at least 3000 BC by the Sumerians in ancient Mesopotamia. Silver carries the legacy and trust of its ancient history to this day, a well-respected asset universally recognized as a store of value. But there’s more to silver than money.
Silver has a diverse range of modern industrial uses, such as electronics, automotive manufacturing, dentistry, nuclear reactors, solar energy, water purification, medical and antibiotic applications, and many more. The rise and fall of demand for silver in these industries impact price, which is the major reason the price of silver doesn’t move in lockstep with the price of gold.
While silver and gold are somewhat correlated, silver is more volatile (greater movements in price) due to its variety of demand sources. This volatility potentially presents investors with a greater number of opportunities to capitalize on short-term price movements.
By investing in physical silver rather than a “paper silver” ETF or digitally-traded financial asset, you can rest assured that your purchase will not be hacked, erased, or lost in a computer system. Furthermore, your real silver isn’t subject to tracking errors or short-selling that plague the paper silver markets.
Silver investors own their physical silver. They can even choose to store it in their own homes. They can take it out of the safe and hold it in their hands. There’s absolutely no uncertainty about their purchase. In short, an investment in physical silver is worlds apart from an investment in stocks, bonds, futures, or the vast majority of financial instruments. And, as my father said about land, they ain’t making more of it.
Silver bars are also ideal for anyone looking to diversify a portfolio, particularly to hedge against the risk of cash inflation. Most silver bars are eligible for purchase within a precious metal IRA, allowing you to save for retirement while benefiting from the diversification and security offered by tangible, physical silver.