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Silver Bars

Product Spotlight
valcambi Silver Bar

The Original Way To Store Wealth

Silver was first mined 5,000 years ago, in Anatolia, some 2,000 years before the first coins. Since ancient times, silver bars have been used to store personal and national wealth.

Today, these same items are still used as a cost-effective way to preserve wealth, hedge against inflation and protect oneself from economic uncertainty. They typically carry lower premiums than coins, with larger sizes often having even lower premiums than their smaller counterparts. Many government and private mints produce .999 fine (99.9% pure) bars which are eligible for inclusion in self-directed IRA accounts.

Poured VS Pressed

The Difference That Makes Them Special

The first silver bars were hand-poured into shaped molds. They were then weighed and stamped with the weight and purity. Many modern versions of 10 troy ounces and under are now pressed or extruded. Much like making coins, long sheets of silver of the proper height and thickness are extruded out, then cut to the proper length. They are then pressed with the weight, purity, and name of the refiner. This process is much faster than pouring, but does not lend itself well to manufacturing larger sizes.

Type Of Silver Bars

Poured

  • Used since ancient times
  • Individually poured into molds
  • Weight varies slightly
  • Slower to make
  • Used for larger sizes

Pressed

  • Relatively modern method
  • Cut from large strips in assembly line fashion
  • Uniform weight and dimensions
  • Faster to make, similar to coins
  • Most common for < 100 oz

IRA Certified Silver Bars

ISO 9001:2008

IRA Approved

In addition to .999 purity bullion produced by government mints such as the Royal Canadian Mint and the Perth Mint, silver bars from private mints that have been certified to ISO 9001:2008 standards are also eligible for inclusion in your self-directed precious metals IRA. ISO 9001:2008 is a strict international standard for quality control in many industries, not just precious metals refining. Adherence to these standards are necessary for any company looking to sell to many international corporations and governmental agencies.

Being an accredited "Good Delivery" refiner by COMEX, Nymex, or LBMA is another certification that allows .999 fine bullion products of private refiners to be included in a self-directed IRA. You will find elite companies such as PAMP Suisse, Johnson Matthey, and Engelhard in this category.

Generic Silver Rounds

Generic Design

Generics are those that carry the name of smaller refiners, or have no name at all. They may be new or older ones purchased from the secondary market. (See here about selling to Gainesville Coins.) All new bullion bars offered by Gainesville Coins come from ISO 9001-certified mints, meaning that each mint has been inspected and confirmed to adhere to strict international quality control standards. Some popular generic items are the "Morgan" and "Walking Liberty" from the Classic Design series of bars and rounds; Trident Silver bars; and Sunshine Minting bars.

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Name Brand Silver Bars

Name Brand

"Name brand" are those made by government mints such as the Perth Mint and Royal Canadian Mint, and major Good Delivery refiners such as PAMP Suisse, Credit Suisse, and Valcambi. Older products from world-famous refiners such as Engelhard and Johnson Matthey can also be found here. Vintage products from these two companies have achieved a special status as collectors items, with buyers assembling a set of all of the discontinued designs and hallmarks. Engelhard has not been active in refining since the 1980s, but their reputation is still such that some people prefer them despite their slightly higher premiums.

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Vintage Silver Art Bars

Vintage Collectible

From the late 1960s to the 1990s, silver "art bars" were produced by hundreds of smaller private mints. Subjects of these pieces ranged from corporate promotional giveaways to holidays to patriotic or collectible themes such as old cars. While the companies who made these eclectic bars are long gone, their appeal remains among people who like the retro themes, or remember them from childhood.

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