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Spotlight: Silver Bars

Silver Bars Product Spotlight

Like gold bars, silver bars can be had for a relatively low premium over spot price. Silver bars come from name brand mints as well as smaller private refineries. They can be made by either "pressing" or "pouring" techniques, and come in a variety of different weights.

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Anatomy Of A Coin Infographic

Anatomy of A Coin

Learn the different parts of a coin with this handy infographic.

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Buy Silver

Buy Silver Online

Gainesville Coins offers a large selection of gold and silver bullion and collectibles for secure online purchase. If you'd rather conduct your purchases with a live person, you can visit our showroom or call one of our phone traders. Our expert staff is happy to assist you. We maintain an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a 5-star rating from the National Inflation Association.

Why Buy Silver?

Silver is often chosen as an investment vehicle because it is a physical means of storing of wealth. As a tangible asset, it can function as a “safe haven,” meaning it retains its value better than paper money in the event of an economic disruption or political instability. For this reason, it has proven over time to be a viable hedge against the effects of inflation on the dollar. Moreover, silver offers investors a way to diversify their financial portfolio by adding precious metals to their holdings, in addition to stocks, bonds and other paper assets.

Due to its low price relative to gold, platinum and palladium, silver lends itself to being purchased in larger quantities. The more affordable price attracts investors who want to procure a significant amount of precious metal at once. As a precious metal, it is also highly liquid if you are choosing to sell your silver when the time finally comes. Silver is a commodity that appeals to the majority of investors because it can be obtained on almost any budget.

Silver is sold in coins, bars, and rounds, each of which come in several different sizes.

Purchasing Silver Coins

Coins are a very popular form of silver and are widely traded among both collectors and investors. Silver coins must be government-issued legal tender that are inscribed with the year of issue and conform to exact specifications of weight, purity, size and design. This standardization gives collectors and investors the peace of mind that their precious metal is authentic, and also ensures that their bullion will be readily recognized and more easily exchanged. Silver coins have their precious metal content backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing government. Modern silver bullion coins like the American Silver Eagle are now the preferred choice of most investors. Many buyers are also drawn to the Royal Canadian Mint's Canadian Silver Maple Leaf. Some collectors are also drawn to commemorative silver coins.

Numismatic Silver Coins

In addition, silver coins sometimes obtain a numismatic value (or collectible value) above their intrinsic worth (or melt value). This collectible premium may be due to low mintage for a particular issue, or high collector demand for a specific design. Many times, collectible silver coins are commemorative in nature and feature a special proof finish. Some coins may be graded by a third party grading service, and sealed in a protective casing (known as a “slab” in the industry). Coins slabbed by major grading services such as NGC or PCGS typically come with higher premiums, since their condition and authenticity have been expertly certified.

Junk Silver Coins

“Junk silver” is probably the most inexpensive means for accumulating silver coins. This term refers to U.S. dimes, quarters and half dollars minted before 1965, when circulating coinage was made from 90% silver. These non-collectibles are sold very close to the price of their metallic content and often come in large bags containing a mixture of dimes, quarters and half dollars. Old silver dollars like the Morgan dollar and Peace dollar are usually worth more than their melt value, and are not considered “junk silver.”

Investing in Silver Bars

Silver bars are sold solely for their precious metal content rather than any historical or collectible value. Bars are typically 0.999 fine (99.9% pure). They are produced by a number of private refineries, and are either individually cast or minted in large sheets and then cut. A variety of sizes are available, ranging from one troy ounce to 1,000 troy ounces. Regardless of size, silver bars maintain the high level of purity mentioned above.

Low Premium Silver Bars

Compared to other forms of precious metals, bars usually offer the lowest premiums over the intrinsic worth of the metal content. Larger sized silver bars are usually sold at a lower premium per ounce than smaller ones. This makes bars an attractive option for the cost-conscious investor. In other cases, investors prefer something that has a more recognizable brand name. This includes PAMP Suisse, Johnson Matthey, and Engelhard silver bars. These brand name silver bars usually entail slightly higher premiums.

Regardless of their premium level, silver bars usually have their weight and purity stamped directly on the bar. As an added assurance, some bars even come with an assay card or a certificate of authenticity from the refinery, that verifies the weight and fineness of the bar.

What Are Silver Rounds?

Silver rounds may look similar to coins, but they are not legal tender. Instead of a face value, they often bear inscriptions of their weight and purity. Rounds are purchased for their bullion value in the same manner as bars. Some rounds carry classic designs that were originally featured on old coins. This can certainly add to the confusion, but most of these type of rounds will have the word COPY on the front or back.

Many popular rounds, such as those from Sunshine Minting, carry original designs. Rounds are made in a wide variety of sizes, down to as small as 1/10 of an ounce. This affords the buyer a great deal of flexibility to trade, invest, or liquidate their silver incrementally as they see fit.

Bars and rounds produced by ISO certified refiners are eligible for inclusion in a self-directed Individual Retirement Account, or IRA.

To learn more about purchasing silver, visit our Learning Center.

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