Silver Bullion Coins, Silver Bullion Bars and Rounds
More than ever, people are turning to physical silver as a safe haven for preserving their hard-earned money. In general, these investors overwhelmingly choose silver as their preferred form of holding precious metal. Compared to gold, platinum and palladium, silver comes at the lowest prices per ounce of any precious metal. The premiums associated with silver bullion are also typically the lowest among all forms of acquiring silver. The information on this page can help you decide which silver bullion product is right for you.
Although the term bullion typically brings to mind images of bars stacked to the ceiling in some bank vault, silver bullion actually comes in many shapes and sizes in addition to bars. A number of forms of highly pure silver are classified as bullion, including bars, rounds and coins. For centuries, silver bullion has been used in commerce as a compact, economical way to amass, transport and trade silver as a low-cost tangible asset.
Silver appeals to investors from Nevada to Nepal, from Hoboken to Hong Kong, and everywhere in between. For over 4,000 years, beginning with the Ancient Greeks, silver has been coveted and used as a universal intermediary for conducting commerce by various cultures spread all around the globe. In 14 different languages, the word for “silver” literally translates to money. Silver bullion is still used to these same ends today, albeit through more intricate processes and in larger quantities.
Silver Bullion as an Investment
It was only in the middle of the 20th century that many governments discontinued the use of silver in currency. We have since replaced silver coins entirely with fiat money. That said, one important idea has stayed constant: the notion of silver as a measure of real value remains a reality.
Silver has shown throughout history to be a stabilizing force amid such turmoil in the equity markets. It is only in the last 50 years that we somehow forgot this was the case and switched to fiat currency—which is essentially no more than an “IOU” issued by the government. Paper bank notes have no utility beyond being decreed as money by the government. Silver, on the other hand, is useful by virtue of its metallic properties. Whereas dollar bills are merely a means to an end, silver is a commodity in demand unto itself.
You see, silver is an incredibly versatile element. It is malleable and can be fashioned into just about any shape or form; it can be alloyed with many other metals; and its boundless industrial uses continue to evolve and multiply. The industrial applications of silver span from the cutting edge of electronics to the center of modern medicine. These many industrial uses of silver are most cost-effective when silver bullion is used, as the bullion is already in such a pure state that it can simply be smelted and used in whatever way is needed. The demand for silver remains high, especially as mines become depleted and silver becomes increasingly scarce. Many experts project growth in the silver market due to this strong demand coupled with increasing rarity.
For long-term investment purposes, you can include silver bullion in your Individual Retirement Account, or IRA. Adding physical silver to your self-directed IRA has the same advantages as stated above, offering diversity and a hedge against inflation for your retirement account. In both the short term and long run, holding physical silver can be a safe haven for protecting your wealth.
These are some of the reasons why investors buy silver bullion. When shopping for physical silver, you should look for the lowest premiums over the spot price, or current market price, of silver. Regardless of where you choose to shop, there are three principal types of silver bullion for sale: coins, bars, and rounds.
Silver Bullion Coins
In addition to private facilities, national governments also mint silver bullion products. These government mints produce highly pure silver coins that are given a face value, are inscribed with the year of issue, and bear the name of the country of origin. These three considerations distinguish government-issued silver bullion coins from silver rounds.
Though they are government-issued and designated as legal tender, the intrinsic value of silver bullion coins generally far outweighs their ascribed face value. As a result, they are traded on the basis of their silver content. The standard weight for bullion coins is normally one troy ounce, although the Perth Mint (Australia) and the Royal Canadian Mint, among others, now offer a variety of sizes. The weight and purity of silver coins are typically backed by the full faith and credit of the government that issued them.
The official silver bullion coin of the U.S. Mint is the American Silver Eagle, the most widely traded silver coin in the world. Some of its counterparts abroad include the Silver Maple Leaf (Canada) and the Silver Panda (China). Each of these bullion coins were introduced to the international silver market in the 1980s and have been minted annually since.
There are numerous reasons why silver bullion coins are traded all over the globe; perhaps chief among them is that they are easily identifiable. An astute precious metals investor will immediately recognize a Silver Eagle or Silver Maple. Whether you intend to buy or sell silver coins, experienced international traders are aware that these coins contain pure silver. These coins are backed by a government guarantee, making them easy to exchange.
Silver bullion coins are a popular investment choice not only for their silver content, but also for their potential numismatic appreciation due to factors such as low mintage and rarity. Interest in a certain design or demand for a particular year of issue can render bullion coins collectible. Complete sets of certain government bullion series, especially those in Proof finish, sometimes become desirable to coin collectors. This collectible potential often means that bullion coins will command higher premiums when resold on the secondary market.
Silver Bullion Bars
The first thing that comes to mind when most people think of “bullion” is a bar. Indeed, bars are the most common form of bullion silver. They command some of the lowest premiums over spot for silver and enjoy widespread popularity.
Most silver bars are rectangular shaped so they can be neatly stacked. This makes storage and transport far easier, facilitating the exchange of silver bullion across long distances. Silver bars (silver ingots) have been traded in this manner for hundreds of years.
Silver bars also offer the widest variety of sizes to choose from, giving the customer plenty of options. The standard sizes for silver bars which are traded most frequently are 1 oz, 10 oz and 100 oz sizes. Meanwhile, even larger bars up to 1,000 oz are available, but due to their large size they are most commonly used in institutional transactions rather than individual investments.
Many private refineries produce silver bullion bars in fractions of an ounce for those who want to start with a modest investment. Smaller, more affordable bars are also useful if you want to divvy up your bullion to distribute as gifts or as a form of payment. Just recently, the renowned refiner Valcambi SA has unveiled a new product called the Combibar, a divisible silver bullion bar that can actually be snapped apart into convenient minibar pieces weighing just one gram. These detachable silver bars offer unprecedented flexibility for the active silver bug, and they're ideal for emergency purposes, especially if you want to travel with some usable silver in preparation for the worst case scenario.
Silver Bullion Rounds
Silver bullion rounds are essentially the same as bars; they simply come in a different shape. Like silver bars, silver rounds also come from private mints, are available in many sizes, can be purchased for low premiums, and are designed for easy stacking. More importantly, both bars and rounds contain the same investment-grade silver, making silver rounds a convenient choice for inclusion in an IRA.
The shape of rounds alludes to coins, most likely for the sake of familiarity. In practice, however, silver rounds are more similar to bars, as they are exchanged on the basis of their silver content and come in a variety of sizes. The standard size for rounds is 1 troy oz. Think of rounds as having the same basic properties as bars, except their appearance more closely resembles that of coins. Rounds also have the advantage of costing lower premiums than coins.
Many popular silver bullion rounds even borrow classic coin designs—such as the Silver Buffalo Design, Walking Liberty Design, and Morgan Dollar Design. These rounds harken to fondly-remembered coins of early-twentieth century vintage: the Buffalo Head nickel, Walking Liberty half dollar, and Morgan silver dollar, respectively. Silver bullion rounds can offer the opportunity to compile beautiful and historic artwork while still accumulating pure silver at a bargain price. Gainesville Coins offers a large selection of silver rounds that are Made in the U.S.A., struck at ISO:9001 certified mints, and are eligible for inclusion in your precious metals IRA.
Buy Silver Bullion Online
Shop safely and securely for silver bullion online with Gainesville Coins. We are a trusted silver dealer and have been awarded the National Inflation Association's 5-star rating. This is the highest honor a recognized precious metals seller can receive from the NIA. We also have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, reflecting our continued commitment to providing a superior level of customer satisfaction.
Due to our large inventory, Gainesville Coins can bring you an extensive selection of quality silver bullion products at wholesale prices for any size order. We're here to help you explore the full range of options for buying silver bullion online by offering an array of choices. We also accept most major credit cards, including American Express! Our customer service team is eager to answer any questions, whether by live online chat, through email, over the phone, or in our showroom. At Gainesville Coins, we believe your buying experience ought to be as easy, convenient, and inexpensive as possible.
When the time comes to sell your Silver Bullion, Gainesville Coins makes it quick and simple. As one of the largest silver distributors in the nation, we offer competitive pricing when buying AND selling. Sell Your Silver Bullion NOW!
Gainesville Coins Storage
For your convenience, we also offer secure storage at the Gainesville Coins Storage vault. Finding a trustworthy place to store your precious metal is a paramount concern for many. Our vault has segregated storage, so your holdings will never be pooled or mixed with anyone else's assets. The precious metals you receive when you take possession of your assets in storage will always be the exact item which you deposited. Your stored assets are insured in full by a comprehensive insurance policy that covers you in the event of any physical loss, damage, or theft. Our vault can even be your depository for a self-directed IRA. Learn more about including silver in your precious metals IRA here.
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The information provided herein is intended for general reference and does not constitute professional advice. For detailed investing information, please consult with a professional expert.